15: “Filled with Love towards God and All Men” (April 13–April 19)
Have you ever wondered what general conference might have been like for people in the Book of Mormon? In this week's Sunday on Monday study group, we get to draw comparisons between the messages taught in King Benjamin’s address, and the messages we “gathered” to receive at General Conference. We will dig into powerful truths of the Atonement of Jesus Christ taught in Mosiah 1-3 that apply to us, no matter when, or where, we come listen to a prophet’s voice.
Sharmaine's favorite talk: "Prayers of Faith," President Henry B. Eyring
"Good Friday would be the perfect day to have our Heavenly Father and His Son hear us!" (President Russell M. Nelson, "Opening the Heavens for Help," General Conference April 2020, video time stamp: 10:28-10:42).
Shema: The Hebrew word for “listen” is also used for “obey" (see biblehub.com).
What has President Nelson taught us about scripture study?
"Daily immersion in the word of God is crucial for spiritual survival, especially in these days of increasing upheaval. As we feast on the words of Christ daily, the words of Christ will tell us how to respond to difficulties we never thought we would face" (President Russell M. Nelson, "Hear Him," General Conference April 2020).
“But in coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost.” (President Russell M. Nelson, “Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives,” April 2018).
"My dear brothers and sisters, for years I’ve pondered the principle I learned from Elder Perry. The Lord’s invitation to let our light so shine is not just about randomly waving a beam of light and making the world generally brighter. It is about focusing our light so others may see the way to Christ. It is gathering Israel on this side of the veil—helping others see the next step forward in making and keeping sacred covenants with God" (Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, "That They May See," General Conference April 2020).
Historical Background for King Benjamin:
Mosiah #2 is the Son of King Benjamin, and King Benjamin is the son of King Mosiah #1. King Mosiah #1 left the land of Nephi and found the people of Zarahemla. (We read about this in the Book of Omni and the Words of Mormon.)
What principles of scripture study can we learn from these verses in Mosiah 1:3-7?
- The scriptures helped Lehi to remember “all these things” in order to teach them to his people (Mosiah 1:4).
- We can read, study and understand the “mysteries of God” in the scriptures (Mosiah 1:5).
- We must search them diligently (Mosiah 1:7)
“Don’t yield to Satan’s lie that you don’t have time to study the scriptures. Choose to take time to study them. Feasting on the word of God each day is more important than sleep, school, work, television shows, video games, or social media. You may need to reorganize your priorities to provide time for the study of the word of God. If so, do it!” (Richard G. Scott, “Make the Exercise of Faith Your First Priority,” General Conference, November 2014).
King Benjamin gives his son Mosiah what Hugh Nibley calls “the three national treasures” (Hugh Nibley, "An Approach to the Book of Mormon," BYU Scholars Archive 1988)
What did King Benjamin hand down to his son? (Mosiah 1:16)
- Plates of Brass
- Plates of Nephi
- Sword of Laban
The word “Serve” and “Service” appear 13 times in Mosiah 2:11-21.
Elder Hartman Rector Jr. teaches of 3 things that we have to do to endure to the end, the first two being: repent and forgive others.
“And three: Yes, we must be nice. If we’re not nice, I don’t think we’re going to make it. In other words, we must have charity, which is really love plus sacrifice. We must serve our fellowmen, women, and children, and if we do all else but we do not serve the poor, the needy, the downtrodden, the oppressed, the sick and afflicted, both temporally and spiritually, according to their wants, we cannot retain a remission of our sins from day to day. Without serving others, we cannot ‘walk guiltless before God’ ” (Mosiah 4:26).( Hartman Rector Jr, “Endure to the End in Charity,” Ensign, November,1994)
"The Hosanna Shout," see video at ChurchofJesusChrist.org.
Passover and Feast of Tabernacles:
"The Feast of Tabernacles" is also known as the Feast of Booths, or Sukkot (Deuteronomy 16:16-17). Passover takes place in the spring (for 2020 it is April 8-16, beginning on a Wednesday). The Feast of Tabernacles/Feast of Booths/Sukkot takes place in the fall (for 2020 it is on October 2-9th). These two festivals coincide with the same time of year that we have our General Conferences.
What purposes did the festivals have?
- The purpose of the festival is to be reminded of what God did for the children of Israel when He helped them flee Egypt and the bondage they had been subject to (Leviticus 23:42-44).
- People gathered together to give thanks to God (Mosiah 2:4).
According to a few BYU religious Scholars, Mosiah 1-4 may have taken place during the celebration of The Feast of Tabernacles (Terence L. Szink, John W. Welch, John A. Tvedtnes at Book of Mormon Central). The Jewish festival celebrated in the fall at the completion of the harvest is a yearly gathering of families that live together for a week in tents or under booths (Leviticus 23:42-44). Special sacrifices were also ordained (Numbers 29:12-38).
What other elements were involved in gathering to hear King Benjamin?
- They offered sacrifices and burnt offerings (Mosiah 2:3).
- The people gathered together to give thanks to God (Mosiah 2:4).
- The people gathered in tents or booths according to families (Mosiah 2:5). The tents can serve as a reminder of being “covered” by the Lord.
- All of the tents faced the temple (Mosiah 2:6).
"The fact that [the Feast of Tabernacles] celebrated the completion of the full harvest symbolizes the gospel reality that it is the mission of the house of Israel to gather all nations to Jehovah, a process that is now going forward, but will not be completed until [the] millennial day" (Bruce R. McConkie, The Promised Messiah, p. 433.) (See also Day of Atonement; Feast of Weeks; Passover; Sabbatical Year).
"The most important lasting effects of this historic conference will be as our hearts change and we commence a lifelong quest to hear Him" (President Russell M. Nelson, "Opening Message," General Conference April 2020).
The Atonement of Jesus Christ:
"And lo, he shall asuffer btemptations, and pain of body, chunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can dsuffer, except it be unto death; for behold, eblood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his fanguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people" (Mosiah 3:7).
An angel made this known unto King Benjamin, in Mosiah 3:1-2.
"And he shall go forth, suffering pains and aafflictions and btemptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will ctake upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people" (Alma 7:11).
Succor: to run, giving aid or help (see yourdictionary.com).
References for the Savior’s suffering in Gethsemane:
- Matthew 26:37: "Exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death." Sorrowful in Greek is "perilupos," meaning deep grief, deeply distressed, or very heavy (see bibleapps.com).
- Mark 14:33: "The Greek word translated “sore amazed” in the text can refer to a range of emotions, including amazement, awe, astonishment following great shock, and overwhelming distress. The Greek verb translated “very heavy” can mean depressed, dejected, and full of anguish or sorrow. Together, these words depict a deep and extreme agony" (See New Testament Student Manual, ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
- Luke 22:40 Agony: a contest or struggle, (see merriam-webster.com)
“Imagine, Jehovah, the Creator of this and other worlds, ‘astonished’! Jesus knew cognitively what He must do, but not experientially. He had never personally known the exquisite and exacting process of an atonement before. Thus, when the agony came in its fulness, it was so much, much worse than even He with his unique intellect had ever imagined! No wonder an angel appeared to strengthen him! (See Luke 22:43.) (Neal A. Maxwell, “Willing to Submit,” General Conference, April 1985).
“The need of a Redeemer lies in the inability of man to raise himself from the temporal to the spiritual plane, from the lower kingdom to the higher. In this conception we are not without analogies in the natural world.” (James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ, Chapter 3, “The Need of a Redeemer”)
"18 For behold he judgeth, and his judgment is just; and the infant perisheth not that dieth in his infancy; but men drink adamnation to their own souls except they humble themselves and bbecome as little children, and believe that csalvation was, and is, and is to come, in and through the datoning blood of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent.
"19 For the anatural bman is an cenemy to God, and has been from the dfall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he eyields to the enticings of the fHoly Spirit, and gputteth off the hnatural man and becometh a isaint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a jchild, ksubmissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father" (Mosiah 3:18-19).
Photo of Tammy's Markings for Mosiah 3:19:
Photo of Tamu's Markings for Mosiah 3:19:
“Use of the word inflict [at the end of Mosiah 3:19] suggests customized challenges and tutoring that require an added and special submissiveness” (Neal A. Maxwell, One More Strain of Praise, Deseret Book,1999, pg. 13).
“In the judgment with which we shall be judged, all the conditions and circumstances of our lives shall be considered. The inborn tendencies due to heredity, the effect of environment whether conducive to good or evil, the wholesome teachings of youth, or the absence of good instruction—these and all other contributory elements must be taken into account in the rendering of a just verdict as to the soul’s guilt or innocence. Nevertheless, the divine wisdom makes plain what will be the result with given conditions operating on known natures and dispositions of men, while every individual is free to choose good or evil within the limits of the many conditions existing and operative.”—Great Apostasy, p. 21; see also Articles of Faith, 3:52–53.”
Greek,"Hagios": set apart, different, “likeness of nature with the Lord,” because “different from the world” (see biblehub.com).
Hebrew, "Qadosh": to be holy, to be separate, a consecrated thing or a dedicated thing (see blueletterbible.org).
"Through personal revelation, we can prevent what some call “general conference overwhelm”—when we leave so determined to do it all now. Women wear many hats, but it is impossible, and unnecessary, to wear them all at once. The Spirit helps us determine which work to focus on today" (Sister Joy D. Jones, "An Especially Noble Calling," General Conference April 2020).
We just had General Conference. You guys, wow, I am dying. I cannot believe how incredible that experience was, and as I listened to all of the speakers, and I was experiencing it with my children and my husband in my home, I kept thinking, "There are so many parallels to Mosiah chapters one through three," which is what we're discussing today. I just can't even wait to dig in. So I say we just get started.
Welcome to the "Sunday on Monday" study group, a Deseret Bookshelf PLUS+ original brought to you by LDS Living, where we take the "Come, Follow Me" lesson for the week and we really dig into the scriptures together. I'm your host, Tammy Uzelac Hall.
Now, if you're new to the study group, I want to make sure that you know how to use this podcast. So one of the things you can do is listen to the podcast all at once, or the cool thing about this podcast is that it's broken up into six small segments that are around 10 to 12 minutes each. So you can study your Scriptures for 10 to 12 minutes a day. How great is that?
You'll hear a little bit of music at the end of each segment, kind of like those storybooks if you're old like me and you remember those, where it plays a little bling at the end, so listen for the music and then you'll know the segment's finished. Another really great thing about our study group is that each week I'm joined by two really good friends, and every week is different friends. And so today I get to have Tamu Smith and Sharmaine Howell. They're back. Hi, ladies.
Hello, how are you?
"Reunited and it feels so good."
Yeah, what's up?
Well, this is kind of funny because we are recording different than we've ever recorded before. We are doing a COVID type of recording via modern day technology. We're all in separate places, so I'm in my closet. Shar, where are you?
I'm in my closet and it's a good thing you can't see me.
I am in my family room praying that my kids don't wake up, and don't judge me because they should be up already doing schoolwork, but don't judge.
I'm not judging. You are a lucky lady to have kids sleeping at this time of the day.
Yeah. Shar, who has your kids?
Actually, I shipped them off to my sister in law, but I don't know if I should say that if everyone is not seeing each other.
No, no. We talked about it earlier. It's a dating relationship. You all had to define the relationship with one family that you're like, "Okay, I'm safe. We're not going anywhere... I'm only seeing you." I think we should all take a selfie though at some point, like when this is over so we can post our selfies of how we're recording. And you can actually find pictures of my guests on our website, so go to LDSLiving.com/SundayonMonday where we'll post bios and pictures of our guests, so that'll be fun and we'll try and get little selfies of us in our closets or living room. If your kids run in Tamu, grab a snapshot real quick.
Okay, today we are going to study Mosiah one through three. This is such a great section to read and there's some seriously powerful stuff in these chapters. Now we refer to this and you've heard this probably as "King Benjamin's address," if you haven't, that's what we call it: "King Benjamin's address." The cool thing about this is it's so timely. There's so much good stuff in here and we're going to look at his address and we're going to connect it to our own General Conference and our own experiences that we have. So, you guys ready to do this?
Yes, let's do it.
Okay, grab your scriptures, and let's dig in. Here we go. Tell me how was your General Conference experience? What stands out?
It was so amazing. I think the whole thing was just incredible, so many things stood out. Tamu, what'd you think?
Like you said, there were a lot of things that stood out and there were a lot of things that I felt like were... but I felt a little underwhelmed, I'm gonna be honest.
Like, yes, a little bit yeah.
You were waiting for some like big, big huge announcement of some kind?
I don't know, I just like, I had to remember that President Nelson was like, like for him like epic and amazing. Like, he's almost 100 so I'm just like, "Okay, that was the mic drop."
What was your favorite talk Tamu?
Well, I'm a little bit bias, okay.
I already know who your favorite was.
So I loved Elder Holland's talk, but I also loved Elder Ricardo P. Giménez.
I really liked his talk also, but I, you know I love Elder Holland.
I know. Shar, any experiences stood out to you?
Well, I think I was a little different than you Tamu because I thought it was amazing, and I feel like I, you know, maybe was like, "Oh, are they gonna reveal some awesome new thing, or change some program another way," a little bit in the back of my mind. But in the end, I was like, "That was exactly the exact thing that I was hoping they would do." And they just talked of Christ and preached of him and then taught over and over and over, "You got to get personal revelation and get the spirit." Like I don't know how many times they said that "personal revelation gets the spirit."
And I just felt like, "Yeah, I guess it's up to me." They just keep putting the ball back in our court and I had just been, you know, kind of praying and prepping up till conference and you know, they even sent an email out the day before like, "Hey, have you done this checklist? Are you prepared for conference?" I don't know if you saw that email, but, you know, that was the day before, and I felt a little bit like, "Oh, am I ready? Did I do these things? Oh my gosh, can I check all these things off?" And I was like stressing out that I wasn't prepared enough, right?
And the though just kept coming to me, "You just need to keep trying and keep praying." And that was the thought over and over. "You need to have mighty prayer," and I thought, "Wow, okay, I can do this. I can step up my prayer a little bit." And when President Eyring spoke about having, you know, powerful, mighty prayers, I just felt like it was an answer to me saying like, "See I told you already, you already knew what you were needing to do. Here's a little confirmation to you." That just kind of was a little answer to prayer for me.
The one thing that struck me the most was when the Prophet asked us to fast. And of course leading up to that fast I'm like, "Oh, boy, please don't ask us to fast tomorrow. I don't know that we're ready for that."
I totally did. I was like, "Is he gonna say like, biweekly fasting from here on out? I don't know."
I know like, "What are we working towards? Because if he says, 'starting tomorrow,' my kids are gonna have a complete meltdown."
I was preparing for that meltdown. I mean, do you know how many rolls that I took out? Like, I was just like, "It's not gonna happen, we just all gonna have, you know, the Corona."
I had to go back and listen later that night because it just kept replaying in my mind over and over again, but when he said, "Good Friday would be the perfect day to have our Heavenly Father and his Son hear us." And the way he said it because he put his finger up and he pointed and he said, "...would be the perfect time for the Father and his Son to hear us," and then he paused and then started again. And then the next day, remember he gave that talk about "hear him," every time that the Savior was presented, the Lord would say, "hear him."
And we've talked about this before in past episodes, the meaning of the word "here" in Hebrew is "shema," which means "obey." And so as he was saying, to "hear him" over and over again, it resonated with me that like, "Oh, he's not just, God isn't just asking us to listen to Jesus Christ, he's asking us to obey Jesus Christ." And then it made me think back to how the Prophet said, "Good Friday would be the perfect day to have our Heavenly Father and his Son answer our pleas, to hear our prayers, and to give us what we're asking for," and so that definitely is what stood out to me.
That's so cool.
So thank you ladies for sharing your experience with General Conference because Mosiah one through three, it's basically General Conference for the people of Zarahemla, which is a combination of Zarahemla and Mosiah's people. So in the next segment, we are going to talk about three main people and I refer to them as Mosiah number one, King Benjamin, and Mosiah number two.
And we're going to give you a little bit of history here because in the Book of Omni, we had Mosiah number one, and during the time of Mosiah number one is where a group of people left, they follow the guy named Zenith and they left the land. Mosiah number one had a son and his name is King Benjamin and King Benjamin has a son, Mosiah number two, who he's now going to make the king over all of the people.
So before he does that, he's going to call all of these people and speak to them one last time. And this is their general conference address, and so what I want you guys to do as you're listening and as we're going through, I want you to look for modern day parallels to our conference, and also watch for the word "here" because it's said several times in Mosiah chapter two, and then again in Mosiah three, and maybe kind of replace that with the word "obey" and see how that affects the way you read those scriptures. So let's do that in the next segment.
Segment 2 8:32
Tamu and Shar, I want to know, what did you guys learn about scripture study from General Conference? Did anything hit you when you were listening about studying the scriptures?
I don't feel like anything new really hit me. This is the problem with me and General Conference, my General Conference notes are on Twitter.
I can actually attest to that. True.
And I haven't had a chance to go back through some of the talks.
Shar, what about you?
I can remember a few people saying, you know, "Take the time to study your scriptures and study with your family," and I don't remember who but I remember them saying, "If you study the Book of Mormon, you'll be able to be a witness and share your testimony to others." And that struck me. And then President Nelson specifically said, "The way you can hear him is by studying your scriptures daily." And he was like, "You cannot survive spiritually without studying your scriptures daily." And I thought that was so profound to me. Just a reminder of like, "Yeah, I got to keep doing this. I got to keep getting in it. Every day, I just have to study something," right? To keep that... "be able to survive spiritually," I thought that was interesting.
I don't even remember hearing that, so I love that you heard that. Let's go to Mosiah Chapter one, and we're going to look at verses three through seven, and we're going to look for what Mosiah is trying to teach his sons. I talked to you a little bit earlier about this, what I call Mosiah one, King Benjamin, Mosiah. two. So let me give you a little background before we read these verses of scripture. So King Benjamin is getting ready to give his last words, King Benjamin address before he turns the kingdom over to Mosiah number two.
So he calls all of his sons together, and he's going to teach them something very important that we need to know. And then he's going to teach the people in Mosiah chapter two and chapter three. And as we read these verses, what I want you guys to do is look for principles that we can learn about studying the scriptures. Okay, so mark whatever stands out to you that he says is important about studying the scriptures. And Shar, will you read verses three through seven, please?
"And he also taught them concerning the records which were engraven on the plates of brass, saying: My sons, I would that ye should remember that were it not for these plates, which contain these records and these commandments, we must have suffered in ignorance, even at this present time, not knowing the mysteries of God."
"For it were not possible that our father, Lehi, could have remembered all these things, to have taught them to his children, except it were for the help of these plates; for he having been taught in the language of the Egyptians therefore he could read these engravings, and teach them to his children, that thereby they could teach them to their children, and so fulfilling the commandments of God, even down to this present time."
"I say unto you, my sons, were it not for these things, which have been kept and preserved by the hand of God, that we might read and understand of his mysteries, and have his commandments always before our eyes, that even our fathers would have dwindled in unbelief, and we should have been like unto our brethren, the Lamanites, who know nothing concerning these things, or even do not believe them when they are taught them, because of the traditions of their fathers, which are not correct."
Okay, I'm gonna pause you for a second there. Before we go on, what stands out to you so far? Why do we need daily scripture study?
In verse five, it says, "That we might read and understand of his mysteries and have his commandment." And I love that. Like there's no way we could have had this word of mouth coming down from the generations and remember it, right? This is God's mysteries and his commandments.
Well, also it says in verse four that Lehi would have never remembered all these things. I think that that is very important, but then I also, there's something, I read the scriptures a little bit different. Okay. Are y'all cool with that?
Depends on how you read them.
Well, as I was reading this, it made me think and I started to wonder, you know, as they were talking about the Lamanites, and what the Lamanites didn't get, but if the Nephites had the records, and we already know that there was family friction, and the Nephites had the records than the Lamanites actually did not have the same opportunities to know their history that the Nephites had. Does that make sense?
Yeah, yeah, absolutely.
And so of course when you don't know your history, when you don't know who you are, you dwindle in disbelief.
Yeah. Well, and it makes me think of that scripture "to whom much is given, much is required." So those the Nephites that did have it or those of us who have it today, how responsible that is for us to share because we don't really know when the narrative, did the Lamanites just walk away and say, "Eh, we don't really care about the records," or did the Nephites say, "You don't get them." We don't really know how that played out, but we do know that those who have it, you're responsible then for sharing that and teaching children and spreading the good word.
Let's skip verse six, and just look at verse seven. And let's just read... this is a great scripture for us to mark and specifically what it says to do with the scriptures. So Shar, go ahead and read verse seven.
"And now, my sons, I would that ye should remember to search them diligently, that ye may profit thereby; and I would that ye should keep the commandments of God, that ye may prosper in the land according to the promises which the Lord made unto our fathers."
What are you going to highlight in that verse?
"Search them diligently."
There you go. Yep.
And I like that it...
No, no you.
Well, I like that it says that "ye may profit thereby." I guess I hadn't really considered you could profit from reading the scriptures. Spiritually, I guess you could, but I wonder if there's any other ways people have profit from reading scriptures? Does it help you in your work? Does it help you with people, coworkers, making good decisions? I don't know. That's really, what do you guys think?
I think that some people might interpret this to mean "prosperity gospel" where people like according to the tithing that you pay, you sit closer to the front. It could mean... that's a real thing. It could mean that, I mean, it just means you know, lots of things. Sometimes the pastor lives a lot better than the congregation.
That if the more righteous you are, the more money you have, and so because God loves righteous people, righteous people get money, and that's basically "prosperity gospel" and we know that that's not true because Jesus would have been the king of everything, and he is the king of everything but he would have been, he would have been the king of riches, and he was not.
And Joseph Smith would have been rich, and he wasn't.
He was not rich.
No. So when you think about this, the "search the scriptures diligently," I included a quote for us to read this is by Elder Richard G. Scott, and he talks about the importance of daily scripture study. So Tamu, can you read that quote?
“Don’t yield to Satan’s lie that you don’t have time to study the scriptures. Choose to take time to study them. Feasting on the word of God each day is more important than sleep, school, work, television shows, video games, or social media. You may need to reorganize your priorities to provide time for the study of the word of God. If so, do it!” (Richard G. Scott, “Make the Exercise of Faith Your First Priority,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2014).
Thank you. How do you guys study the Scriptures? I'm just curious, real quick, give me a quick one.
I just kind of set a goal for myself of like a to read this many pages a day. Just kind of started when President Nelson asked the women to read the whole book of mormon by the end of the year. So, I've kind of just tried to keep that up, just as a little like, "Just get in the scriptures, do it in the morning, and you know, have them be able to be on my mind all day a little bit."
Tamu, how do you read the scriptures, or study the scriptures I should say?
I study the scriptures in stories. Like I look at the story and I like to follow that story. Like I like to follow the lineage and I like to follow the who each person is because I want to know why the story is being told this way.
That's a good way to study it through the stories. For me, I don't know if anyone out there can relate to this, but for me, the first thing in the morning I do is once I wake up, I roll over and grab my phone to check social media because you know I've missed out on a lot over the course of the last eight hours, and I need to figure out stuff. So I grab my phone, and I just had recently within the last couple weeks, I had the idea, "You know what, the first thing I should do is just read my scriptures." So before I hit any other apps, I hit the Gospel Library app, get into my scriptures, read a couple of verses, and then I allow myself to go on a social media binge.
But I think it looks different for everybody. That's how it looks for me right now because I do study the scriptures for the podcast, but I don't know, everyone has to do it how they do it, and so that's me, in the morning, I just hit that Gospel Library app, read a few verses, and then go about my day. So think about how those of you listening, how you're going to study the scriptures and Shar, I love that you shared president Nelson's words about the need to study the Scriptures, and that we cannot survive spiritually without doing that now, like he just upped the game a little bit. So think how you're going to do that in your own life.
So King Benjamin just got done telling his sons how important it is to study the Scriptures and telling us the importance of studying these scriptures. Now the next thing he's going to do as he's making Mosiah a king, he does what Hugh Nibley calls, "Handing him the national treasure," and another term for that would be "sacred" and "holy relics" that belong to the people. So in the next segment, I'm going to show you what this exactly is and we're going to dig into King Benjamin's address.
Segment 3 18:24
Alright ladies, what did you guys think of when I did say "national treasure" or "sacred relics?"
The movie for sure.
I mean it's such a good movie. If anyone has access to it, watch it with your kids. It's a classic.
Absolutely. But then my thought went immediately to how they're passing on this family history, and in the black community, how we knew who we were after slavery. And before slavery is the family Bible, and I remember there being a knock down, drag out fight, and I can say this because my family, they're not LDS, and they're not gonna listen to this, and if they do, I'm blaming on someone else. But there was a knock down, drag out fight about the family Bible. That's how valuable it is.
Wow. Well, I think a lot of people can relate to things that are important being handed down familiarly. In your culture, it was the family Bible because it did list, didn't in those Bibles list every person's name and I mean, it was a big deal the family Bible. We don't have that tradition anymore, but I wish we did.
So let's go to Mosiah, chapter one, verse 16, and we're going to read about what the "sacred relics" or the "national treasure" was that got handed down from King Benjamin to Mosiah. I think this is pretty cool. So Tamu, will you please read Mosiah chapter one, verse 16. And as we read it, mark what they got handed down.
"And moreover, he also gave him charge concerning the records which were engraven on the plates of brass; and also the plates of Nephi; and also, the sword of Laban, and the ball or director, which led our fathers through the wilderness, which was prepared by the hand of the Lord that thereby they might be led, every one according to the heed and diligence which they gave unto him."
Perfect, thank you. Isn't that cool? So he's given the national treasure or he's given these relics. Now right before he's given these relics though, King Benjamin knows, "We need to gather all the people because we're going to have a coronation of King Mosiah. We're going to make him the new king," and boy did they gather, and we're going to study that in the next segment.
But before they gather, King Benjamin says to his sons, "Look, we're going to give something to these people, and we want to make sure that everyone's together for it," which kind of makes me think of the Prophet at General Conference, "Like we're going to give these people something amazing. Let's make sure everyone's together for it." And so here's what they're going to give these people and that's in Mosiah chapter one, verse 11, and Shar, will you just read the very beginning of verse 11?
"And moreover, I shall give this people a name, that thereby they may be distinguished above all the people which the Lord God hath brought out of the land of Jerusalem..."
Thank you, you can stop right there. He's going to give them a name, and we're going to talk about this next week in depth, but what I want you to do is cross reference this verse with Mosiah chapter five, verses seven through eight. So put next to the side of that verse, "Mosiah chapter five, verses seven through eight," and quickly turn there. So you can see what the new name is.
Mosiah chapter five, and it's in verse seven, the specific name.
Do you want me to to read it?
Yeah, and stop after you read what their new name will be.
"And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ..."
Again, we'll talk about this a lot more next week, but their new name is "children of Christ." But the reason why I wanted us to mark that next to this new name that they're going to be given, is because Mosiah chapter two, King Benjamin is going to spend the majority of his address talking about one specific subject. And I think it's interesting, it's the word "serve" or "service." That word appears 13 times in Mosiah chapter two.
Let's go to Mosiah chapter two, verse 17. And I'm going to read this verse because it's one of my favorites.
"And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God."
So here's my question for you guys, what is the connection between their new name and service? What's the connection with being called "children of Christ" and serving others? Is there one?
Well, yeah, because Christ came here to serve, like he served us with his life. And I love chapter two because it is all about responsibility to one another, and service for one another, you know, we're responsible.
I just can't help but keep thinking over and over in my head how President Nelson has focused on the name of the Church being the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and having his name in it and as I read this, these two chapters just kept coming over and over, and I don't know, if there's a big connection. I feel like there is a connection with us calling ourselves in the name of Christ, and doing what we do in his name, and even at this conference he talked about, you know, "I'm going to restate that promise that I gave you that when you give all your effort, you have it in his name, you will have blessings greater than you can imagine." What do you think?
Being the children of Christ and being Christian, the heart of that then is service according to this chapter, and so our actions, for sure, speak loudly for us and the work that we do.
As I read this chapter, it made me think like of President Nelson. Like all the things that he's like he's imploring us to do and like I was getting excited, and then as I watched conference after reading this, and then rereading it, I was like, "President Nelson is our King Benjamin." And so I'm just like, "He is King Benjamin and I don't know that we see that," like, I get excited so if my voice just went up, like I'm not yelling, I'm like, I'm have some passion about this.
One of my other favorite things is, I love how King Benjamin was like, "And behold, if I, whom ye call your king," had you know, "I've labored to serve you, ought ye not to labor to serve each other?" Like and he's like, breaking it down, like, "Look at me. Look at what I'm doing. I have not taken from you. I have not taken from the people. I have served the people." And so I just got excited. I don't know. Like, as I was watching President Nelson, and he was like, "And this is where I was, and this is what I've done. And these are the things we've done," and I was like, "Look at you do it." Doing the most.
Yeah, he's an example right? Like King Benjamin, he's like, "If I can do it, you can do it." Right?
Right. Right. And so I was like, "Look at him being all King Benjamin like, but I'm not doing all that because I'm tired. Like, and I'm homeschooling and I'm a horrible teacher. I'm like, 'Everybody get an "A" let's go outside and rake the lawn.'"
I saw a sign when I drove past an elementary school yesterday that that said, "Dear parents, tag you’re it. Love, the teachers." But you're absolutely right Tamu. I thought that same thing. I was like, "He's our King Benjamin." This is so cool because now we have a new logo with the Savior, Jesus Christ in the middle. And our name is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. And what's so neat about this address is that King Benjamin has said to his sons, "We're going to give them a new name, but we're not going to give it yet, I'm going to prep them. And I'm going to speak all about service and help them understand how important it is to act like Christ, to be more Christlike."
And then after they hear this at the end, after they felt the spirit and they want to do what is right, then he's going to say, "All right, and now you're going to be called children of Christ." And so it's so cool the connection between being service oriented, being children of Christ because Christ is... He is service. I mean, any other thoughts? Tamu, you look like you're revving?
This whole thing for me, it was just beautiful. I think you call yourself "a son, or daughter of Christ," no matter where you fall in that body, that we are one people, and that we have a responsibility, and I think that that's what people forget. Because he talks about the blessings, which I think leads some people to think that if you have all of these things, if you have a nice house, if you have a nice car, then you have been blessed, but the blessing is like the responsibility to come to Christ and know him. Like that is a blessing to know Christ, to know who you are in this family. And, and so I just I loved it. I love this chapter. Also there's a scripture mastery in it.
Well, I mean, right there.
This is so wonderful because as I was studying this and I was connecting the name of Christ, and that he's prepping them with service, it drew me to a quote by Hartman Rector Jr. who's one of my favorite apostles, and he gives this really great talk called "Endure to the End in Charity." And I want to read this quote because I just love it so much.
Okay, so I've never heard of him. Who is he? Like, when did he live?
He was a Seventy in the 90s. I know that. He was an area authority in the south. A General Authority in the south.
Tamu, you know your stuff.
Seriously. So he was called by David O. McKay, and he was in the Quorum of the Seventy from 1968 to 1976.
No, that's not right.
No, that's not right. Stupid, stupid Wikipedia. I just grabbed the first thing I could find. I'm sorry.
I just love that Tamu calls you out.
The talk I quoted was from 1994. There we go. I found the dates. Okay, there we go. So he was the General Authority, Quorum of the Seventy from 1976 to 1994. So this would have been one of the last talks that he gave. And I will say the reason I know him is that he performed the sealing ordinance in the Salt Lake City temple for my parents when they got married, and then subsequently has sealed all of the other siblings in my family, except for me. That's a whole other story. My dad forgot to follow up with him and he forgot it was the day of my wedding. So there you go. I sat in the sealing room for 45 minutes wondering where my sealer was.
Sorry, dad. No offense. Okay. So here's the quote though, I do love this quote because he says there's three things that we have to do to make it to the end, but the third thing is the one that stands out to me. He says, "Yes, we must be nice. If we’re not nice, I don’t think we’re going to make it. In other words, we must have charity, which is really love plus sacrifice. We must serve our fellowmen, women, and children, and if we do all else but we do not serve the poor, the needy, the downtrodden, the oppressed, the sick and afflicted, both temporally and spiritually, according to their wants, we cannot retain a remission of our sins from day to day. Without serving others, we cannot ‘walk guiltless before God’ ” (Mosiah 4:26).( Hartman Rector Jr, “Endure to the End in Charity,” Ensign, November,1994)
And I just like that because in my mind, I sum up, you gotta be nice. And is there anyone nicer than Christ, seriously?
That's a great quote.
It's such a great quote. So I want you to kind of think about this idea then that King Benjamin has talked to them about service because now King Benjamin is going to teach us about this ultimate form of kindness, which is the Atonement of Jesus Christ. And I want you to think about this, especially in light of conference and any talks that stood out to you about Jesus Christ's atonement, and we'll discuss that in the next two segments.
Segment 4 29:32
Let's talk about the Solemn assembly and doing it in our homes because yesterday when they announced that we were gonna do that, Tamu, you're the first person I contacted. I sent you a text so fast because it's our favorite thing to celebrate, Palm Sunday.
I know. I know it did. It made me feel like we were participating in the Easter celebration.
It made me so happy. What was it like for you guys doing that in your home?
Chaotic because I'm not, I'm gonna be honest, it was a little bit chaotic, but because I have teenagers and they're goofy.
Mmhmm. I love that honesty. I think a lot of people can relate to that.
For, us. I mean, I have little kids, so I was able to tell them forcefully enough that they needed to just be super quiet, but I feel like they didn't really understand what we were doing or like the significance or specialness of it. And personally, I feel like I was like, "There's got to be so much more depth of this than even what I'm getting from it." But for me, it was really cool. I thought it was really special to feel like that global unison that President Nelson said of all of us doing it at the same time, praising our Savior Jesus Christ.
Yeah. I just thought it was so incredible that here we were celebrating Palm Sunday, we celebrated Good Friday, we did these celebrations that other religions celebrate. It was sort of this ecumenical experience that we have had with other religions. And I just loved that. And then it made me think of other religious festivals or celebrations, and so I'm curious to know if you guys have ever celebrated or attended a Jewish festival like a Passover, a Seder, you guys ever attended anything like that?
Not like a real one but my In-Laws they did like a Passover reenactment. I don't know how to call it where you're a part of it and you're eating the food and it was pretty cool.
I've been to a Jewish Seder before.
So what is the Seder?
It's like a traditional like dinner.
Well, it's the main Passover meal. So it's a celebration. It's, it's one of my favorite things to celebrate. I think as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we could all benefit from attending a Passover or Seder. There's so much symbolism in it. We have this plate called the "Seder plate," and there's different things that go on the plate. And so you have this unleavened bread that symbolizes of them having to leave and flee Egypt and didn't have time to let the bread rise. You have this Charoset that is this mixed up apples and cinnamon and nuts that looks gross, but it tastes pretty good. But that represents...
It tastes good, yeah.
It represents the mortar that they had to make to make all the things in Egypt when they were under bondage. You actually have to have a lamb, a shank bone and it has to be unbroken and had to come from an unblemished lamb, that's on the plate to represent, and I just think that's fascinating because for us as members of the Church, we know that represents Jesus Christ, which the Jews are waiting for it to represent their Savior. They have an egg which represents renewal, and you have bitter herbs, which represents how bitter the lives were of the Egyptian or sorry how bitter the lives were of the Hebrews or the Jewish people while they were under bondage to the Egyptians. And then you just have all these beautiful prayers that are said throughout the whole Passover.
Well and then you have the salt water so you dip the..
Oh yeah, that you dip...
You dip the bitter herbs and for us it was just lettuce, but you dip the bitter herbs in the salt water and the salt water represents the tears. Like I forgot about the lamb and all of that. But yeah.
I forgot about the tears. I love that. Yeah.
The tears that were shed.
If anyone has a chance, next year, you should definitely put forth some effort to find a Passover meal to go to, a Seder celebration.
And take me.
Yeah, exactly. I love it so much, and when I was reading Mosiah chapter two, my eyes were open because there's another celebration in Mosiah chapter two that I can't even believe I didn't see it. Well, yes, I did. I can believe because I didn't know a lot about Judaism or Jewish festivals until recently. The two we're going to talk about is the Passover and the Feast of the Tabernacle.
Now these two festivals coincidentally coincide with our general conferences. How cool is that? Passover is usually over April, and the Feast of Booths is usually over the fall General Conference. So Mosiah chapter one through four, according to several BYU religious scholars, and I totally agree with this, is the Feast of Tabernacles. It is Sukkot. And so I want to show you how this is the feast because we have read this so many times before, and we've thought, "Oh, this is so cool. The families are joined together, they're around the temple, they're intense."
So the Passover is in the spring and this year it was from April 8th to the 16th. Then we also have the other celebration which is Feast of the Tabernacles, or Feast of Booths, and that is in the Fall. And this year, it's going to be celebrated between October 2nd and 9th. The Feast of Tabernacles, or Feast of Booths is also known as "Sukkot." So for those of you that have heard of that before, that's what it's known as.
But there's a reason why they're doing this, and that's what I want to show you. So let's go into Mosiah chapter two. We're going to read a couple of verses and I'm going to tell you a little bit about these verses. The Jewish festival, the Feast of Tabernacles, or Feast of Booths, is celebrated in the fall and it's at the completion of a harvest and this is a yearly gathering for families. They lived together for one full week under tents or under booths. And they also offer special sacrifices throughout this.
So let's look at Mosiah chapter two, verse three. Okay. We're going to put these verses in Mosiah two into a completely different context now. So now it's not just about families camping out listening to a prophet. I believe and so do other BYU scholars believe they are celebrating the Feast of Booths. So Mosiah chapter two, verse three, and Shar, will you read that please?
"And they also took of the firstlings of their flocks, that they might offer sacrifice and burnt offerings according to the law of Moses;"
Okay. And so you can cross reference that with Numbers chapter 29, verses 12 through 38. That's where it talks about, "At this feast, you have to offer sacrifices." The next purpose of the Feast of Tabernacles, or Feast of Booths, is that the people were gathering together as families to give thanks to God for delivering them out of the hands of the Egyptians. That was the purpose. The end of the harvest, they're grateful for all that they had that year, but they're grateful that God delivered them. Look at verse four. And Shar, just read the beginning of verse four.
"And also that they might give thanks to the Lord their God, who had brought them out of the land of Jerusalem, and who had delivered them out of the hands of their enemies, and had appointed just men to be their teachers, and also a just man to be their king, who had established peace in the land of Zarahemla, and who had taught them to keep the commandments of God, that they might rejoice and be filled with love towards God and all men."
Thank you. There they are giving thanks that they were delivered out of the hands of their enemies. And so they're gathered together now as families, they have to be under a booth or a tent where their family will live for an entire week. And so now look at verse five. Tamu, will you read verse five?
"And it came to pass that when they came up to the temple, they pitched their tents round about, every man according to his family, consisting of his wife, and his sons, and his daughters, and their sons, and their daughters, from the eldest down to the youngest, every family being separate one from another."
And then look at verse six at the beginning, "And they pitched their tents round about the temple, every man having his tent with the door thereof towards the temple..." And so in this feast, that's what they would do, they set their booths or their tabernacle around the temple and the families stay there, but the whole purpose and point of that booth is that they are covered. And you remember we've talked about the Hebrew meaning of the word "atonement," which is "to cover" and so this is a reminder or for Jews, it is kind of speaking in a future term, but for us, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we get this because now they are being covered by the atonement.
And so we have this idea, the symbolism. And so I want you to kind of think about this for just a second. Help me apply what we've just talked about to our general conference today. Help me apply it.
I just thought that was so incredible. It made "aha" moment in my head because I've never heard about that being tied to the Feast of Tabernacles ever. I mean, I always thought about their gathering in the conference. But I think that's super cool and how it's talking about, it's reminding them that they are under the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and I think the coolest thing in President Nelson's very first talk, I think of conference, just this year. I mean, I wrote this down in my notes from listening to conference, this is kind of what he said, or this is what I thought he said, but the exact quote will come out, you know soon I'm hoping.
We'll put a reference to that in our show notes for his talk.
He said, "The most important lasting effects of this conference will be as our hearts change, and begin a lifelong quest to hear him." And I think he was like, "The purpose of conference for us is to change our hearts and to hear him," kind of like the atonement covering, remembering Jesus Christ in our everyday and I think that's super cool how it relates to that.
Yes, thank you Shar. And Tamu, what about you? Was there a connection for you?
I think that for me the connection was, I mean just I'd never really thought about the covering. For me, I just I think about turning your tents toward the temple so that you could and being together as a family and this year it was so interesting to just be in my home with only my family, and having been tuned into to conference, and that to me was like and then just when you said that I was like, "Oh my gosh we were covered," because we were in our covered tents with our door toward the temple, you know our TV on and watching conference and we were covered and we were covered and we are covered. But then also having received the apostolic blessing at the end.
That was for me the final covering, like sealing, he sealed the tent from rain. Thank you Tamu and Shar for sharing your thoughts with us. Because in the next segment, we are going to talk about that word "cover" and what exactly the Atonement of Jesus Christ covers.
Segment 5 40:16
So I'm going to start out by telling you guys this story. So when I was teaching at East High School, I was getting ready to teach Mosiah chapter two and three specifically. I knew what I needed to do. And I asked this one class that I had, and it was fourth period. As a teacher, sometimes you just have these classes that get it and they're just goodness. And this period was it and I knew I could ask these kids to do this. So I said at the end of the class, "Okay, everybody, if you'll do me a favor, I want you to come to class tomorrow having fasted. Go without food starting right now, or maybe just have dinner, but then wake up, don't have breakfast, don't have lunch," because my class was after lunch and I said, "I want you to come to class having fasted and being hungry," and a couple of them moaned and I'm like, "You don't have to do it, I'm just saying if you do it, it'll totally be worth it. You'll understand why in our class tomorrow."
They leave class, the next day comes, and I had prepared a card table in my classroom and I went to the store that night and bought a ton of food. So much food. Like I went to the hostess outlet in Utah. We used to have a hostess outlet. So I bought a ton of ding dongs and Twinkies. I bought bread, peanut butter, jelly, fruit, everything you can imagine, and I covered it with a blanket.
And that class period came in after lunch. And I'll never forget this young man, this Tongan football player walks in and he is dragging, like he's so tired. And I said, "What Scott? What's going on?" He's like, "Sister Uzelac, I think I'm gonna die. Like I'm so hungry." I said, "You did it. You fasted?" He's like, "Yes. I mean, we had football practice last night, and I didn't even eat dinner, and I didn't eat breakfast and I'm just so hungry." And I said, "Well, I've got a treat for you. Under that blanket over there is so much food." He's like, "Please let me right now. Please."
I said, "Okay, let's just do our devotional. Let's get class started. And then I promise you can eat." And a couple other students came in hungry, I was surprised how many kids do it, but I've never forgotten Scott Lau who came in just beyond famished, so hungry. We started our class, we got done, and then I said, "Okay, who's hungry? And everybody who had been fasting, raise their hands." And I said, "How hungry are you?" And Scott's like, "I am the hungriest. No one's hungrier than me in this room, I can assure you of that.?" I said, "I believe you, Scott, I think you might be the hungriest."
I said, "Before we eat, I want you all to turn to Mosiah chapter three, verse seven." And so I had everybody go there. And I said, "I asked you to come hungry because I want you to see the scope of the Atonement of Jesus Christ." And so we read Mosiah chapter three verse seven, and Shar, will you read that out loud?
"And lo, he shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer, except it be unto death; for behold, blood cometh from every pore, so great shall be his anguish for the wickedness and the abominations of his people."
And we got done reading that and Scott Lau looked up and he said, "You mean, God gets how hungry I am right now?" And I said, "He does. Jesus Christ knows your hunger." And he just sat back in the desk and went, "Wow. I never knew that."
And then I took the blanket off the table, and I said, "Okay, come and get it. Eat as much as you want." And every kid but him ran up. Scott sat there. And I said, "Scott, aren't you starving?" And he said, "Yeah, but I'm just trying to comprehend that he gets my hunger. I never knew that the atonement covered that."
Yeah, tell me what you're thinking.
I just think that that's a beautiful, that's a beautiful story. I mean, I think that's a beautiful story that a kid got it like on that level, but I do know that the atonement covers everything.
To put it into those terms that he gets hunger, thirst, like what? I think cause for me, I always grew up thinking it was only sin based. And that the whole range of what this Atonement of Jesus Christ covers is it's bigger than we can even comprehend. It's not a little tent. It's not a homemade fort. It is just so gigantic. And so in these verses right here, right next to Mosiah chapter three, verse seven, I want to give you a cross reference, put "Alma chapter seven, verse 11."
These are fun to remember too because if you have a Seven Eleven anywhere by you, it's my go to, I'm going to go there when I need a Slurpee, so I can always remember I don't know why I just think atonement Seven Eleven. So Alma 7:11 let's turn there. This is the other scripture that tells us what also is included in the Atonement of Jesus Christ. And Alma chapter seven, verses 11 through 12. And I'll read those.
And then of course, I have to have you mark "sucker." That's one of my favorite scripture words, and it means "to run giving aid or help," the idea that the Savior will run to us. I picture him running to me. When we go back to the Mosiah scripture and talk about what the atonement covers. Tamu, you said something wonderful, you said, "It covers everything." And I want to know from your own experience, Tamu, outside of the the parameters of sin, what else has the atonement covered? What have you seen it cover?
"And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people."
"And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities."
Okay, I'm about to have an ugly cry moment.
But I just, you know, for me, it covers sorrow and it covers loneliness, and it covers like great joy. I have had moments where I just want to give up and to know that even my Savior, hang on a cross, like not even on the cross, like when he's in the Garden of Gethsemane and he's saying like three times like he goes out, he checks on his friends, he chastises them, he comes back because they, you know, he says, "Just stay up with me. I already know what's coming. Just stay with me."
"This feels lonely. This feels like I don't want to do this by myself." And then to go back and check on his friends and then come back and they're asleep. And then he comes back in and I, I feel that sometimes. I hate my voice when I get like this. Excuse me. But I feel that sometimes on such a real level and to know that I'm not alone. And that loneliness, does that make sense? Like he's with me, and he understands that, but then also to have this great joy and you have no one to tell, like no one to tell and he's just like, but I know that he has experienced that too.
Well, Tamu I appreciate so much that you cited the experience that he had in Gethsemane, and I went through and read those verses, and these are in our show notes, but in Matthew, Mark, and in Luke, where it talks about his experience in Gethsemane, if you take each one of those words of how he was feeling, and you look up what they mean in Greek, what I think is powerful, is that the way he felt is, he felt deep grief, deeply distressed, he felt sorrow, he was so sad he wanted to die. If anyone's ever felt so deeply sorrowful and sad that you feel like death is the option? Christ gets that. It says so in the scriptures. He felt "Sore Amazed."
In fact, he was so sore amazed, he was awestruck, like what, "I don't even know, what is this that I'm feeling?" And then I love the word in Luke, the word "agony," which in Greek means a "contest or a struggle or a fight with an opponent." Like, how many times have we experienced that in our own lives? Shar, what are your thoughts? I can see you're thinking things.
Oh, wow, I just love what you shared, Tamu. I think I relate and I think that that's a really amazing thing is that I think we all relate to those feelings. Every one of us feels that loneliness, or that, you know, despair, or fear or whatever it is, and I love that if we can remember, you know, our Savior feels it. He's felt it all. And we can also remember that we're all feeling it, right? We can kind of be that help and that comfort for each other as well.
Sometimes I think it takes being vulnerable and letting people know how you feel and what you're going through to realize, "Oh, that is normal. Everyone's feels this." And I know I felt just what you felt before Tamu and I don't know your experiences, why you felt it, but I felt the same thing. You know? I just know that the only things that have helped me are you know, the angels around me, the people in my family who have lifted me up, and my Savior Jesus Christ.
You know, Shar, you just said something that made me have a thought. You said "vulnerable," and even in that speaking, Jesus was vulnerable. He went to his friends, and he said, "I need you in this hour. I have never needed anything from you. I need you right now." And they slept on him. And so it's one of those things to me that is a reminder because I mean me and God fights sometimes and I'm like, "Why do you keep calling me to places by myself? Like I feel lonely. I want my family here. Like I'm doing this for you. Bring them with me, like make it happen."
One time I was having one of those moments, and it was just like the Savior was like, "I know that loneliness. I know what it's like to be alone." People are called to away from things that might be a distraction so that they can get the work done, and so his friend slept on him and sometimes our friends may abandon us in our times of need, and Jesus knows that feeling too because he was vulnerable. He went to them and they still did not show up for him.
Thank you, Tamu for sharing that. Shar, when you were speaking about angels around us, it made me think of this quote by elder Neal A. Maxwell and he refers to an angel in it. Will you please read this for us?
“Imagine, Jehovah, the Creator of this and other worlds, ‘astonished’! Jesus knew cognitively what He must do, but not experientially. He had never personally known the exquisite and exacting process of an atonement before. Thus, when the agony came in its fulness, it was so much, much worse than even He with his unique intellect had ever imagined! No wonder an angel appeared to strengthen him! (See Luke 22:43.) (Neal A. Maxwell, “Willing to Submit,” General Conference, April 1985).
That is so beautiful.
Why, why is it beautiful to you?
I mean, he's the God of our world and of the universe and went through all of that for all of us. And I love that an angel came to strengthen him. I just know I need that. You know, I need that every day.
And the beauty of it for me is that we will be and Tamu, you talked about this, we will be strengthened in everything, in everything we're going through, that the Atonement of Jesus Christ covers so much more than we could even possibly comprehend, if we allow it to. There's a great quote by James E. Talmage and he wrote this in "Jesus the Christ" about the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
He says, “The need of a Redeemer lies in the inability of man to raise himself from the temporal to the spiritual plane, from the lower kingdom to the higher. In this conception we are not without analogies in the natural world.” (James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ, Chapter 3, “The Need of a Redeemer”)
In the next segment, I want to talk about this: the natural world that we live in and the fact that the natural world births the natural man, and one of the best teachings on this and analogy is going to be found in Mosiah chapter three. So in the next segment, we're going to talk about this and we're going to continue our conversation about what the Atonement of Jesus Christ covers.
Segment 6 52:30
Shar and Tamu, tell me, I want to know, what are some qualities of little children that you like? Shar?Maybe you don't like any right now. What are some qualities that you appreciate? The best thing about little kids is...
I think their complete ability to forgive on the spot and to love perfectly, and to forget all the bad things that I do all day long. The next day, they just wake up and give me the biggest hug and a big kiss and "Mom, I love you" and run off and I'm like, "How does he love me still?"
I agree with Shar. I think that their ability to love perfectly, and also they're innocence. They're just so innocent. And I love that. And they also listen and don't make wisecracks during conference and stuff like that.
I waited for so long to be a mom, right? And I didn't get married till I was 35 and then marrying into a family of children and experiencing that was wonderful. And then we added two more to the family, and I think what surprised me was just how much my kids love me. They think I'm the greatest human being, like the greatest, and the little girls are still little so they really think I'm great. They haven't become teenagers yet to nitpick at the stupid stuff I do.
But Gosh, like you said, Shar, they wake up the next day and they still love me even if I got mad at them, it's over, no grudges. Let's go in. We're going to read about childlike attributes in Mosiah chapter three verses 18 and 19, and as we read these verses, what I want you guys to do is look for the attributes of little children that King Benjamin's telling us we have to have, and here's my question, how do we obtain those qualities? Okay, so look for and then help me understand how are we going to obtain those? Let's read Mosiah chapter three verses 18 and 19. And I'll read those.
"For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father."
"For behold he judgeth, and his judgment is just; and the infant perisheth not that dieth in his infancy; but men drink damnation to their own souls except they humble themselves and become as little children, and believe that salvation was, and is, and is to come, in and through the atoning blood of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent."
All right, what stood out to you?
Number one, becoming humble, like, you know, referring to little children as you know, being humble. And also reminding them that in them inherently is the natural man, and the natural man is an enemy to God. And so anytime that I become natural, I know this, I'm not talking about afro hair, I'm talking about straight up natural where I'm driving down the street and somebody cuts me off and the natural person in me is, I'm not a... I'm a honker so like I will lay on the horn for 20 minutes, and that's very carnal, very natural, and I do remind myself all the time, "Don't be natural. The natural man is an enemy to God and has been since the fall of Adam and will be forever and ever, and I don't wanna be natural forever."
Oh, I love that. That's hilarious.
I know it's terrible.
Shar, what about you, anything?
I like how it says in 18 "become as a little child and believe" and I think that kids innately just believe no matter what you say, and they just take it in for what exactly what it is and they believe you. I mean, I could tell my kids anything right? And we do almost about all these holidays. They just believe us, right? I just love that it says, "...and they believe."
The other one that I love, we kind of talked about it, but that "they are full of love" because Tamu like I feel the same as you, the natural woman in me is always just like flaring right? But if we fill ourselves with love, then that's kind of like the only way we can overcome it, is just loving other people and I think kids just do that always.
Both of your answers were so good and we picked different things. For me, when I was studying this, the one that stood out to me was they're "willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him..." That word "inflict" I have marked and next to it, I put Neal A. Maxwell said that that word means "customized challenges." And it made me think of raising kids and how there's so many times where I'm having them follow rules that they hate, and things that they don't like that we're doing but I know it's for their good, even though they hate it so much. I mean, I fight with my kids, I would say right now my daughter would tell you that I'm inflicting piano on her 100%, but it's a customized challenge.
"Sorry, kid, you got to do this and it's something I know that you will benefit from," but I think how often we have our own customized challenges and we just are kicking and screaming and having tantrums, I am all the time but "I don't like this heavenly Father, this is not what I signed up for."
"Oh, actually it kind of was," like I signed up for a body. I came down and I have to be willing to submit myself to the customized challenges that the Lord gives me. But that's hard. How do we become like children, you guys?
Well, we put off the natural man.
Stop honking the horn.
Yes, yes. Well in the scriptures, it says, "You put off the natural man and you become humble and patient, and you become Christlike, full of love." But it's funny that you talk about "inflict" because in my scripture, I'm gonna take a picture of it and send it to you guys, so that you guys can post it, I put under "inflict" I have underlying "no-no," no, no.
No inflict. That's so great. Well, and speaking about these customized challenges, here's something that I thought was pretty interesting. I asked you earlier and we've talked about what the Atonement of Jesus Christ covers, that Hebrew word "Kafar," and it covers the natural man. It covers those customized challenges, especially when we don't really do very well with them. I mean, I always say this is my favorite quote, but I think this might be my all time favorite quote, because it's found in "Jesus the Christ," but it's in the footnotes, and so it doesn't often get read are referred to and I just felt like we had to add this because when it comes to all these questions we have that are swirling in our brain, "Well, what about this?" Or, "Does the atonement cover this?"
I feel like this is the catch quote of our lifetime. And so I want to read this to you. Here are some things when when it comes to the natural man and customized challenges, so James E. Talmage taught this, quote, “In the judgment with which we shall be judged, all the conditions and circumstances of our lives shall be considered. The inborn tendencies due to heredity, the effect of environment whether conducive to good or evil, the wholesome teachings of youth, or the absence of good instruction—these and all other contributory elements must be taken into account in the rendering of a just verdict as to the soul’s guilt or innocence. Nevertheless, the divine wisdom makes plain what will be the result with given conditions operating on known natures and dispositions of men, while every individual is free to choose good or evil within the limits of the many conditions existing and operative.”—Great Apostasy, p. 21; see also Articles of Faith, 3:52–53.”
And I just thought "wow." Inborn tendencies, the lack of good teaching, like every, in that quote to me, it covers everything, everything is totally covered. Right?
Mental illness, covered right?
Yeah. I think it even covers like the phrase in the Book of Mormon, they were taught the wicked traditions of their fathers, you know, whether you were taught or you weren't taught, it covers it all. So all this unique circumstances we're born into and all of our unique experiences, it all affects all of us so differently, right?
Yeah. So we know that the atonement covers everything but then does that mean we don't have to try? Is that, is that it?
No. So in verse 19, it says that "we have to become a saint," and we become a saint through the atonement. But then if you look at, if you click on the footnote, and then you go to Luke, it says, "And the Lord said, 'Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desire to you, that he may sift you as weak, but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not and when thou art converted, strengthened thy brethren.' And he said unto him, 'Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison and into death.'" And I think that if we go back to chapter two, to what King Benjamin was teaching, you know, "Do as I am doing. This is the type of person I am. When I'm no longer here continue to be that person." Becoming a saint is about work. Like it's about doing the work to become a saint. And so I just think, you know, when you are strengthened, you go and you strengthen your brethren.
Oh, Tamu. Okay, I love that you said that because I looked up the word "saint" in Greek and this is what it means. It means "to be set apart, different, or holy, but have the likeness of nature with the Lord," because we're different from the world and in Hebrew, the word "saint" means "to be consecrated or dedicated to the Lord." Like it's exactly what you said, Tamu, that's brilliant.
Okay, so this is so cool. Here's what I want you to tell me then, going back to the name that they were given, they're children of Christ, and we are to become one with Christ. And the only way we can do that is becoming saints, being set apart. What is something specific you guys do to set yourself apart? Something you do to be holy to consecrate yourself?
I think that the thing that I do to be like I said, I am constantly reminding myself of whose I am. I know who I am. And I know I actually have been very blessed to know some of my some of my Spiritual gifts. And I know that one thing that I, that I can do to lift people instantly is just to smile. And just to smile and just instantly people smile back and it gives to them, but it also gives to me.
And it's so simple. I love that Tamu.
It's easy and it's free.
Oh, it is. That's a great one. Shar, what do you do to set yourself apart from the world?
That's a tough one. I think I'm super-duper hard on myself. So sometimes I think that there's not, like I'm not doing anything great to set myself apart, you know? And I don't mean to cry about that. That's so dumb, but I think that if I truly just like give myself a little bit of a break, and try to see any good, that just giving effort, and I love what Sister Jones said that "you don't have to put all the hats on." So just doing my best in a few things is all I need to do.
Amen. Thank you, Shar. That's the end of our study on Mosiah one through three, I can't think of a better way to end that.
That's it. That's Mosiah one through three, how powerful were those three chapters? I just love, love studying those, especially given the time that we're in right now, and what we've just experienced with General Conference, so tell me what your takeaway was? What's something that stood out to you that we studied today? Something You didn't know? Or maybe something was reinforced?
Okay, my takeaway for sure was the Feast of Tabernacles. I'd never connected that. I never knew that was even a thing. I'm not really well versed in that, and I thought it was amazing how it perfectly relates and coincides what they were doing in chapter two.
I agree. My takeaway was the Feast of Tabernacles and just turning my door toward the temple so that I can hear his voice.
I think what stood out to me Tamu was when you said that "President Nelson is our King Benjamin." And I was like, it hit me in my heart, I'm like, "Ah that's right. He totally is our King Benjamin." And I hadn't even really thought that through, like hearing him teaching this, but when you said it, I'm like, "That's right."
And Tamu, last night when we were talking, you pointed out verse 20, in Mosiah chapter three, and how incredible that is that it really is, the Savior will spread throughout every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, and that our Prophet today is doing that exact thing through temples, missionary work. We are in the winding-up scenes. Jesus is coming. I'm so excited. This is the greatest. Which is true, God loves you.
When you said that I almost got up and ran, "Jesus is coming!"
He's coming! Well, thank you for joining me. I love you guys so much. I'm so glad that we were able to do this. And for those of you that are listening, we would love to hear what your big takeaway was from this episode and what you learned. And if you haven't already joined our discussion group on Facebook, and if you're not following us on Instagram, you should because it is such a great place where you can go and ask questions, and I read everybody's questions and your comments and I get back to you and I answer your questions, and I try to answer anything I can through the week.
And every week at the end of the week, it's usually on a Sunday, we post "What is your big takeaway?" So comment in those posts anything that relates to these lessons and let us know what you've learned. You can get to both our Facebook and Instagram by going to our Show Notes for this episode, you'll find that at LDSLiving.com/SundayonMonday, and it's not a bad idea to go there anyway because we have links to all of the references that we've used, and all of the Scriptures as well as the complete transcript of this whole discussion, so you should totally check it out.
The Sunday on Monday study group is a Deseret Bookshelf PLUS+ original and it's brought to you by LDS Living. It's written and hosted by me, Tammy Uzelac Hall, and today our fantastic study group participants were Sharmaine Howell and Tamu Smith, and you can find more information about these ladies and fun pictures at LDSLiving.com/SundayonMonday. Our podcast is produced by KaRyn Lay with post production and editing by KaRyn Lay and Erika Free. It is recorded and mixed by Mix at Six Studios and our Executive Producer is Erin Hallstrom. Thanks for being here. We're gonna see you guys next week. And don't forget you are God's favorite.