15: "You Are Called to Preach My Gospel" (Doctrine and Covenants 30–36)
You’ve probably asked this question many times: How can I help? Whether at home or work or church, this question seems to naturally come whenever there’s a need. And as the gospel began to be restored and many needs arose, a lot of freshly baptized members wondered what they could do help. The result was Doctrine and Covenants 30–36, and as we study this week’s lesson, we’ll find out how God wants us to help build up His kingdom as well.
Alright, everybody, here's a little Spanish for you: "¿En qué puedo servirle?" So that was the very first real thing that I could say in Spanish on my mission. And pretty much the only phrase that I still remember. Okay, well, actually there is one other phrase I do remember which is "Eso si que es." And in Spanish that means, "That's what it is." And the only reason I remember that is because it spells the word "socks," s-o-c-k-s. But the phrase "¿En qué puedo servirle?" in Spanish means, "How can I help you?" Now you probably asked someone that question, and maybe someone's asked you that question. But either way, there's something wonderful about that phrase. Something that reveals who we truly are as divine human beings with a desire to ease or maybe even alleviate the burden that someone carries. Well, what if that someone was God? Have you ever asked God, "¿En qué puedo servirle?" Today's study of Doctrine and Covenants, sections 30 through 36 are the Lord's responses to that question, when it was asked by 11 different men, and the answers may surprise you. Welcome to the Sunday on Monday Study Group, a Deseret Bookshelf PLUS + Original brought to you by LDS Living where we take the "Come, Follow Me" lesson for the week, and we really dig into the scriptures together. I'm your host, Tammy Uzelac Hall. Now if you're new to our study group, we want to make sure that you know how to use this podcast, so please follow the link in our description. It's going to explain how you can best use this podcast to enhance your "Come, Follow Me" study, just like my friends Tiffany and Joseph Sanchez in San Antonio, Texas. Hi, friends! Okay, now my favorite thing about our study group is that each week we're joined by two of my friends. And so it's always different, as you know. And so today, we've got my really good friends from Washington, Riva and Seth Juarez. Hi, guys!
How's it going?
I'm so excited about this because we have to talk about how we know each other.
Well, we had the unfortunate—no fortunate. We had to work together. It was awesome. We both taught seminary at East High. East High. You know, "We're All in This Together" East High.
Where the movie was filmed. Truly. For those of you—High School Musical was filmed where we taught. All our students were extras.
Literally, we went there and I was like, "Oh my goodness. We're not the wild cats. We're the leopards. What is going on?" But one of the cool things is that I met Tammy, Sister Uzelac, they would always call her "Sister Use-a-lack-a-husband." I think that's what they—[laughter]
I think you're right!
Just like the painful memories coming. And it's like, "Oh, those kids." But anyways, we taught together and she was such a good teacher. And I learned a ton of amazing things, like how to actually make it real. And to not take yourself so seriously. I remember my first lesson, no joke, I went there and our classes were 90 minutes. And I literally started teaching and then after about 20 minutes, I'm like, "I'm in trouble." My first, my first class ever. And then I remember like I had the prep period after and I redid everything. And I literally started showing pictures of me as a goofy kid with like thick glasses and stuff. And I learned that from you, right? The gospel is a real thing. For real people, who we are. Like, I look at my little kid, and he does the goofiest things and I'm like, "Grr," and other times I'm like, "That's kind of funny." And I imagine Heavenly Father looks at us and is like, "Wow, that's kind of funny. What did Seth do? That's kind of funny. I'll probably have to talk to him about that later."
Or a "Oh, dear, Seth."
Oh, geez. I did— He talks to Heavenly Mother and is like, "That's your child."
"Um-hm. Yeah, he's yours." Awesome. Well, yeah, it was so much fun when we, working together. We had a blast. And so that's how I got to meet Riva, and when I found out she was a seamstress, I'm like, "You gotta sew my wedding dress for me. And it's the most beautiful dress of all time."
That was the first wedding dress I've made, like a real person too. It is my favorite dress of all time.
It was made out of the most beautiful silk and lace and we didn't go to Jo-Ann's—which for those of you listening, is just like a regular fabric store in Utah—like we went to a nice fabric store.
We did! I think they're closed now but it was so booshie and just, it was great.
Oh yeah. It was such a beautiful dress. I'm going to make sure we include, we have to include a picture of my wedding dress in the show notes so you guys can go see her incredible craftsmanship, and it's so beautiful. And you're still a sewer, you're still a seamstress.
Yes, but I don't sew dresses anymore.
She makes dresses, but for herself. There's only so many golden people she can work for, right, making dresses? Obviously you were the best and then after that it was... She has not made me a dress although she did ask me to put one on once.
I made him a tie and he's never worn it.
That's a husband fail right there.
Probably one of many we're going to find out during this episode. [Seth and Riva laugh] So for those of you who would like to know more about my friends, you can read their bios and see a cute picture of them and their family in our show notes. You can go to LDSLiving.com/SundayonMonday. So I highly recommend go checking it out because their family's adorable. All right, well, friends, grab your scriptures and let's dig in. Okay, at the beginning, I asked you guys, "¿En qué puedo servirle?" I'm just wondering, do either you have a story where you asked somebody that question, or somebody asked you that question?
Well, I'll start because I have some interesting thoughts about this. After every home teaching visit, it's called ministering now. And after any ministering visit, there's always like the "Can we do anything before we go?" Everyone's been on the receiving end of that. You have perhaps delivered it. And, as you're sitting there, there is this uncomfortable like, "Uh, no," right? Right? Because you don't know what to say.
Always a list in my head.
There always is a list in the head. There always is. And then here's another one. Like, for example, if someone's loved one passed away, we're like, "Can I do something for you?" When we do that, we are placing an additional burden on people because not only did someone just die, but now they have to think about how you can serve them so you can feel better.
It's crazy, right?
What do you suggest? You just come up with something and do it?
If you really know who they are. Like it, my wife's done this, she's really good. She will show up, and she'll be like, "Let me do this." Or "Hey, you know, I know you're, you had this traumatic event, I can bring you over a meal. Or maybe I can take you out somewhere. Which one would you prefer?" Notice a burden is completely gone. And what happens is that level of service, that level of ministering requires the knowledge of who you're ministering to. And that's like level two, right? Level one is like, "What can I do?" And no one's gonna be like, "Well, my garbage needs to be taken out." No one's ever told me that as a home teacher.
Well, see, okay, as a convert, though, I'm all like, "Yeah, I know of things to do." But after getting married to somebody who's Mormon, like you watch things, and maybe it's just Seth and his—
[laughs] I've been sullied.
I've just learned like, culturally, we just don't answer those questions.
So it's two sides, really. It's like, "Am I willing to be vulnerable and ask for the help that I need, number one? And number two, as someone who's wanting to give service, am I sensitive enough to the person who needs help? To help them, right? And that's two different things.
Well, this is so interesting, because maybe by the end of today's discussion, we will be able to pattern ourselves after God's example, because all 11 of these people are saying, "What can I do to help?" And like Riva says, Riva has a list in her head of all the things she needs help with. God's like, "Well, here you go, let me tell you everything that you can do for me." So I really like that. In fact, let's jump into Doctrine and Covenants section 30. And we're just going to look at the first three people who asked, "What can I do to help?" So in this section heading, will you just call out their names? Who are the three men who are saying, "What can we do to help?"
David Whitmer, Peter Wittenberg, Jr., and John Whitmer.
Excellent, Riva. And I like to know a lot of information and ages. Today, there's so much to know about people. And I just thought it was interesting that David's 25 years old Peter's 21, and John is 28. So we got these guys in their 20s. And they're like, "What can we do to help?" And the Lord comes in with section 30. And he's like, "Well, let me tell you what you can do to help." And he instructs each one of them individually. Verses 1 through 5 is David, verses 5 through 8 is Peter, and verses 9 through 11 are John's. Oh, in fact, incidentally, here's what you should probably know. The title section for Section 30 is "Whitmer Brothers Obedience." So let's jump into 30. Tell me what you guys marked. Is there anything that stood out to you as you were reading Section 30? Because it's filled with lots of advice and things that God's saying for them to do.
The thing that really stood out for me was those first four verses with David. I mean, I think it's pretty obvious, you know, like that we fear man, more than listening to the Spirit and listening to those promptings. And I do it all the time in my life. So we're, you know, we really like second-guess ourselves. And so I thought that was really interesting. Just a great reminder.
I have a question, Riva, because you mentioned earlier, you're a convert. Did that fear exist as you were studying, as you're thinking about getting baptized? Did you have a fear of man or what people might think or anything?
That fear existed when I walked into the building, like the first day and it was really scary because all my life I was taught that our Church is like this bad place.
How did you find out about the Church?
I grew up in Henderson, Nevada, so I've always known of the Church, but my stepdad had a really bad experience inside the Church. And so I was dating the guy who was inactive, I was in college and I just wanted to go to church one day. I was at a really like low time in my life. And I remember them asking me one day, I was going for a few weeks and I think the Relief Society President's like, "Do you want to talk to the missionaries? And I'm like, "No," and kind of bee-lined out of there, thinking I would like blend in, but you can't really blend in with like super, super short pixie hair and a tank top on.
And there were the sister missionaries and they were so cool. They didn't care what I looked like, you know everything that I thought was part of the culture that they just kind of left me out.
Wow! You're a great example of those first 4 verses. In fact, Seth, will you read verses 1 and 2 for us?
"Behold, I say unto you, David, that you have feared man and have not relied on me for strength as you ought. But your mind has been on the things of the earth more than on the things of me, your Maker, and the ministry whereunto you have been called; and you have not given heed unto my Spirit, and to those who were set over you, but have been persuaded by those whom I have not commanded." Now this is an interesting thing because it feels like you're kind of listening to a side convo, where you're like, "I wonder what happened?" Well I think we know what happened. Hyrum Page apparently had a seer stone. He's like, "I'm also receiving revelation." And there's another section, I think, earlier that you may have already—
Yeah where Joseph is like, "What do I do about this?" And it turns out that a lot of the brethren, including those that had seen the plates, were like, "Wow, Hyrum Page has got some cool stuff." I think they were related, they might have been a brother- or sister-in-law or something like that. Maybe he wanted to fit in and was like, "I'll go along with Hyrum Page."
Absolutely! That is a great point! Thank you for pointing that out, and thanks for bringing up that scripture, Riva, and your own personal experience with fearing man. Because I think it's interesting that they say, "What can we do to help?" And the first thing said to David was, "Well, stop being afraid of what other people think." Isn't that interesting?
It's because God knew him. That's Level Two of service: you need to know what they need, right?
In fact, Seth, I love that you've called it "Level Two" because it seems like throughout every section we're studying today, once you know who these people are, and then you read the section, it's Level Two. You're like, "Oh. No wonder God said that in that section!" So we're going to do that today. We're going to tell you about all these people and then when you go in and read it, it makes so much more sense. So thank you for pointing that out. We're gonna do a lot of Level Two discussions. Awesome. Anything else in Section 30?
Yeah, this is one of the ones that we spent some time talking a little bit about was verse 6.
Ah, cool. Riva, will you read verse 6 for us?
"And be you afflicted in all his afflictions, ever lifting up your heart unto me in prayer and faith, for his and your deliverance; for I have given unto him power to build up my church among the Lamanites."
And I had to go back because it was confusing. I knew Peter Whitmer afflicted in all his, Oliver Cowdery's, afflictions. Whenever we're truly, really helping someone, there's this sense of like, "I feel you."
And it's interesting because in verse 5 when he says, "You shall take your journey with your brother Oliver." You're gonna hear a lot of times, "your brother, your brother." Is it in the gospel? Are we talking related? And they're related. In fact, Oliver Cowdery is married to Elizabeth Whitmer. But going back to that idea of being afflicted in all his afflictions. I was just wondering, do you have an experience you'd like to share, Riva?
As a convert, I try really hard to sort of feel like that I fit in and so learning about like, for example, modesty, and being with the young women in teaching them. These young women, they're awesome and they're great and they're going through so much and the last thing I'm going to do is harp them on modesty when they just need to feel the spirit and feel loved and be built up. So going back to verse 6, "Be you afflicted in all his afflictions." So to me that just made me think about empathy. You know like what is somebody going through?
Yeah, and I want to add to that. When you're a seminary teacher, you have to wear like your suit and your suit, if you get my feeling, right? Because you're supposed to be Brother Juarez, air quotes, right? And there was one thing you said and I remember you're like, "Yeah, I went to a therapist the other day and they told me blah and foo." And I was like, "Oh, wait. We're not supposed to admit to that because we're wearing our extra suit." And it turns out, it's when we're vulnerable, when we think about who we actually are, and we strip off the veneer and we become afflicted, because honestly, I think modesty is less about what you wear and more about who you are.
You know, I love what you've just said, both of you. And, Riva, you're so right. It is tough right now and these girls are going through hard times, and the last thing we should ever do is shame anyone for how they look when they enter the house of the Lord.
And that's why I love number 6: "Be you afflicted in all of their afflictions," Right?
Let's have a little more empathy. I like that a lot.
Beautiful. Wow. Thank you. Thank you so much for doing that and bringing up that discussion. Okay, so I am super excited to discuss this section. So in the next segment, we're gonna look at some more wise counsel given.
Okay, we are going to jump into section 31 of the Doctrine and Covenants. Now, this is what we need to know. Just look at the very first line of the section heading. It was given by the Prophet Joseph Smith to Thomas B. Marsh. Now you guys have to know some stuff about Thomas B. Marsh before you can even read Section 31. So I'm going to give you a couple of facts. He was born in Massachusetts. When he was 14 years old, he ran away from home. And he wandered around until he entered the grocery business, which failed. And then he moved to Boston, and he ended up working for a type foundry, which is a company that designs or distributes like typefaces to print stuff off, I guess. I learned that. He joined the Methodist Church. And there's actual quote from him where he says, quote, "I tried for two years to be a genuine Methodist, but did not succeed any better in getting Methodist religion than I did in the grocery business." Unquote. Some of the other fun things about Thomas B. Marsh is that he felt led by the Spirit to leave his home and go to western New York. And while he's there, he's hearing these weird rumors about this golden Bible. And he was like, "Hmm, I gotta learn more about this." And he's asking people about it. And he ends up at the E.B. Grandin Print Shop in Palmyra. And when he walks into this print shop, Martin Harris is there and shows him 16 pages of an early proof of the Book of Mormon. And so, Thomas B. Marsh asked if he can have those 16 pages, and Martin Harris is like, "You bet!" Gives him the 16 pages. So Thomas read them, and then his wife read them. And a year later, their entire family moved to Palmyra and got baptized into the church, on September 3, 1830. Thomas B. Marsh is going to serve several missions. He's going to be a branch president. He will be President of the Quorum of the Twelve when he's aged 35 years old. And it is believed that, if he had not had a negative experience, which we're going to hear about, it's a very classic Church history story. Some people believe he was next in line to be prophet. It was Joseph Smith, Thomas B. Marsh, Brigham Young. And so if he had not left the church, he may have been the Brigham Young. We don't really know. But you need to know that information before you can read Section 31 because I feel like there's a lot of foreshadowing in this section. But Riva is going to share with us one of these classic Church history stories. It's called "The Cream Strippings Incident." And this is kind of what led to the fall out of Thomas B. Marsh in the Church. So, Riva, go ahead and tell us the story.
This story is kind of scandalous. I feel like I'm reading like E! News but for like pioneers or something.
Yeah, you totally are.
P! News. Celebrity News. Well, this is kind of crazy. It's with his wife, Elizabeth, and Lucinda Harris. Gosh, I feel like I'm talking like, "Hey, you know this lady, Elizabeth, and Lucinda? Well, let me tell you something." And Elizabeth and Lucinda Harris had agreed to exchange milk from their cows for making the cheese. But to counter to the agreement, Elizabeth allegedly kept the cream strippings. So like she took like the rich stuff from the top before sending the rest of the milk to Lucinda. And according to George A. Smith, the matter went before the teachers quorum, then the bishop, then the High Council, all of whom found Elizabeth to be at fault. That's nuts. So then Marsh was not satisfied. He appealed to the First Presidency, who agreed with the earlier decisions and then further hurt by the chain of events. The already frustrated Marsh was said to have declared that he would sustain the character of his wife, even if he had to go to Hell for it.
Ooh! Can you imagine that teachers quorum, if they were 14 years old? I'm picturing them with their chairs leaning back, "So what with the milk?"
I'm surprised it was even like a church thing though, like that they brought?
It's a very big deal. Very big deal. So as a result, Thomas Marsh, he leaves Far West with his family, and he begins actively opposing members of the church and the saints. Like so active that he creates this affidavit against the church. And I thought it was interesting what Joseph said about the affidavit. In fact, Seth, will you read what Joseph Smith said?
Quote, "All the vilest calumnies, aspersions, lies, and slanders towards myself and the Church that his wicked heart could invent."
Ooh. Brutal, right?
Now, we just have to know this. The title for Section 31 is "Thomas B. Marsh, Follow Counsel." Okay, let's just resist the temptation to see Thomas B. Marsh as the villain. We cannot do that, especially for the rest of this year when we study Doctrine and Covenants. Because we don't really know what's going on, what they were thinking? We don't know anything. So what we have to do is we've got to look for the good. And as we read section 31, there is goodness in here. There is stuff that the Lord says, "Oh my gosh, there are things I want you to do and that you're going to do," and then there are some warnings. So knowing all that about him is going to help 31 really come into play a little bit better. So let's go ahead and just read a couple of these verses. So, Riva, will you read verse one and two for us?
"Thomas, my son, blessed are you because of your faith in my work. Behold, you have had many afflictions because of your family; nevertheless, I will bless you and your family, yea, your little ones; and the day cometh that they will believe and know the truth and be one with you in my church."
At that time, I love this one. It says "Little ones." He had three sons, the oldest was nine years old. He's got little kids, and he's getting this promise from the Lord. I love that verse.
That's a big promise, too.
Yeah. It makes me think of people who have loved ones who maybe have left the church, or are struggling to find their testimonies. Like there's a lot of comfort for that in this section. If anyone out there can really feel for this. Look for the counsel the Lord gives for those people who struggle that you love. I mean, why, why do we have, why does that even bother us? Maybe I should ask you guys that question.
I don't know. I used to home teach this guy and I remember it, it was in Utah, I showed up in his house, and he's like, "Hey, Seth, I haven't gone to church in a long time." And I'm like, "Guess what? Half the people there aren't even there anyways." And then he was like, like he was so taken aback because faithfulness is not defined on location, right? It's not defined by how well you put your suit on, right? It's defined by where you are spiritually. And clearly, Thomas B. Marsh had some issues. But the thing about it is, even his personal journey, God was still going to maximize his potential for coming back to him. He says it right here!
Yeah, read it. Read verse 3. This is good.
"Lift up your heart and rejoice, for the hour of your mission is come; and your tongue shall be loosed, and you shall declare glad tidings of great joy unto this generation." I'm sure he looked back with some fondness on this time, because it wasn't until 1835, I think, Valentine's Day when he became an apostle. And then it wasn't till two years later when all this stuff happened. But he must have gone through a lot of stuff. And although he did some really bad things that caused people to perhaps even die, I'm not going to write him off.
I'm not Jesus.
Exactly. Well, let's look at Section 31, verses 9 and 10 because this is kind of an interesting blessing. I'm sure when he heard this he was like, "Huh!" And it actually came true, it worked. So verses 9 and 10 say, "Be patient in afflictions, revile not against those that revile. Govern your house in meekness, and be steadfast. Behold, I say unto you that you shall be a physician unto the church, but not unto the world, for they will not receive you." And that "physician unto the church" is so cool, because it was believed that he was a spiritual physician. Like he solved many problems and conflicts. He answered questions from members of the Church until he became disaffected. I mean, he really was this proponent for people and healing and wholeness in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I thought that was pretty cool.
Yeah, but then we got to go down a couple more verses.
Mmm-hmm. Do it.
"Pray always, lest you enter into temptation and lose your reward." Now, there's a couple of marriage things that we see, we've seen up to this point. One was Martin Harris and his wife, who I would have loved to have met. She must have been quite the character, right? And then we have this—
Also a Lucy.
Yeah. Oh! Interesting, right? And so What would you give up for the Church? I had to give a Sunday school lesson on that. And here, there was just a situation where Thomas B. Marsh just was not going to have his wife spoken ill about.
That's kind of sweet.
It's like his "ride or die."
I read this, and I'm like, "My husband would look at me, and he goes, "You're wrong, sister. Give back the cream." I mean, he would have called me out so fast.
Like, I mean, there's obviously like, when we call each other out on stuff, obviously, I would have been like, "Hey, did you, did you do it?"
It's just like when we like, "Oh, hey, sorry." Because I mean, it's such an insignificant thing in the grand scheme of things. And I wonder how many insignificant things have caused us to do significant damage?
My bench at church.
Tell us, Riva.
So, in the attempt to fit in at church, my mother-in-law would always sit at a specific bench. And so we've always sat in that same bench and then when Seth got called into the bishopric, and a brand new ward, they realigned the boundaries, somebody else had to sit at that special bench. And I struggled because our ward was really small before and then they filled it up with a big ward and so all of us leftover, you know, ward people got pushed to the back while everyone sat in the front and they had to have, these other people had to sit in that same bench. And they showed up early to church, they put their books down. And so I was kind of bitter. I was like, "Hey, my husband's working it up there."
"I have 4 kids. It'd be great to sit in my second bench, you know, to—"
"Run cues from the front. So he can like give them the look?" And I had to sit in the back and it's fine. But there is again, that cultural thing, like sitting in the back. Or "Are you not faithful enough?" And it made me mad. It was very—
Milk strippings to you.
To which the Lord would have responded to you with this. Verse 13, Riva, just go ahead and read verse 13.
Verse 13, yes. "Be faithful unto the end, and lo, I am with you. These words are not of man nor of men, but of me, even Jesus Christ, your Redeemer, by the will of the Father. Amen."
So Riva, I want to know, what are you going to do to go back to church? Are you going to be faithful or fight for your bench?
Seth got released.
Oh, well then it's all settled.
Not because of the bench thing, but it like it really gave me this last year—and not that I'm that petty—but I mean, apparently, I was.
No, you still went.
But it really gave me like this last year to like, really think about, like, "Why do I go to Church?" Especially with all the events that have happened? Like, "What do I believe in? Why do I go to Church?"
It's been really good. We've had some really good conversations. And I might add—plug for "Come, Follow Me"—we might not be the best at it. But we assign the kids, you know, some of them go out of their way to do amazing things. But it turns out that like examining milk stripping issues, is actually quite good. For everyone.
Yeah, I feel like my testimony—we just remodeled our kitchen last year. Well, 2019. And I feel like my testimony this last year has gone through its own little remodel where you kind of gut everything out and kind of look at it and say, "Okay, what do I like? What do I not like? What do I believe in?" You know, "What is worth my time?" And, again, it goes back to why we go to church. I'm just there to feel the Spirit. If I can feel the Spirit, regardless of where I'm at, or who I'm friends with, then that's a win, because that's why we're there.
So I just want to ask you really quick, Riva, why do you believe?
That is a great question. I've been thinking about that a lot. Because this month is my big anniversary month since I've been baptized. I believe in the simple truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And that is what saved my life the first time. That's why I joined this Church. So it's just the simple truth and just holding on and focusing on to that and ignoring like, the traditions of man.
Absolutely. That's an "Amen." I will amen that. Thank you. And happy anniversary, Riva. That's pretty cool.
20 years reborn, this woman.
I know. I should be better, I feel.
No, she's awesome!
See, that's culture? No, you're right where you should be. I believe that. Okay, guys. Well, in the next section, the answer to "Now tell me what I can do to help?" in Section 32. It came with an extremely large answer, and we're gonna find out what that is in the next segment.
Alright, Seth and Riva. I don't know if you guys have heard of this. You probably have. Have you heard of what's called the "Imposter Syndrome"?
Yes. Okay, what is it, Seth?
Imposter Syndrome is when you show up to do a thing, and you automatically have anxiety over the fact that you don't think you're good enough to be doing the thing.
Perfection. That is awesome. Okay, I have a feeling that Section 32 is a little bit of Imposter Syndrome.
Because we have some members here, of the church, who are so new. I kind of wrote in my scriptures, "their hair is still wet." They were just barely baptized. And all of a sudden, they're like, "Okay, what can we do to help?" And the Lord gives such a big answer to these people. So we're gonna look in and see what the answer was to Parley P. Pratt and Ziba Peterson, and it's found in the section heading. So, Seth, read the section heading for us.
You got it. "Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to Parley P. Pratt and Ziba Peterson, in Manchester, New York, early October 1830. Great interest and desires were felt by the elders respecting the Lamanites, of whose predicted blessings the Church had learned from the Book of Mormon. In consequence, supplication was made that the Lord would indicate His will as to whether elders should be sent at that time to the Indian tribes in the West. The revelation followed."
Yes, very good. And so these two men are called to serve on a mission. And now we studied this earlier about the Lamanite Mission in Section 28 and Section 30. And these young men are going to be asked, "Okay, you're going to go along, and you're going to serve in this Lamanite Mission." So let's read some of the advice that the Lord gave Parley P. Pratt and Zeeba or Ziba. How do you say it?
I say Zaiba. That's how I heard it.
Because I listened to the Prophet Joseph Smith tapes—that guy. Remember that guy?He said it Zaiba Peterson.
Then it's Zaiba. Right there. It's canonized. Okay, Ziba Peterson. Now listen, you guys, there's no MTC. They didn't get to go anywhere to get prepared. They're so newly baptized. We have to remember that. In fact, some of them were so ill-prepared, and I have this in our show notes—Lucy Mack Smith said, "Emma Smith and several other sisters began to make arrangements to furnish those who were set apart for this mission, with the necessary clothing." Riva, you'll love that. They started sewing clothes for these missionaries. Because this mission is in the wintertime. You guys, they are going to walk, in some of their mission, in three feet deep of snow. It's cold, they're exhausted. In fact, it says they have mainly frozen corn bread and raw pork to chew on and suck on as they walk, like, "Blech." This is a tough mission. So the title for Section 32 is "First Lamanite Mission." So go ahead and write that in there. And we're going to look into some of these verses. Let's just start with verse 1 and, Riva, will you we read that for us, please?
"And now concerning my servant Parley P. Pratt, behold, I say unto him that as I live I will that he shall declare my gospel and learn of me, and be meek and lowly of heart."
Do you want a fun fact on this guy?
So it turns out, if you see a picture of me, you'll notice and you'll also see in my last name, that it's very Mexican-esque. I was born in San Diego, lived in Mexico. But my dad, Rafael Juarez, which is a very Hispanic name. His mom's name is Mary Pratt. And if you go four generations back, Parley Pratt is literally my great, great, great, great, great grandfather. And if you put a picture of my dad next to Parley, you can see the same forehead.
It's the same like balding pattern too, but Seth also has like his—
She's pointing, for those that are listening. She's pointing—
His brow bone. It kind of like juts out a little.
There's still hair there, thank goodness. But eventually, maybe I'll let the little curls come out. Then I can be like a brown Parley Pratt.
But his dad looks like a Mexican Parley.
I love that. So this is, this is your family? That's who we're talking about in this section.
That's right. Parley Pratt.
Okay, let's do some fun facts about Parley P. Pratt. So when Parley was on a mission for his church that he belonged to before joining The Church of Jesus Christ, he's in western New York. And while he's there, he visits his old Baptist Deacon friend, Sidney Rigdon. And when he's visiting him, Sidney Rigdon tells him about this very strange book. Seth, do you remember How Rare a Possession? The movies we used to always show our students?
This Italian man who found a copy of the Book of Mormon, and they told him he had to burn it or leave his congregation. He's like [in accented voice], "I will not burn the book."
Oh, I'm having flashbacks. It's literally, you sound just like him. Are you, Are you Italian, too?
I am, also.
Oh, I knew it.
Well, in that movie, is Parley P. Pratt's experience. And he says this about reading the Book of Mormon. Seth, will you read his words since you're related to him?
"I read all day, eating was a burden, I had no desire for food; sleep was a burden when night came, for I preferred reading to sleep… I esteemed the Book, or the information contained in it, more than all the riches of the world."
Thank you. And he's going to share this information with his younger brother, Orson Pratt, who's also going to join the Church. He gets baptized and some cool facts about Parley P. Pratt: he's part of Zion's Camp, he becomes an apostle, he serves at least 11 missions. You know, it's really interesting in this because he's imprisoned in the Independence and Richmond Jail. And he actually ends up being murdered in Arkansas. That's his death. That's a really crazy story. So there's Parley P., then we have Ziba Peterson. Now, let's go to verse three. We're going to read this about him. And something interesting about Ziba is that it was believed he was in his late teens, early 20s when he got baptized. And on this mission, Parley actually will be imprisoned in the Lamanite Mission. And Ziba will sing the hymn, "O How Happy are They" with Parley in prison. He didn't get imprisoned but he said, "I'm gonna go with you, Parley, and hang out with you while you're in prison." And then he sang for him. But he actually ends up becoming excommunicated, and he moves to California. That's where he ends up. But I really love verse three, because as we read this, I want us to think about how this verse applies to us in our own lives. So Riva, will you read verse three?
"And Ziba Peterson also shall go with them; and I myself will go with them and be in their midst; and I am their advocate with the Father, and nothing shall prevail against them."
Let's talk about that verse.
I like the "I'm going to be with you. And I will fight for you." Now "advocate" is an old-school word for lawyer. Imagine someone who administers the law also helps defend you from it. It's quite cool. It's like you know the judge and he's your lawyer. And it actually literally is: He is the judge and your lawyer. And because of that "nothing shall prevail against them." That's the end of three, it's really cool.
Yeah, very cool. Has there been a time in either one of your lives where you felt like the Lord went with you? Or was in your midst?
Like in hindsight, right? I know, there's like this, I'll tell you a story. My oldest daughter was climbing up some stairs, and they were hard wooden stairs. You know, I'm just like a new Dad, I was terrified. And I was like, behind her, you know, with my hands out, like trying to make sure that she wouldn't fall as she's climbing up the stairs. And I remember she reached the top. And she turned around, and she looked at me. And she had this look in her eye of like, "Look what I did." I learned something about God in that very moment: that he is the tenuous father behind us climbing up the wooden stairs, literally like blowing so we don't fall a certain way. And I've had moments in my life when I've looked back, and I've understood that that was the case. And I think if everyone does some self-reflection on some difficult times that you've gone through, you will have a sense for that and the Spirit will remind you of that, right, which is really nice. And so I was on an assignment in Florida. I had to give a talk in front of like four or 5000 people about technology, right? And my daughter had a seizure that night.
First time ever. Like it wasn't, it's not a normal thing, it was completely out of the blue.
Completely out of the blue, and she's calling me. And I'm, like, so stressed out. I'm like, first of all, I'm not there. How is she going to take this person to the hospital? Thankfully, we have wonderful neighbors, right? And I remember getting to the stage because I didn't sleep hardly at all, getting to the stage and seeing the 1000s of chairs. And I just was not holding it together. I didn't know what was going on with my daughter, right? And I remember Riva calling me, and we had a chat. And she said, "You got this." I did a really good job on that talk, better than I ever had before. I realized that it was then that literally, I was getting the help that I needed. That's just one that pops to my mind. I bet there's like 1000s more than if I really thought about it, you know, and I was being in a gratitude mindset, I would, I would know that that's the case.
Or maybe God has just been preparing him this whole time without... Because I am a lot of, I'm high maintenance here. So he's had to do a lot of like, last-minute juggling things. And so this was like his big moment where it just was all shiny.
It was awesome. It was tough. But it was awesome too to have that kind of support, you know, from my wife, right? Who literally was inspired to say the exact right thing to help me out.
Thanks for sharing that, Seth. On the other side of that I'm curious to know then, Riva. What was that like for you? Did you feel that maybe the Lord was in your midst, that he was helping you prevail? Because here you are alone with a daughter that just had a seizure? And you're telling your husband, "You got this." But how did you get through that?
I'm laughing because I'm uncomfortable. But I was just so angry. This was happening, and why did it have to happen when when he was gone. And I love the part where it says that I will go with them. And sometimes we think like our church members are always going to be there with us. But it's not just members. It's other of God's children. And before I even could call anyone, two neighbors were there. And just going back to what Seth was saying, the stairs and the climbing and stuff. I feel like just being in this home, being in this ward, being in on this street that we live on. Like I feel like we've just been guided that way. And so there I am leaving. I've never left my kids with strangers before. And I'm taking an ambulance ride with my daughter to the emergency room. I have no car, you know, like to drive back. They have her all stabled and stuff. And I'm like, "I have to use the restroom." So I go into the restroom. And it's really embarrassing, so you know, you go to the bathroom, and then as I'm pulling up my pants, the door opens and it's a sister from my ward, who was also there.
It's not normal. We're in Washington.
And she looked at me and she's like, "Riva, what are you doing here?" And I'm looking at her, like, "What are you doing here?" And then I'm like, "Let me put my pants back on," you know, and it's funny because I'm her ministering sister. And so I am supposed to be there for her and she was there for me. And it was even her birthday. And she's spending the evening with me making sure you know, I mean, she was taking out my daughter's contacts for me because I just could not, I've just felt like that she was taking care of me when normally we think of it the opposite way. You know, and her husband was in town and he helped take care of like her child's situation and she was there, you know, with me the whole time. And so it was moments like that, even though I probably didn't even deserve it. And that's what's so beautiful. About you know, this gospel is that God loves us so much, even when sometimes we give up on Him, you know. Or we lose sight or we lose that mark that He loves us so much that He wants us, he's just finding a way to like, bless us, even just a little or even sending a pandemic to make me repent or something. But just bringing these women and we were able to get home, my house was taken care, like everything was fine. And I just, I felt carried through a very hard situation that we always expect, like our spouses to be, you know, to be there for so.
It's so cool because I just as you both were talking, I imagine God's saying to us, "¿En qué puedo servirle?" "What can I do to help? I know what I'll do." And then He takes it second tier, like you said. He says, "I'm going to send women and I'm going to do this, and I'm going to give Riva the strength to tell Seth, 'You got this.'" It's amazing. He knows us so well. He already knew what we needed. And he does that for us. So your stories were perfect. Thank you so much for sharing those. That was awesome. So next up, we're going to study section 33. And we have two more men who asked, "What can we do to help?" And to fully appreciate this section, it's all about the men it was given to. And Riva and Seth are going to help me tell you about them in the next segment.
So this section, you just have to know the history behind these two people. Their name is found in the section heading and in verse one. So verse one says, "Behold, I say unto you, my servants Ezra and Northrop." Those are their names, Ezra and Northrop. We have Ezra Thayer, and Northrop Sweet. I love that last name. And so I've asked you guys to help me tell their stories. So, Riva, you're going to tell us a little bit about Ezra and then, Seth, you're going to tell us about Northrop. We have to know this before we can read Section 33.
Okay, so Ezra was a farmer-gardener-builder born in New York. He lives near the family of Joseph Smith Senior. He had come to know members of the Smith family through work they had done for him like various times, and after hearing Hyrum Smith preach the gospel, he said, When Hyrum began to speak, every word touched me to the inmost soul. I thought every word was pointed to me… the tears rolled down my cheeks… When Hyrum got through, he picked up a book and said, ‘Here is the Book of Mormon.’ I said, 'Let me see it.' I then opened the book, and I received a shock with such exquisite joy that no pen can write, and no tongue can express. I shut the book and said, 'What is the price of it?' '14 shillings' was the reply. I said, 'I'll take the book!'" He then opened it again and felt a—I'll just read it. It says, "I opened it again and I felt a double portion of the spirit that I did not know whether I was in the world or not. I felt as though I was truly in heaven.” And then he was baptized into the church by Parley P. Pratt, and confirmed by Joseph Smith in the fall of 1830. That's crazy!
Isn't that a great story? Yeah. I love that. Thank you. That's perfect. This is what I love about Ezra Thayer is that he loved Joseph Smith so much, that after Joseph Smith died, Ezra couldn't support Brigham Young, so he didn't even go west. He was like, "I'm all about Joseph Smith, not Brigham Young." So he didn't, and he actually end up getting baptized into the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and then he will be a high priest in that group or that religion. I thought that was interesting. Okay, so that's our friend Ezra. Now tell us about Northrop Sweet, Seth.
Northrup Sweet, born 19th February 1802, died 23rd of February 1881. He was a farmer born in New York married first Elethan Harris—I've never heard that name—before 1828. Moved to Palmyra, Wayne County, New York by June 1830. He was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Parley P. Pratt by October 1830 in Palmyra. He was appointed to serve a mission in October of 1830. He moved to Kirtland, Geauga—I never know how to say that: Guy-yeah-gah. Goo-yooga—County, Ohio by June 1831. While in Ohio, Northrop was ordained an elder by June of 1831, and by the end of 1831, he had had false revelations instructing him to become the Prophet. He lectured shortly thereafter and helped found the Pure Church of Christ. He, with five others, declared that they could carry the whole world with them by teaching Mormon principles. They had two or three meetings, but that was the extent of the growth of his early schism. His new church failed and he moved to Batavia branch—
You could just say he just moved to Michigan.
He moved to Michigan by June of 1850.
Okay, so I just have this question. I just thought this. I want to know what your thoughts are. What's the point in including these sections? Don't you think you'd kind of be like, "Nah, they didn't stay active. Let's just not include Section 33."
That's the thing, like let me be blunt here. Like "between us girls" kind of thing. Seriously.
For the record, I taught with this clown for a long time. He has not changed at all. [laughter] I love you so much, Seth.
Like let's be real here. We don't know the extent to which they left the church, and the extent to which they are no longer faithful to important principles that will qualify them to good kingdoms. And that's the thing like, we have this thing of like they quote "left the Church." Really? I mean, how do you know? And so, yeah, they might have left the Church. But did they not have access to the Atonement anymore? I don't think so. Did the Savior stop loving them? I don't think so. And so, to answer your question, "Why do we read this?" Because this is still important stuff.
I loved everything you said because we get so dire sometimes that when people leave the church today, it's no different than back then. We don't really know the whole story. We don't know what's really going to go on and how it's all going to play out.
I think we're a little too judgmental. Maybe I am. And I need to check myself. When someone has done a thing that now puts that little red mark on their face, you know, [whispers] "They've sinned." Every one of us is sinning, like all the time. It's—
Yeah. And the notion of grace, sometimes I think our evangelical friends have a better grasp on what that is. If you look in the Bible dictionary, grace is a divine means of help or strength that helps people sustain good works that they would otherwise be unable to sustain. Like, the gas that makes us good is literally Christ.
I love that. I want to put that "the gas that makes us good is Christ." Riva, jump in! What do you got?
As I've been remodelling, my testimony, like the thought of leaving has crossed my mind a few times, and I haven't figured it all out yet.
That's okay. I think that's great.
I taught a Sunday school class the other day, and you know how we have this thing. And I had this too, when I was teaching with you. You ever heard a Sunday School teacher be like, "Well, let's just move on, because we got to cover all the material." I remember, I remember thinking that as a seminary teacher, right? Because I'm a professional, right? I gotta cover all the material. And the way that God talks to me is funny. I remember sitting there, I'm like, "I gotta get through all this material. I don't know how I'm going to do it." And God was like, "Seth, you don't even know all the material in there."
"Even if you studied it for your life, you're still not going to understand it." And I was like, "Oh, that's actually quite helpful."
Right? And so the thing is, is that we are not going to figure it out here. These men did not figure it out, even having a prophet telling them, "God said this." Even David Whitmer who saw Moroni and the gold plates didn't figure it out. Maybe he did figure it out. I don't know. I'm not gonna judge. Maybe he figured out his own way. But the notion that we've got it all figured out, belies the request by the Lord to repent.
Well, okay, this is so cool. Because I want us to look at Section 33. We're only going to look at two verses. I love everything we've said, because we're not going to cover all the material in this section. In fact, we're only going to read two verses. That is perfect. Let's look at verses 17 and 18. This is what it's all about: is you're right, we are never going to be able to figure it all out. And we're never going to be able to cover all the materials. So the Lord says, "At least do this." And so, Seth, will you read verses 17 and 18, please?
"Wherefore, be faithful, praying always, having your lamps trimmed and burning, and oil with you, that you may be ready at the coming of the Bridegroom— For behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, that I come quickly. Even so. Amen."
Okay, we're gonna take a second and talk about this idea of lamps, trimmed and burning with oil. Because this is such a cool quote by Elder Bednar, and I just want us to read this. This is alluding to the scripture in Matthew, Chapter 25, about the 10 virgins who are waiting for the bridegroom to come and the bridegroom is Jesus Christ. And the cool thing is, is that all 10 of them are believers, because they all have lamps, and they all have oil. And they have prepared for the day of the bridegroom. It's just that when he came, only five of them had extra oil to take to make it and the other five did not. And so Elder Bednar kind of talks about this idea that we have these lamps, which is our testimony, and then we have the oil, which is our conversion, and the oil of our conversion cannot be borrowed. I always hated that parable of the 10 virgins when I'm like, "Why can't you just share? Work together, you jerks." And then I realized, "Oh yeah, you can't share a borrowed light, you can't borrow someone else's testimony. You got to get your own." But I really like this quote by Elder Bednar and, Riva, can you read this for us?
"As the wise virgins emphasized properly, each of us must ‘buy for ourselves.’ These inspired women were not describing a business transaction; rather, they were emphasizing our individual responsibility to keep our lamp of testimony burning and to obtain an ample supply of the oil of conversion. This precious oil is acquired one drop at a time—‘line upon line [and] precept upon precept,’ patiently and persistently. No shortcut is available; no last-minute flurry of preparation is possible. “‘Wherefore, be faithful, praying always, having your lamps trimmed and burning, and oil with you, that you may be ready at the coming of the Bridegroom.’"
Thank you. So here's my question for you guys, based on what we've been talking about, I want to know, going through your own personal religious experience this past year that you've had, Riva, and your lives being members of this Church, what are your drops? What have your drops been? Because I think sometimes we get caught up in this idea that I need to drop five drops for scriptures today and three drops for prayers. But I think it's bigger than that. I think sometimes a drop could take a full year, don't you?
I know, for me, Riva and I have had more deep conversations. And we've always gone back to the source. And we've found like, "Oh, my goodness, it's the source that matters, not how people talk about the source, right?" Because I mean, it's been a difficult year with the pandemic, the edge has been taken off. Usually we rely on others, sometimes. But it turns out that this oil is supposed to be self-made. We've recognized that if we go to the source, that's where you get the truth of what we should be. And the source obviously is the Savior.
Well and it's very interesting, it's a "tender mercy," I'd have to say, to read that quote by Elder Bednar because the very first year I got baptized, he held a fireside. He wasn't an apostle yet. It was like right before. And he held a fireside for everyone in the area that got baptized. You had to be like, under one year, and I had just barely met that, you know, under the year mark. I remember him saying that there's going to come a time where someone's going to say something, or someone's going to do something, or you're going to want to leave the church, you're going to question your testimony. And he was like, "Don't. Just hang in there. Just keep going. Just right there at verse 17. Be faithful." At the time, it just didn't make sense. I was a brand-new convert. I'm just so excited. I mean, whenever you feel the gospel, it feels like you're going to a pep rally. It's so exciting. Like, "Go team! Let's go do this." And I love that, you know, when you were saying like, "Why can't you share the oil?" Because I honestly think I have been borrowing so many people's oils, you know, trying to fit into church, and not focusing on the Savior, not focusing on the simple truths of the gospel, you know, that brought me to this church. And so I love that he says, you know, like, "Be faithful, praying always, having your lamps trimmed and burning." Because it is ours. The oil and the lamps make sense now. Because when the oil is gone from everybody else, I mean, you're in total darkness. And there's been many times where I've prayed to the Lord, is this Church really true? And I've had to remember all of those moments. And it's amazing how I just go back to like that first year, and What was it? Why? and doing like those small, simple things, you know?
Gosh, I love that as both of you are talking, you said so many key words that in my mind, I was like, "And that's a drop. And that's a drop. Remembering is a drop. Just keep going is a drop. And sometimes that's the biggest drop of them all." Because we think of drops as these little bleep. But it could just be a big kerplunk. You know, we don't know what the size of the drop is. And so just I loved everything both of you said, so thank you for sharing that. The title for Section 33 is "Eleventh Hour/Oil for Our Lamps." And at the very end of verse 18 when he says. "For behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, that I come quickly." Now that word "quickly" right there, and we're going to see it a lot in the Doctrine and Covenants, we have to make sure we mark It. That word "quickly" doesn't mean like in five years, or even 50. It means suddenly, like Boom! Boom! Here he is! in an instant. That's the meaning of that. So I thought that was pretty cool. And so you've gotta have your lamps ready to go and your supply of oil because it will happen fast. And then, "Even so. Amen." So that's the end of Section 33. So thank you for teaching us about that and for sharing your thoughts. So in the next segment, we're gonna find out about two more men who asked what they could do. And we're gonna find out what the Lord had to say to a 19-year-old man, as well as a 37-year-old man in the same section, and what he's really saying to us.
Now, I'm going to say this, something that I love about the Hispanic culture is what the parents call their children. When they're calling out to you and they want you to come or something. What is it that they say? Because I call my child, my daughter's name. I'm like, "Lily, come here. Sophia, come here." But in the Spanish culture, they don't do that. What do they call you?
I don't know.
Yeah, you do.
It depends. Like if I was in trouble, they'd throw a chunk at me. They could be like fighter pilots, right? From a moving bus, they could throw a shoe and hit me in the right spot.
Okay, well, let me ask you this. Did your parents call you this? Because on my mission, I heard it all the time. "Mija."
Oh, yes! Her grandma always said mija. "¿Como estas, mija?"
Or, "mi amor."
It's only the grandmas. It was the grandmas that would usually do that. "¿Como estas, mijo? ¿Como estas, mijo? Ven aqui. Que hermoso." That's what my grandma would say, "Que hermoso."
What does "mija" or "mijo" mean?
"Mija" means "my," mi—it's a contraction of "mi hija," which means "my daughter" or "mijo" is a contraction "mi hijo," which is "my son."
Yeah. And what does that connote? Like when somebody says that to you, when they call you that?
To me, it gives me like this raw sense of belonging. I belong with them. Right? And, you know—
It's like a hug in a word.
It's like a word hug. Yeah.
Like a safe word.
See? She knows, right? Cuz her grandma says the same thing to me, "¿Como estas, mijo?" And then the second thing, "Quires algo para comer?" Do you want to eat something? It's like a double, it's like a double hug, right?
Oh, I love that. Double hug.
Right? She says that every time, right? And so yeah, it's like a word hug. I love how Riva said it. That's probably the best way to say it.
Great example. It's a word hug. Okay, guys, we have a word hug then. In Doctrine and Covenants, Section 34, verse one. Riva, read it for us.
"My son Orson, hearken and hear and behold what I, the Lord God, shall say unto you, even Jesus Christ your Redeemer."
I wrote above "my son," I wrote "mijo."
Like there is that hug from the Lord: "mijo." And then I love how he reiterates that in verse 3. Go down to verse 3, and Riva, will you read that for us?
"Who so loved the world that he gave his own life, that as many as would believe might become the sons of God. Wherefore you are my son."
It's like the same Moses experience, remember? When God's like, "Hey, you're my son." And then Satan comes, and he's [Moses] like, "Who are you? Because I'm God's son, and I don't know who you are." And it's just like a very powerful, affirming, we are literally children of God, and if we follow Christ, we become His children as well. You read that in the Book of Mormon, King Benjamin. Like there is no pre-qualifier for being a child of God.
None. And the thing that is so beautiful about these two words is that it's like a double hug from God. And he's saying this to us: "my daughter," "my son." Those of us who are reading this, he's speaking to us, he's hugging us. And then if he could, he would say, "What do you want to eat?"
"¿Quieres algo para comer?" Every time. They always say that. The grandmas are fantastic.
I think that Jesus Christ would say that to us. In fact, this is what I love about it, is the title section for 34 is called "Orson Pratt: Our Relationship with Jesus." Right there, our relationship is we are His "mijo" or his "mija." And so there's so much beauty in that. Now, in these verses, there's some really cool double blessings. So, Seth, will you please read verses 4 and 5, and as Seth reads these, I want you to look for what the double blessings are in these verses.
You've got it. "And blessed are you because you have believed; And more blessed are you because you are called of me to preach my gospel."
Okay, what are they? The double blessings there?
I think one is to believe, right? Which is a blessing, and it's a blessing we need to reapply for as often as we can. And the second is "Blessed are you because you are called of me to preach my gospel." The blessing of that is not like, "I got to get my soapbox out, I got to stand and get like a thing and be like, 'Jesus!'" You know, we, but literally everything we do is a lesson or is a preaching. Like, How am I interacting with my colleagues? How am I interacting with my spouse? How can I be better with my children, right? Every one of those things is preaching, right? Because it's like teaching, but practicing. That's why it's called preach.
I love that, that definition of the word "preach." Thank you for pointing that out. Because it's not teaching, but it's a combination of practicing and teaching. That's good. It's like that, quote, "Teach the gospel. When necessary, use words." So that's awesome. So in verse 6 and in verse 10, the Lord gives the same instruction in here. I want you just to both look at verse 6 and verse 10 and tell me what's the same instruction that the Lord gives to Orson Pratt who received this revelation.
"Lift up your voice."
Perfect. Highlight that: "Lift up your voice." Okay, facts that you want to know about Orson Pratt. You will just love him so much because he is told to lift up his voice to share the gospel and boy, he is going to do that. So after, shortly after receiving this revelation, Orson Pratt embarks on a mission to Colesville, New York. Then he goes on another mission a few years later. Orson will travel on foot for nearly 4000 miles, attend 207 meetings, baptize 104 people, and he'll organize several new branches of the Church. In his lifetime of service, Orson Pratt crossed the ocean 16 times on missions of salvation. He really took this seriously. He lifted up his voice and he was a great missionary and member of the Church.
You know how I told you I was related to Parley, but I identify with his brother Orson because literally my job currently, I use like advanced calculus to write AI, basically.
Because, like my job, I'm a kind of a programmer type. And this guy was a mathematician. It speaks to my heart. It's really cool.
Yeah, well, you—proof right there, through the family line, then.
There you go.
That's awesome. Seth, I love that. Well, so we have Orson Pratt, so he asked the Lord to use him. And now it's his older brother, Parley, that introduced Orson to the gospel of Jesus Christ. So we have to go back and talk a little bit more about Parley because Parley is going to do something for another significant member of the church in Section 35. So we have to go to Section 35 now. And this is given to Sidney Rigdon. So the title for this section is called "Sidney Rigdon, a Forerunner, Joseph's Translation of the Bible." Now, Sidney truly is newly baptized, all right, and he wants to know what he can do to help. So this is kind of a cool church history story I'm going to give you before we study Section 35. Okay, so we shared earlier that Parley P. Pratt went and visited his friend, Sidney Rigdon. And Sidney Rigdon was the head over a church. He was a leader, and Parley tells him about this Book of Mormon, and Sidney reads it and he's going to join the Church, like he completely believes this. And this is so cool, because in a short time, Sidney Rigdon, and more than 120 people were baptized in the Kirtland area. And a few episodes ago, we talked about how when they went on that Lamanite Mission, nobody was baptized in the Lamanite borders. They only baptized people in Kirtland and in Ohio where the Church needed to be built up. And one of those important, prominent people was Sidney Rigdon. So Sidney Rigdon, and his friend Edward Partridge, they traveled because they wanted to meet Joseph Smith, and they arrived in early December 1830. And after they arrived in Fayette, Sidney expressed his desire to know the will of the Lord concerning him. And in response to his inquiry, Joseph Smith received revelation Doctrine and Covenants, Section 35. And so he's going to tell him what he needs to do. Now I have to play this for you. Because when I was reading section 35, this is exactly what I thought of. You guys remember those old-time Mormon commercials?
Oh, yes. The ones that during middle of General Conference where I always feel extra guilty?
Isn't it about time?
Yes, that's the one! Okay.
Isn't it about [pause] time?
I hope this will be fun for you because this is my favorite one. You ready?
Unknown Speaker 1:02:19
[Plays commercial] "Dad! Dad! I got 2 As!" "How many times do I have to tell you not to slam the door?" When you ignore accomplishments, you rob your children and yourself of some very satisfying moments.
This is so goofy, every time.
Unknown Speaker 1:02:37
[commercial] "Dad! Dad! I got 2 As!" "Great! Come on up. Let's take a look at it!"
Great. Now I feel like I need to repent.
[laughs] That's my favorite one. "How many times did I tell you not to slam the door?" Okay, here's why. Because Section 35 is so that commercial. Because here's Sidney Rigdon, "What can I do to help?" And you know what God's doing? He's doing, "Hey! Great job, son! Come on up here and let's talk about all the people that you taught!" Like Sidney Rigdon left an entire congregation, and rather than having the Lord say, "You know what, you kind of got it right. But here's some things you need to fix." He didn't do that. God 100% was like, "You did good, son! Man, you did good things!" And here's the praise that he gives him. It's in verses 3, 4, and 5. So we have to read these. And Seth, will you read those for us?
Yeah, absolutely. Now, here's the thing, just for clarity sake. His job was to be the preacher.
Yeah, he was head!
When he left the church, he left his job. He had no other job.
Thank you for pointing that out.
Yeah, it's crazy.
He left everything.
And his wife was like, "Well, if it's true, we need to do it." And so his wife was also amazing. So I'm gonna read it now. "Behold, verily, verily, I say unto my servant Sidney, I have looked upon thee and thy works. I have heard thy prayers, and prepared thee for a greater work. Thou art blessed, for thou shalt do great things. Behold thou wast sent forth, even as John, to prepare the way before me, and before Elijah which should come, and thou knewest it not. Thou didst baptize by water unto repentance, but they received not the Holy Ghost."
Oh, read verse 6, too.
"But now I give unto thee a commandment, that thou shalt baptize by water, and they shall receive the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, even as the apostles of old."
Thank you. It's just so great in there. He's like, "You know what? You did good. You taught people. You baptized them. I'm not even gonna correct that. You laid the foundation for lots of people, and they'll come to me because of your work." So I just, it's again, it's probably like another little hug to me from Heavenly Father.
There's a similar, you remember, I think it was Paul. When there was some people, I think it was Acts 18-ish, 19-ish, where they're like, he's like, "Who baptized you?" And they're like, "Well, John, I think," and they're like, "Did you get the Holy Ghost?" And they were like, "We don't know what that is." And Paul's like, "Well, we're just gonna have to fix that. I mean, Who baptized you?" Like it's completely the opposite of this Sidney Rigdon thing, right? It's a really cool juxtaposition because it's the same thing. But the Lord is just like "You know, you did a good job."
Yeah, "You did it!" Thank you. I love that you just brought that up. That is awesome. So let's do this, go into Section 35, is there anything else you guys marked that stood out to you that the Lord had to say to Sidney Rigdon?
I'll start, I'll start here while Riva looks for the amazing one. "But without faith—
Oh, give us the verse.
This is 11, verse 11. "But without faith shall not anything be shown forth except desolations upon Babylon, the same which has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication."
Oh my gosh. I knew you would pick that verse. I'm not even kidding. I read that and I'm like, "That's such a Seth verse. That, he's just that verse."
Yeah because like the thing about it is, is like faith is an interesting thing, right? Because sometimes people make faith and belief the same thing but the actual formula, if you look at it in the Book of Mormon, is you have to have a desire to believe to start, then you have to hope for things, you know, which are not seen. They have to be true. But then the faith is only cemented through action, and you read that in Ether 12:6. So, to me, it's like without faith, there's really nothing. And when I see "desolation," sometimes people think of like fire and brimstone, but I like to think of like a really empty desert. Everything is just completely desolate. It's like a desert, there's no water. Like, what are you going to do? And that's why I really, really liked this. The other part is interesting but it's that first part that I think really grabs me
I liked that. Thank you, Seth. I'm so glad you brought up that verse. That's excellent. Riva, what about you?
Maybe I'm on Instagram too much, but I feel like at the end, or the beginning of verse 27: "Fear not, little flock." I love that because I feel like we're so afraid of so many things or worried about things, you know, like, "Worry not, little flock. Fear not, little flock."
Well, Riva, let me ask you this: when you imagine in your brain, he's saying, he's calling us his little flock? What do you immediately think of with that idea of being a little flock?
Just feels really sweet. Just like the whole nursery room or, you know, a bunch of like little newborns. You just want to keep them all safe and, "It's okay. We'll get everyone fed." Or maybe it's puppies because newborns are scary, but puppies, you know, just gathered up..."
It's so tender, isn't it?
By the way, do like this power-couple dynamic we've got here? I was all like, "Faith," you know, and "Do." And Riva's like, "Don't fear" which is literally, those two things are like the opposite. But if you think about them both the same time, you get this power-couple goodness.
You get Seth and Riva. Absolutely.
He's faithful and I'm very fearful.
No, no! That's not what I'm saying. No! No, because sometimes faith is hard.
It's very scary.
That's exactly it, is that faith is very hard. And he's telling Sidney Rigdon all of these things in here and then look at verse 24, "Keep all the commandments and covenants by which ye are bound; and I will cause the heavens to shake for your good, and Satan shall tremble and Zion shall rejoice upon the hills and flourish." Like there's just this grand promise, if you have faith. But then this beauty of it, is what you said, Riva, then he goes "But, you know what, fear not, little flock. I know what I've asked is hard, and it's going to be hard. But don't be afraid. I've got you." Just going back to that imagery that you shared, Seth, where Heavenly Father's behind you as you're climbing those stairs, "I got ya." Like, "We're gonna be okay. We're gonna make it." And when he says, "the kingdom is yours until I come. Behold, I come quickly. Even so. Amen." There's that "quickly" again. "When I come, it'll be fast. Be ready, be prepared, but don't be afraid my little flock. I got ya." So cute. I just love it.
It's really sweet. Before I joined the Church, I remember being really afraid of God so to see like "my son," you know, or even just those hugging words like "fear not," you know, like God wasn't this scary person that's you know, "You're good" or "You're bad," "You're going to heaven," "You're going to hell." It's, "I'm loving. I want to help you succeed." Just like you know how we do with our kids. Like, "How can we help you? We want you to be happy. Yeah there's some rules, you know. Don't jump off the stairs. We don't want you to break anything, but only like to keep us safe."
Yeah. When we're good parents, we're totally like that. Other times I'm just like, "You all need to go to bed."
Let's be real here.
They only read verse 27 and then it's midnight.
All right time, family scripture time, we're just reading 27: "Fear not" until you don't go to sleep.
You know where the band aids are. That's awesome. Well thank you, thank you for that great discussion. So Sidney Rigdon and Edward Partridge were friends and they're going to come to hear Joseph Smith speak, which we talked about earlier. And when Edward and Sidney arrived in Waterloo, New York, Joseph Smith was in the middle of a sermon. And when the Prophet had finished speaking, he turned the time over to the congregation and he asked, "Does anyone have any questions or comments?" And Edward Partridge stood up. And in the next segment, I'm going to tell you what he said, and what Joseph's response was.
So Edward Partridge, he and Sidney Rigdon, they're together. They come to Fayette. Joseph Smith has is having a meeting and at this meeting, then he asks, "Do you have any questions?" And I really like this because Edward Partridge stands, and he starts to talk to Joseph. And he says, "You know what, I've been investigating you and your family for a while now. And I've been asking everybody, and I can't find anything wrong with you." Basically is what he says. Like, "You're legit, and so is your family." And then I love it. He says this in front of the whole congregation, he says, "I am ready to be baptized if Brother Joseph will baptize me." And Joseph replies, "You are now much fatigued, Brother Partridge, and you had better rest today and be baptized tomorrow." And I love Edward's response. He says, "Just as Brother Joseph thinks best, I am ready at any time." I just love that. Like, as you get to know Edward Partridge this year, you're going to love him so much, because he is just so good. He is so good. And so he receives this revelation. And then after the revelation, he gets baptized, and this man is golden. And so this is interesting about this section. Section 36 is titled "Edward Partridge: Recognition of the Lord's Authorized Representatives." This revelation was given two days before Edward Partridge is baptized. And so he's getting this revelation before being a member of the Church. So you need to know that when you go into these next few verses. So we have to read what Joseph Smith had to say about Edward Partridge. So, Riva, will you read the section heading for us? In fact, just start where it says, "Joseph Smith's history states..."
"Joseph Smith's history states that Edward Partridge was a pattern of piety, and one of the Lord's great men."
And he definitely was. Seth, you're shaking your head. Tell us about Edward Partridge.
When you said he received a revelation before he was even baptized? Shouldn't all of us have done that?
Wouldn't that be awesome?
Well, I mean, to know that you should be baptized?
Like Riva had a revelation. I don't know what it looked like, right? Because I wasn't there. But she knew that she had to get baptized. That's a tough thing. In her situation, that was a hard thing to do. And she had a revelation to do that. Edward Partridge also had a revelation to do that, as I'm sure countless members that are listening now can remember the point in time where they either knew they should have gotten baptized, or they knew they should. Believe it or not, Sister Uzelac, I was kind of a, how do we say this in English? In Spanish, it's "travieso." I was kind of a little rabble rouser. I know it's unbelievable to think about now. I got in trouble all the time. But I remember the day I was baptized, I don't remember much, but I remember sitting on my grandmother's kitchen table, around there. And I had the feeling that I was clean. As an eight year old. That to me was the first revelation of "This is the right thing." Right? And Edward Partridge had it when he was sitting there listening to the sermon. And just like Edward Partridge, this eight-year-old kid was like, "I don't ever want to mess that up." And of course I did, probably like two hours later, right? But Edward Partridge also had the same revelation. What is it that I should do because of this, right?
So read it for us, Seth. Read verses one and two.
"Thus saith the Lord God, the Mighty One of Israel: Behold, I say unto you, my servant Edward, that you are blessed, and your sins are forgiven you, and you are called to preach my gospel as with the voice of a trump; And I will lay my hand upon you by the hand of my servant Sidney Rigdon, and you shall receive my Spirit, the Holy Ghost, even the Comforter, which shall teach you the peaceable things of the kingdom."
Thank you. And so there's so many good things in this section that the Lord has to say to him. Let's go to verse six, because this one might seem a little bit odd and I'm going to give you a cross-reference and tell you what this means. Riva, will you read verse six for us? Here's what else the Lord wants Edward to do.
"Crying repentance, saying: Save yourselves from this untoward generation, and come forth out of the fire, hating even the garments spotted with the flesh."
We looked this up because it was weird.
Oh, yeah, it is weird. So let's mark that in our scriptures. Mark the word "untoward." That just, in Greek, it means "crooked or perverse." And you can cross reference that with Acts chapter 2, verse 40. But then this idea of hating even the garments spotted with the flesh, tell me what you found.
So apparently back in the day, people would, when they got sick, like with smallpox or those kinds of things, what would happen is when these people would die, their clothes would be spotted with flesh. And so the idea was that you don't want to touch that because you could get sick. And so when they say "hating even the garment spotted with the flesh," I mean, there's a Jude reference.
It's Jude chapter 1, verse 23.
Footnote B. But basically, just because the person that was sick died doesn't mean that the things that they touched still can't hurt you. And during a pandemic, right, that's even like, "wear your mask" kind of suggestion, you know? Because you don't want to get sick.
Right? They would have to actually burn the clothes. They would burn them or bury them just because it was so gross. And yeah, they, exactly what you said, that is perfect. And so they're using this description in here. So now that we know that, look at this again, when it says, "Crying repentance, saying: Save yourselves from this [crooked or preverse] generation, and come forth out of the fire, hating even the garments spotted with the flesh." So what are we hating out of that? Our own yuck, right?
Yeah. This is like Second Coming. Like feelings, you know, that that come quickly. And you recall that there is in the book of Malachi, you know, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord, the wicked shall burn as stubble. But the righteous will be filled by it, right? Because you remember Joseph Smith, in all of his accounts of the First Vision, had a hard time describing the light. He described it as fire in one of them and was surprised that the tops of the trees would not burn, because it turns out the very fire or light of God will fill the righteous, but because if you're mostly unrighteous, that filthy flesh will get burned. And that's the thing, like everyone thinks like God is punishing us by putting us in a lower kingdom or a middle. He's not, he's maximizing our happiness, based upon our physical tolerance to his face.
Yeah, well, and I'm wondering, Riva, did you have an experience where you came out of that water feeling like you were just so clean? Hating your past? Not really hating, but like relieved of your past life or sins that you'd committed, knowing they're gone for good? What's that experience like when it's somebody older getting baptized?
It's like a big sigh of relief, just like, "Oh!" That weight is just off. Just a huge burden was lifted. And I think the biggest thing is then, like believing that it's off, whether or not I crossed all the, made all the checkmarks, you know, that Seth did as a member of the Church, you know. As a convert, I made a lot of mistakes. And so it's really nice to know that all of that can be gone.
Yeah. But I made a lot of mistakes, too. I mean, it's not—
A lot of different mistakes.
There's like church mistakes. And then there's—
No, I feel like, it's easy to get the Lord to tell you, "You're forgiven." It's harder to forgive yourself. And it becomes even harder when the culture— Like, let's just say you have a tattoo. All of a sudden, you're that member.
I mean, and that's not a burden we should be heaping upon anybody, because that's part of the garment spotted with flesh, that you are literally dredging up for someone else.
Whatever made them get a tattoo, who cares? They're here.
Well, Seth, I love that you're saying that because it goes right into verse seven, read verse seven because this is exactly what you're talking about.
"And this commandment shall be given unto the elders of my church, that every man which will embrace it with singleness of heart may be ordained and sent forth, even as I have spoken."
What's the only thing we have to do, according to that verse?
"Embrace it with singleness of heart."
And the thing is that you don't have to embrace it all the time. Because we all make mistakes. Literally, the only thing God tells us everywhere is to repent. Repent, repent, repent and that's, it's just kind of a dirty word in our church. It literally means let's make some changes. We're going to make some adjustments. I think that's a better— adjustments. And as we, the more adjustments—
Let's just tweak it.
Let's just do a little tweak, right? We're gonna make some adjustments. And these adjustments, if you do them all the time, and you're willing to be open-minded enough to understand your own shortcomings, the adjustments should be happening all the time. Literally, the only thing we should be doing is repenting. It's all we can do. And the Book of Mormon is like, all we could do was repent. There was nothing else. But we need to change the perception of what repentance is. It's literally just making "tweakings" with singleness of heart.
I like that because I think what was so interesting to me is so far in every section up to this point, 36 sections, every time somebody asked, "What can I do to help?" "¿En que puedo servirle?" the Lord always responds, "Well, first you're gonna cry repentance." That's that's pretty much the main objective that the Lord wants him to do. Just cry repentance. Make sure everyone's repenting. That's the only thing I want everyone to do. Repent, repent, repent, right?
So much repentance.
Yeah. And then the second thing was "I'm going to help you, but I'm going to know you first and help you with the way that you know and then I'm gonna ask you to do something."
Yeah, "mijo, mija." I know you. And then he beautifully ends in verse eight. I'll read that cuz I love this verse. "I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God; wherefore, gird up your loins"— I love that phrase. Anytime you read "gird up your loins," you just have to know it means the Lord's way of saying, "Get ready. Let's do this. Here we go. We're going to get to work." —"gird up your loins, and I will suddenly come to my temple. Even so. Amen." Highlight, "I will suddenly come to my temple."
This is the very first mention of a temple in the Doctrine and Covenants. Why'd you do it, Seth?
Because it wasn't until April 3rd, 1836, when in Crillon, Ohio, He literally shows up. I remember being there as a kid, as a 16-year-old. And I remember talking to the people there. And I'm like, "Do y'all believe that, you know, Jesus, and Elias and Elijah and Moses showed up here?" And they're like, "Yeah." And I was like, "Well, what importance does that play in your teachings?" And they're like, "Well, frankly, none." I was like, "How could that be?" Right? Jesus doesn't like make house calls unless it's super important. Right? And if you think about every single thing in the scriptures eventually orients you towards going back to where Jesus is? And the symbol of that for us on earth is the temple.
Yep, it totally is. And Seth's referring to Section 110. And when we get there and study it, it's gonna be cool to see—
Oh, it's so cool.
Looking to the temple and Section 76. I mean, it's just so much good stuff. But it is. It all brings us back and he introduces this idea right here in this revelation. And they hear the word "temple" and all of a sudden, I wonder how many were like, "Wait, what did he just say? Wait, what? Can we go back? What did he mean temple?" And so it's really cool to think that this blessing is a part of this announcement, "I will suddenly come to my temple" and boy, He will indeed. So let's go back to how we started, with that question. "What can I do to help?" or Seth, say it for me in Spanish.
"¿En que puedo servirle?"
Perfect. I hope you have like a day with that pops into your head. And if you ask Heavenly Father that question, you may question whether Heavenly Father can really use us to make important contributions. But please remember that He has always used ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things. We are agents, and the power is in us to bring to pass so much righteousness. Here's what President Russell M. Nelson talked about, with how we can serve Him. And Riva, will you please read this for us?
"The Lord has more in mind for you than you have in mind for yourself! You have been reserved and preserved for this time and place. . . . The Lord needs you to change the world. As you accept and follow His will for you, you will find yourself accomplishing the impossible!"
Perfect. Thank you. And Seth, will you read this last quote by President Gordon B. Hinckley?
"Believe in yourself. Believe in your capacity to do great . . . things. . . . You are a child of God, of infinite capacity."
So my challenge to all of us this week is to think about that question for yourself. What can you do? And it might be something from what we've talked about. It might be showing up at the hospital randomly to help a woman who's there with her child. It might be just saying to your husband, "You got this!" and it might be repenting. That might be your answer. That's sometimes, I think that's all we have to do. To when we say to God, "What can I do to help?" He's gonna say, "Just repent first, and then I'll let you know what to do after." Well, thank you friends! Thanks for joining me today. That was a really fun discussion.
So much fun.
It's like we're back in the classroom again.
I've never sweat so much.
It was awesome. I love you, guys. Okay, so I'm gonna give you a minute and just think about what was your takeaway from today? What's something that stood out to you or something you learned or anything like that?
That Edward Partridge wasn't even a member of the church and he's getting like a Doctrine and Covenants section. That was super cool.
That was fun.
It tells me that I should trust people more.
I like that.
Yeah. What about you, Riva?
We had circled in Section 34, verse 9, or I had, because it's Seth, I can tell he didn't.
Well, hold on, wait. Maybe I did.
But in verse 9, it was interesting because it just felt a little bit out of place. And it was "But before that great day shall come, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon be turned into blood; and the stars shall refuse their shining, and some shall fall, and great destructions await the wicked." And I can't make it all sciency the way that Seth did with some of those things, but as far as like stars and going back to the oil lamps, you know, like the stars are going to fall. And when we put you know the culture or members in our Church community on these pedestals, pedestals fall. And those stars that we held up are going to get darkened and if we're not putting the right things up there, you know, we're going to lose our testimony, it's going to affect our testimony.
No, that's awesome. I love that. Okay. Also on my takeaway, I will say section 34, because it's titled "Orson Pratt: Our Relationship with Jesus." And when I wrote that down, and then I studied 34, I'm like, "Why is that our relationship with Jesus, though?" I couldn't find any wording that was specific to that, until we discussed the "mijo" or "mija." And then it clicked. I'm like, "That, right there when he says "my son," you are my son. That is the relationship we have with Jesus. And it is a warm hug. And it is an embrace. And I love how you finished, both of you finished that out that like a grandma, He would also say, "And do you want something to eat?" I think He would. I really do. He loves us so much. So that answered my question. Like, "Why is he talking about a relationship with Jesus?" Oh, "my son," you are my son. And so thank you for helping answer that. We would love to hear what your big takeaway was from this episode. So if you've not already joined our discussion group, go there, get on Facebook and Instagram, follow us. It's so fun. It's a great place to ask questions as you study and I try to answer the questions, but so does everybody else. It's really cool to see what other people think and what they know. So do that. And then usually, at the end of the week, on a Sunday, we post a call for your big takeaway. So comment on the post that relates to this lesson and let us know what you learned. And I read all of them. It's my favorite part of Sunday. You can get to both our Facebook and Instagram by going to the show notes for this episode on LDSLiving.com/SundayonMonday. And it's not a bad idea to go there because that's where we're gonna have the links to all the references that we use. And you can also access a complete transcript of this whole 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 is written and hosted by me, Tammy Uzelac Hall, and today our incredible study group participants were Riva and Seth Juarez. And you can find more information about these friends at LDSLiving.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, "mija" and "mijo," you are God's favorite.
What is my duty? Am I even saying that right? "¿En que puedo servirle?"
No, come on. What's wrong with it?
No, he's not.
No, it's just, it's "¿En que puedo servirle?"
Oh, yeah, yeah. Okay.
He sounds prettier when he says it.
"¿En que puedo servirle?"
Oh, it's like I'm in Mexico right now. Wait, is that where you served your mission?
Well, no, I served my mission in California, in Fresno.
But then the last five months, my mission president said, "You're going Spanish speaking." So my Spanish is limited. That's why I'm like, "¿En que puedo servirle?" I'll just rattle it off. "What do you need me to do?" Help me. So it's gonna be fun. We're doing a little Spanish stuff in this episode. I can't wait.
Ooh, I love it.
Title for Section 30: "Whitmer Brothers—Obedience"
En que puedo servir le: What can I do to help you?
Eso Si Que Es (S.O.C.K.S): It is what it is.
Tammy's Wedding Dress:
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to David Whitmer, Peter Whitmer Jr., and John Whitmer, at Fayette, New York, September 1830, following the three-day conference at Fayette, but before the elders of the Church had separated. Originally this material was published as three revelations; it was combined into one section by the Prophet for the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants.
Who asked how they could help?
David Whitmer (25), Peter Whitmer, Jr. (21), and John Whitmer (28)
Verses 1–5: David
Verses 5–8: Peter
Verses 9–11: John
2 But your mind has been on the things of the aearth more than on the things of me, your Maker, and the ministry whereunto you have been called; and you have not given heed unto my bSpirit, and to those who were set over you, but have been persuaded by those whom I have not commanded (Doctrine and Covenants 30:1–2).
- Cross reference: Doctrine and Covenants 28: "One At the Head; Revelation for the Church"
5 Behold, I say unto you, Peter, that you shall take your ajourney with your brother Oliver; for the btime has come that it is expedient in me that you shall open your mouth to declare my gospel; therefore, fear not, but give cheed unto the words and advice of your brother, which he shall give you (Doctrine and Covenants 30:5).
- Your brother: Oliver Cowdrey was married to Catherine Whitmer, the sister of David, Peter, and John.
6 And be you afflicted in all his aafflictions, ever blifting up your heart unto me in prayer and faith, for his and your cdeliverance; for I have given unto him power to dbuild up my echurch among the fLamanites; (Doctrine and Covenants 30:6).
Title for Section 31: "Thomas B. Marsh—Follow Counsel"
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to Thomas B. Marsh, September 1830. The occasion was immediately following a conference of the Church (see the heading to section 30). Thomas B. Marsh had been baptized earlier in the month and had been ordained an elder in the Church before this revelation was given.
Thomas B. Marsh:
- Born November 1,1799, in Massachusetts
- Ran away from home at age 14.
- Entered the grocery business in New York but the business failed and he later moved to Boston.
- Found work in a type foundry.
- Joined the Methodist church but said, “I tried for two years to be a genuine Methodist, but did not succeed any better in getting Methodist Religion than I did in the grocery business.”
- Thomas felt led by the Spirit to head to western New York. While there, he heard rumors of a golden Bible.
- While investigating these rumors, he ended up at the E.B. Grandin print shop in Palmyra, New York.
- Martin Harris showed him 16 pages of an early proof of the Book of Mormon, which Thomas took back to his wife in Boston. They read the pages and moved their family to Palmyra.
- Thomas was baptized September 3, 1830.
- Thomas served missions and was a branch president.
- He was also President of the Quorum of the Twelve at age 35.
Cream Striplings Story:
"August or September 1838, Marsh’s wife, Elizabeth, and Lucinda Harris, the wife of George W. Harris had agreed to exchange milk from their cows for making cheese. But counter to their agreement, Elizabeth allegedly kept the cream strippings—the richer part of the milk that rises to the top—before sending the rest of the milk to Lucinda. According to George A. Smith, the matter went before the teachers quorum, then the bishop, and then the high council, all of whom found Elizabeth to be at fault. Marsh, not satisfied, appealed to the First Presidency, who agreed with the earlier decisions. Further hurt by this chain of events, the already frustrated Marsh was said to have declared “that he would sustain the character of his wife, even if he had to go to hell for it” (See George A. Smith, in Journal of Discourses, 3:283–84; George A. Smith gave the only full account of this oft-repeated story in Salt Lake City on April 6,1856. He prefaced it by saying, “Sometimes it happens that out of a small matter grows something exceedingly great.”)
The results of the Thomas B. Marsh leaving the Church:
"Sometime in the fall of 1838, Marsh left Far West with his family and began actively opposing the Saints. Thomas swore out an affidavit in October 1838 that detailed his concerns about acts of violence and destruction he believed were being planned or carried out by members of the Church against their neighbors in Caldwell and Daviess Counties. Joseph Smith characterized the affidavit as “all the vilest calumnies, aspersions, Lies and slanders, towards myself and the Church that his wicked heart could invent.”
"Although Marsh’s affidavit was just one piece of evidence against the Saints presented to Missouri officials, George A. Smith later declared, 'That affidavit brought from the government of Missouri an extermination order, which drove some 15,000 Saints from their homes and habitations, and some thousands perished through suffering the exposure consequent on this state of affairs'" (Kay Darowski, "The Faith and Fall of Thomas Marsh," Doctrine and Covenants Study, ChurchofJesusChrist.org ).
2 Behold, you have had many afflictions because of your family; nevertheless, I will bless you and your afamily, yea, your little ones; and the day cometh that they will believe and know the truth and be one with you in my church (Doctrine and Covenants 31:1–2).
- Little ones: At the time, Thomas had three boys all under the age of 10.
3 Lift up your heart and rejoice, for the hour of your mission is come; and your tongue shall be loosed, and you shall declare aglad tidings of great joy unto this generation (Doctrine and Covenants 31:3).
10 Behold, I say unto you that you shall be a physician unto the church, but not unto the world, for they will not receive you (Doctrine and Covenants 31:9–10).
- Physician: "Spiritual physician for he solved problems, resolved conflicts, and answered many questions for the members of the Church until he became disaffected. He had a reputation for receiving frequent and specific revelations in answer to his prayers. His calling as “physician unto the Church” was primarily to help heal the hearts, minds, and spirits of the members rather than their bodies" (Stephen E. Robinson, H Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, Vol. 1, 217).
13 Be afaithful unto the bend, and lo, I am cwith you. These words are not of man nor of men, but of me, even Jesus Christ, your Redeemer, by the dwill of the Father. Amen (Doctrine and Covenants 31:13).
Title for Section 32: "First Lamanite Mission"
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to Parley P. Pratt and Ziba Peterson, in Manchester, New York, early October 1830. Great interest and desires were felt by the elders respecting the Lamanites, of whose predicted blessings the Church had learned from the Book of Mormon. In consequence, supplication was made that the Lord would indicate His will as to whether elders should be sent at that time to the Indian tribes in the West. The revelation followed.
Quote: "As soon as this revelaton was received, Emma, and several other sisters, began to make preparations to furnish those, who were set apart for this mision, with the necessary clothing; which was no easy task as the most of it, had to be manufactured out of the raw material. Emma’s health was at this time quite delicate; yet she did not favor herself on this account; but whatever her hands found to do, she did with her might, untill she went so far beyond her strength, that she brought upon herself a heavy fit of sickness, which lasted for weeks" (Lucy Mack Smith, "Lucy Mack Smith, History, 1845," p. 189–190, The Joseph Smith Papers).
Quote: "Because of storms of rare severity, the winter of 1830-1831 is referred to in midwestern annals as "the winter of the deep snow." Food was scarce, and the missionaries were forced to survive on meager rations of frozen bread and pork" (Max H. Parkin, "Lamanite Mission of 1830-1831," eom.byu.edu ).
Advice the Lord gave to Parley P. Pratt and Ziba Peterson
1 And now concerning my servant aParley P. Pratt, behold, I say unto him that as I live I will that he shall declare my gospel and blearn of me, and be meek and lowly of heart (Doctrine and Covenants 32:1).
Parley P. Pratt:
- He was born April 12, 1807.
- While on a mission in western New York, Parley visited his old Baptist deacon friend, Sidney Rigdon. Sidney told Parley about “a very strange book," which was the Book of Mormon. Parley read the Book of Mormon, ". . . all day, eating was a burden, I had no desire for food; sleep was a burden when night came, for I preferred reading to sleep. . . . I esteemed the Book, or the information contained in it, more than all the riches of the world." (Parley P. Pratt, Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, p. 20,22).
- Parley shared the Book of Mormon with his brother Orson Pratt, who also joined the Church.
- Parley was baptized in September 1830 by Oliver Cowdery
- He was the Zion's Camp recruiting officer.
- He became an apostle on February 12, 1835.
- Parley served at least 11 missions.
- He was imprisoned in Independence and Richmond Jail
- Parley was the editor and publisher of the Millennial Star.
- He was martyred in in Arkansas.
- Ziba was believed to be in late teens or early 20’s when he was baptized on April 18,1830.
- He was with Parley when he was arrested. Ziba would sing the hymn "Oh, How Happy Are They” to Parley while he was in jail.
- He was excommunicated on June 25,1833, and later moved to California.
3 And aZiba Peterson also shall go with them; and I myself will go with them and be in their bmidst; and I am their cadvocate with the Father, and nothing shall dprevail against them (Doctrine and Covenants 32:3).
- Advocate = Lawyer
Title for Section 33: "Eleventh Hour: Oil for Our Lamps"
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to Ezra Thayre and Northrop Sweet, at Fayette, New York, October 1830. In introducing this revelation, Joseph Smith’s history affirms that “the Lord … is ever ready to instruct such as diligently seek in faith.”
Ezra was a farmer, gardener, and builder. He was born in New York. He lived near the family of Joseph Smith, Sr. Ezra had come to know members of the Smith family through work they had done for him at various times. After hearing Hyrum Smith preach the gospel, Ezra said, "When Hyrum began to speak, every word touched me to the inmost soul. I thought every word was pointed to me . . . the tears rolled down my cheeks . . . . When Hyrum got through, he picked up a book and said, ‘Here is the Book of Mormon,' I said, 'let me see it.' I then opened the book, and I received a shock with such exquisite joy that no pen can write, and no tongue can express. I shut the book and said, 'What is the price of it?' “Fourteen shillings' was the reply. I said, 'I'll take the book!; I opened it again and I felt a double portion of the spirit that I did not know whether I was in the world or not I felt as though I was truly in heaven'" (Matthew McBride, "Ezra Thayer: From Skeptic to Believer," Revelations in Context, ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
(Also see "Thayer, Ezra," Joseph Smith Papers).
Northrop Sweet was born February 19, 1802. He died February 23, 1881. He married first Elethan Harris and moved to Palmyra, New York, by June 1830. He was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Parley P. Pratt, by Oct. 1830, in Palmyra. He was appointed to serve a mission on Oct. 1830. Northrop moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, by June 1831. While in Ohio, Northrop was ordained an Elder by June 1831 and by the end of 1831 he had false revelations instructing him to become the prophet. He left church shortly thereafter and helped found the Pure Church of Christ. He and five others declared that, “they could carry the whole world with them by reaching ‘Mormon’ principles.” They had two or three meetings; …but that was the extent of the growth of this early schism. His new church failed and he moved to Batavia, Branch Co., Michigan, by June 1850 (George A. Smith, Nov. 15, 1864, in Journal of Discourses (Liverpool: Latter-day Saint Book Depot, 1853-81).
(Also see "Sweet, Northrop," Joseph Smith Papers)
- Quickly = Suddenly
Quote: "As the wise virgins emphasized properly, each of us must ‘buy for ourselves.’ These inspired women were not describing a business transaction; rather, they were emphasizing our individual responsibility to keep our lamp of testimony burning and to obtain an ample supply of the oil of conversion. This precious oil is acquired one drop at a time—‘line upon line [and] precept upon precept’ (2 Nephi 28:30), patiently and persistently. No shortcut is available; no last-minute flurry of preparation is possible.
"Wherefore, be faithful, praying always, having your lamps trimmed and burning, and oil with you, that you may be ready at the coming of the Bridegroom’ (D&C 33:17)" (Elder David A. Bednar, "Converted unto the Lord," Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2012, 109).
Title for Section 34: "Orson Pratt’s Mission—Our Relationship with Jesus"
Mija/Mijo = My daughter or my son
6 To lift up your voice as with the sound of a atrump, both long and loud, and bcry repentance unto a crooked and perverse generation, cpreparing the way of the Lord for his dsecond coming (Doctrine and Covenants 34:6).
"Shortly after receiving this revelation, Orson Pratt embarked on a mission to Colesville, New York. On another mission a few years later, Orson traveled 'on foot near 4000 miles, attended 207 meetings, … baptized 104 persons, and organized several new Branches of the Church' (Orson Pratt, “History of Orson Pratt,” Millennial Star, Feb. 4, 1865, 72).
"In his lifetime of service, 'he crossed the ocean sixteen times, on missions of salvation'" (“Orson Pratt,” Contributor, Nov. 1881, 61).
Section 35 Title: Sidney Rigdon—A Forerunner: Joseph’s Translation of the Bible
Background of section 35:
". . . in the fall of 1830, Oliver Cowdery, Parley P. Pratt, Ziba Peterson, and Peter Whitmer Jr. set out from New York on their mission to western Missouri (see D&C 32). Parley P. Pratt convinced the group to stop in the area of Kirtland, Ohio, on their way. While there, they shared the restored gospel with Sidney Rigdon, an acquaintance of Parley and a Reformed Baptist minister, and members of his congregation. In a short time, Sidney Rigdon and more than 120 people were baptized in the Kirtland area, approximately doubling the size of the Church’s membership. Anxious to meet the Prophet Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon and his friend Edward Partridge traveled to Fayette, New York, arriving in early December 1830. After they arrived in Fayette, Sidney expressed his desire to know the will of the Lord concerning him. In response to his inquiry, Joseph Smith received the revelation contained in Doctrine and Covenants 35 ("Lesson 14: Doctrine and Covenants 35–36; 39–40," Doctrine and Covenants Teacher Manual, ChurchofJesusChrist.org ).
6 But now I give unto thee a commandment, that thou shalt abaptize by water, and they shall receive the bHoly Ghost by the laying on of the chands, even as the apostles of old (Doctrine and Covenants 35:3–6).
Paul and the gift of the Holy Ghost:
2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
11 But awithout faith shall not anything be shown forth except bdesolations upon cBabylon, the same which has made dall nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her efornication (Doctrine and Covenants 35:11).
24 aKeep all the commandments and covenants by which ye are bound; and I will cause the heavens to bshake for your cgood, and dSatan shall tremble and eZion shall frejoice upon the hills and gflourish; (Doctrine and Covenants 35:24).
Title of Section 36: "Edward Partridge—Recognition of the Lord’s Authorized Representatives"
Edward Partridge Meeting Joseph Smith:
As the missionaries traveled west, Sidney traveled east with his friend Edward Partridge, a thirty-seven-year-old hatmaker from his congregation. The two men were headed to Manchester, nearly three hundred miles from Kirtland, to meet Joseph. Sidney had already joined the church, but Edward wanted to get to know the prophet before deciding whether he should do the same.9
When they arrived, the friends went first to the farm of Joseph’s parents, only to learn that the Smiths had moved closer to Fayette. But before trekking another twenty-six miles to the Smiths’ home, Edward wanted to look over the property, thinking the Smiths’ handiwork might reveal something about their character. He and Sidney saw their well-kept orchards, their homes and outbuildings, and the low stone walls they had constructed. Each testified of the family’s order and industry.10
Edward and Sidney returned to the road and walked all day, reaching the Smiths’ home by evening. When they got there, a church meeting was in progress. They slipped into the house and joined a small congregation listening to Joseph preach. When the prophet finished, he said anyone in the room could stand and speak as he or she felt inspired.
Edward stood and told the Saints what he had seen and felt on his trip. Then he said, “I am ready to be baptized, Brother Joseph. Will you baptize me?”
“You have traveled a long way,” Joseph said. “I think you had better take some rest and refreshment and tomorrow morning be baptized.”
“Just as you think proper,” Edward replied. “I am ready at any time.”11 ("Chapter 10: Gathered In," Saints, Vol. 1, ChurchofJesusChrist.org ).
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to Edward Partridge, near Fayette, New York, December 9, 1830 (see the heading to section 35). Joseph Smith’s history states that Edward Partridge “was a pattern of piety, and one of the Lord’s great men.”
1 Thus saith the Lord God, the aMighty One of Israel: Behold, I say unto you, my servant bEdward, that you are blessed, and your sins are forgiven you, and you are called to preach my gospel as with the voice of a trump;
2 And I will lay my ahand upon you by the hand of my servant Sidney Rigdon, and you shall receive my Spirit, the Holy Ghost, even the bComforter, which shall cteach you the peaceable things of the kingdom; (Doctrine and Covenants 36:1–2).
1 aFor, behold, the bday cometh, that shall cburn as an oven; and all the dproud, yea, and all that do ewickedly, shall be fstubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor gbranch (Malachi 4:1).
7 And this commandment shall be given unto the elders of my church, that every man which will aembrace it with bsingleness of heart may be ordained and sent forth, even as I have spoken (Doctrine and Covenants 36:7).
- Suddenly come to my temple: First reference to the temple in the Doctrine and Covenants.
9 But before that great day shall come, the asun shall be darkened, and the moon be turned into blood; and the stars shall refuse their shining, and some shall fall, and great destructions await the wicked (Doctrine and Covenants 34:9).
Quote: “The Lord has more in mind for you than you have in mind for yourself! You have been reserved and preserved for this time and place. …
“The Lord needs you to change the world. As you accept and follow His will for you, you will find yourself accomplishing the impossible!” (President Russell M. Nelson, Accomplishing the Impossible: What God Does, What We Can Do (2015), 147.)
Quote: "Believe in yourself. Believe in your capacity to do great … things. … You are a child of God, of infinite capacity” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Gordon B. Hinckley , 77).