17: “In the Strength of the Lord” (Mosiah 7-10)
Have you ever had an experience where you’ve been called to repentance and it was pretty hard to swallow? In this week’s study group, Tammy guides us through this sometimes confusing section of the Book of Mormon that covers a lot of different people, places, and timelines. We will dig into Mosiah 7-10 to learn from examples (both good, and bad) of people who receive course corrections from the Lord, through prophets, seers, and revelators.
What do we know about the people in Mosiah Chapters 7-10?
- Moisah #1: Amaleki teaches us in the Book of Omni about this Mosiah. We learn that Mosiah #1 was told to leave the land of Lehi-Nephi, and when he did, he found the people of Zarahemla and united with them (Omni 1:12-20).
- King Benjamin: He is Mosiah #1’s son in the land of Zarahemla. He gives a well known sermon in Mosiah 1-5. He dies, and his son Mosiah #2 becomes king.
- King Mosiah, or Mosiah #2: He will take the place of king Benjamin, he will later meet Alma.
- Zeniff: Zeniff was in Zarahemla, and then he left to find his lands of inheritance, or the land of Lehi-Nephi. One of Amaleki’s brother went with Zeniff on this journey.
- King Noah: The son of Zeniff, he is well known as a wicked king.
- King Limhi: Son of wicked king Noah.
- Spies: Mosiah sends spies to the land of Lehi-Nephi. The spies are: Ammon, Amaleki, Helem and Hem (Mosiah 7:3,6).
- Jaredites/Brother of Jared: The people Limhi sent to find the Zarahemla end up finding the ruins of the Jaredite nation, as well as their gold plates (Mosiah 8:8-9). (This is covered in Segment 3).
“Those who knew the prophet testified that he could not have created such a complex story line out of his own head. As it was, merely translating such an interrelated and interwoven narratives required Joseph Smith to depend entirely on the gift and power of God to translate, and the help of several others to write while he translated, without repeating previous lines when resuming translation” (D. Kelly Ogden, Andrew C. Skinner, Verse by Verse The Book of Mormon, Volume 1: First Nephi through Alma 29).
Mosiah #2 wanted to know what happened to the people of Lehi-Nephi. He sends spies to find out what happened, and those spies are Ammon, Amaleki, Helem and Hem. (Mosiah 7:3,6). The spies are captured and imprisoned when they get there by the current king, king Limhi. Limhi was "exceedingly glad" to find out who Ammon was (Mosiah 7:14).
"And again, that same God has brought our fathers aout of the land of Jerusalem, and has kept and preserved his people even until now; and behold, it is bbecause of our iniquities and abominations that he has brought us into bondage" (Mosiah 7:20)
Hugh Nibley about King Noah's popularity: "His judgement wasn't the best, but we overlook the fact that the wicked Noah was an extremely popular king.... He was the most popular king in the Book of Mormon" (Hugh Nibley, Teachings of the Book of Mormon: Volume 2, pg.52).
Limhi calling his people to repentance:
"29 For behold, the Lord hath said: I will not asuccor my people in the day of their transgression; but I will hedge up their ways that they prosper not; and their doings shall be as a bstumbling block before them.
Succor: to run giving aid or help (see yourdictionary.com, including "Origin of Succor").
Chaff: "Chaff is the non-nutritious waste product of wheat and is separated from the grain by the wind when it is tossed into the air. This process is called sifting....Satan desires to sift the Saints like chaff, to separate them from the soul-saving, nutritious grain of the gospel and carry them away in the winds of wickedness" (Hoyt Brewster, Doctrine and Covenants Encyclopedia).
East Wind: "The east wind is a destructive wind that originates in the east, which is the symbolic direction of Deity's presence. It is also called "the wind of the Lord" (Hosea 13:15), it is "prepared" by God (Jonah 4:8) for the purpose of destroying the ungodly and unrighteous. The Lord has stated, "If my people shall sow filthiness they shall reap the east wind, which bringeth immediate destruction" (Mosiah 7:31), hence they are "smitten with the east wind" (Mosiah 12:6; see also Job 27:21) (Joseph Fielding McConkie and Donald W. Parry, Guide to Scriptural Symbols, “East Wind”, Deseret Book, 1990).
"But if ye will aturn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all bdiligence of mind, if ye do this, he will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you out of bondage" (Mosiah 7:33).
Limhi sent some of his people to find Zarahemla, but they got lost. Instead they found a land covered in bones, along with some gold plates (Mosiah 8:8-9). These gold plates belong to the Jaredites. Limhi asks Ammon if he can translate the records that they found, Ammon says he cannot, but he knows somebody who can (Mosiah 8:13-18).
President Harold B. Lee said that: "anyone who enjoys the gift by which he may have God revealed has the spirit of prophecy, the power of revelation, and, in a sense, is a prophet within the sphere of responsibility and authority given to him" (Harold B. Lee, Stand Ye in Holy Places, p. 155)
The Old Testament Hebrew word for seer is: "ro'eh" which means "one who sees" or "one who looks." The ancient usage of the term also designated seers as a distinct class of prophets (see Brown, Driver, & Driggs, A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament, p. 909).
"But now mine own eyes have abeheld God; but not my bnatural, but my cspiritual eyes, for my dnatural eyes could not have ebeheld; for I should have fwithered and gdied in his presence; but his hglory was upon me; and I beheld his iface, for I was jtransfigured before him" (Moses 1:11).
"It is not an ordinary ecclesiastical duty within the Church but rather is a "supernatural endowment" belonging to those who have been sustained as seers and who hold those seeric keys" (see Orson F. Whitney, Saturday Night Thoughts, pp. 39-40).
"A revelator makes known, with the Lord's help, something before unknown. It may be new or forgotten truth, or a new or forgotten application of known truth to man's need. Always, the revelator deals with truth, certain truth (D&C 100:11) and always it comes with the divine stamp of approval. Revelation maybe received in various ways, but it always presupposes that the revelator has so lived and conducted himself as to be in tune or harmony with the divine spirit of revelation, the spirit of truth, and therefore capable of receiving divine messages." (John A. Widstoe, Evidences and Reconciliations, p. 258.)
Three Reasons for Solemn Assemblies:
“A solemn assembly, as the name implies, denotes a sacred, sober, and reverent occasion when the Saints assemble under the direction of the First Presidency. Solemn assemblies are used for three purposes: the dedication of temples, special instruction to priesthood leaders, and sustaining a new President of the Church” (David B. Haight, “Solemn Assemblies,” General Conference, October 1994).
At the 2018 Solemn Assembly, Elder Neil L. Anderson reminded us:
“By our own will and choice, we raised our hand this morning, declaring our desire to sustain the Lord’s prophet with our “confidence, faith, and prayer[s]” and to follow his counsel. We have the privilege as Latter-day Saints to receive a personal witness that President Nelson’s call is from God.” (Elder Neil L. Anderson, “The Prophet of God,” April General Conference 2018)
Aaron and Hur upholding the arms of the prophet in Exodus 17:12-14:
"12 But Moses’ hands awere heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur bstayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.
"14 And the Lord said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a abook, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of bAmalek from under heaven" (Exodus 17:12-14).
"Thus God has provided a means that man, through faith, might work mighty miracles; therefore he becometh a great benefit to his fellow beings" (Mosiah 8:18)
“Jehovah-nissi”: The Lord is my banner (see verse and footnote A of Exodus 17:15).
- In Mosiah 8:20, wisdom is described as “she.”
- Wisdom in Greek: "Sophia," feminine noun (see biblehub.com under "parts of speech").
- Wisdom in Hebrew: "Chokmah" feminine noun (see biblehub.com under "parts of speech").
- Wisdom Literature includes: Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Songs of Solomon, and Job
Who wrote the chapter headings?
"The Record of Zeniff—An account of his people, from the time they left the land of Zarahemla until the time that they were delivered out of the hands of the Lamanites" (Heading before chapter summary of Mosiah 9).
The heading before the chapter summary of Mosiah 9 was written by Mormon and was part of the original record given to the Prophet Joseph Smith. Similar headings, also written by Mormon, appear at the beginning of other books and chapters in the Book of Mormon. (The phrase “comprising chapters 9 to 22 inclusive” was added in 1879, when the Book of Mormon was published in chapter format. The word "inclusive" was deleted in 2013. The brief summaries that precede each chapter of the Book of Mormon were added in the 1920 edition.)
What happened to Zeniff's people?
- (Mosiah 9:1-2) Zeniff's people contend with each other in the wilderness, the survivors return to Zarahemla.
- (Mosiah 9:3) Zeniff admits his flaw in being overzealous. He recognizes that they were slow to remember the Lord their God because of their zeal to inherit their lands of inheritance.
- (Mosiah 9:17) They went forth to battle "in the strength of [their] Lord." Cross reference: Ecclesiastes 7:12, Ecclesiastes 7:19
- (Mosiah 9:18) God did hear their cries and help them in delivering the Lamanites out of their land.
- (Mosiah 10:11) The Lamanites did not depend on the strength of the Lord, they depended on their own strength.
The tradition of the Laminates:
"12 They were a awild, and ferocious, and a blood-thirsty people, believing in the btradition of their fathers, which is this—Believing that they were driven out of the land of Jerusalem because of the iniquities of their fathers, and that they were cwronged in the wilderness by their brethren, and they were also wronged while crossing the sea;
"17 And thus they have taught their children that they should hate them, and that they should murder them, and that they should rob and plunder them, and do all they could to destroy them; therefore they have an eternal hatred towards the children of Nephi" (Mosiah 10:11-12, 17)
Scriptural guidance on parenting: D&C 68:25-31
“Lessons taught in the home by goodly parents are becoming increasingly important in today’s world, where the influence of the adversary is so widespread. As we know, he is attempting to erode and destroy the very foundation of our society—the family. In clever and carefully camouflaged ways, he is attacking commitment to family life throughout the world and undermining the culture and covenants of faithful Latter-day Saints. Parents must resolve that teaching in the home is a most sacred and important responsibility. While other institutions such as church and school can assist parents to “train up a child in the way he [or she] should go” (Proverbs 22:6), this responsibility ultimately rests on the parents. According to the great plan of happiness, it is goodly parents who are entrusted with the care and development of Heavenly Father’s children. (L. Tom Perry, "Becoming Goodly Parents," General Conference, October 2012)
Palm Sunday 2020, you guys, we participated in a solemn assembly which was incredible. I mean solemn assemblies, generally they're held for three main reasons, a dedication of temples, special instruction to priesthood leaders and members, and sustaining a new president of the Church.
Now, I personally will never forget the solemn assembly of 2018. That solemn assembly, I was driving down I-15 in Utah, as I listened to President Henry B. Eyring ask for each of us to sustain the new Prophet and First Presidency. And I remember the power that I felt as the women of the Church were asked to sustain President Nelson as the Prophet, seer, revelator, and President of the Church.
That kind of stood out to me, all four of those things. And for me, it was just, it was so powerful and divine, and it was inspired and appreciated, and today we are going to talk about Mosiah chapter 7 through 10, where we introduced the words "prophet, seer, and revelator." And we're going to talk about the roles that those words play in our lives and in Christ's Kingdom here on earth today.
Welcome to the Sunday on Monday Study Group, a Deseret Bookshelf PLUS+ original and it's 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. And I'm your host, Tammy Uzelac Hall. If you're new to our study group, we want to make sure that you know how to use our podcasts. So maybe you're an overachiever, which I really wish I was, but I was not given that spiritual gift, and if you are and you want to listen to your scripture study and get it all done in one day, you can listen to the full study group discussion all at once.
But something cool about this podcast is you can also listen to it in segments, one segment per day as you study your scriptures. And each segment is about 10 to 12 minutes. I just love the idea of studying your scriptures 10 to 12 minutes a day and you're done. At the end of each segment, you're going to hear a little bit of music like those storybooks when we were kids, you're gonna hear the little "bling" and so listen for the music and that will be the end of the segment.
Now another really awesome thing about our study group is that each week we are joined by two of my friends. So today I get to introduce two women that I love so much, Holly Butterfield Rawlings and Ruth Cook. Hi, ladies.
We're recording from very unusual circumstances. "COVID convenient" is what I'm calling it. I'm in my closet. Holly, and Holly, I'm going to call you "HB" the entire time because I've known you for so long. And you were Holly Butterfield forever and then you got married. So when you guys hear me say "HB" just know I'm talking to Holly. Holly, where are you coming to us from?
I'm coming to you live from my bed in my bedroom in South Jordan.
I call it the "B.O.B" the "Bed Office Building."
I like that, the "B.O.B"
Oh I'll be at the "R.O.B" or the "C.O.B"
Oh, Ruth is at the C.O.B Actually. She's in the "Car Office Building."
Yes I am, in the Toyota Sienna.
Are you in your garage?
This is gonna be a fun recording.
I'm about to lock my kids in my Toyota Sienna and tell them "they're doing car camping tonight."
Until the COVID-19's over.
Until COVID-19's over.
It's not homeschool, it's car school.
There you go. I mean, it's been a little bit much I'm not gonna lie. I was saying earlier that I wish the teachers would just call it a day and wish us well and let summer begin a month early because...
Well, my kid has just turned 13 and we started Driver's Ed. I let them drive around the church parking lot.
You did not?
Yes, I did. So that's the kind of school I'm running over here.
But for liability reasons, Holly's kidding.
Please, no one call Authorities. She's a really good mom.
I didn't say whose church it was.
Oh, well, there you go. There you go. All right. So if you want to find out more about my delinquent friends or see what they look like, you can find information about them in our show notes and you'll find that at LDSLiving.com/SundayonMonday.
Now we have four chapters, which doesn't seem like much but again, every time we have a few chapters, it's just packed with so much good information. And this week, Mosiah chapter seven through 10 is like a story within a story within a story. And so each segment is going to have a little bit of background or history that you'll need in order for the chapter to make sense.
So I'm going to go through it, and you're going to love Mosiah chapters 7 through 10. So, are you guys ready?
Ready to go.
Okay, grab your scriptures. Let's dig in. Here we go.
Do you guys remember those books when you were kids, the "Choose Your Own Adventure" books?
That I own.
You own them, what?
I was at a Savers which is one of my favorite thrift stores in Utah, and I was kind of skulking around because a worker was putting some out and I waited and I bought the whole set.
You could sell those on eBay and pay for your kids go to college.
I might, I might have to after all this. You never know.
I loved those books so much. In fact, that's all I did book reports on was that and the "Guinness Book of World Records," that was also my favorite book growing up.
And I believe "Super Fudge," you turned in that report?
Well, that's true, one too many times. I always joke that that's the last book I ever read. It may have been, that might be true. Well, I want you to think about this idea of "choose your own adventure" because that is kind of the setup for what we're going to study here in Mosiah 7 through 10. And so, I'm just curious, Ruth and HB, has this part of the Book of Mormon ever confused you, how it goes back and forth, and any thoughts about that?
Completely confuses me.
I've been faking my way through this section of the Book of Mormon and every calling I've had since my mission.
All right, Holly, then this one's for you. You're going to love knowing who the characters are in this story and the order that they come in the story. Okay, so here's what I want you to do. Grab a piece of paper, and for those of you listening, pause, go get a piece of paper and a pen because you're going to want to write these names down. And I'm going to give you some names in an order that you're going to need that will be so helpful as we study these chapters.
So on your piece of paper, the first name I want you to write is Mosiah number one. Now Mosiah number one dates back to the Book of Omni where a man by the name of Amalaki has the plates. At the very end of that book, he sort of tells us a little story like, "Hey, and by the way, there was this man named Mosiah who was born of the Lord that he should leave the land of Lehi. And so he did and he took a bunch of people with him, and he went out and he actually found these people who were the people of Zarahemla, and the people of Zarahemla and the people of Mosiah unite, and they become one."
So that's Mosiah number one. Then Mosiah has a son by the name of King Benjamin, and that's the King Benjamin who gives us King Benjamin's address. Now he has a son, and we're going to call him "Mosiah Number Two." This is who will take the place of King Benjamin, and he's going to lead the people and he's going to meet up with Alma the Younger later on in the Book of Mormon, and so that is Mosiah number two. Now another name you're going to put on your piece of paper, is Zeniff. "Z, e, n, i, f, f."
Now Zeniff dates back to Mosiah number one. When Mosiah number one left and went to Zerahelma, this man by the name of Zeniff was like, "You know what?" He was in Zarahemla for a while, and then he thought, "I want to go back and find our lands of inheritance. So I'm out of here." And he took several people with them. I really like this part of the Book of Mormon, Amalaki says, "You know, one of my brothers went with Zeniff, and I don't even know where he is anymore. I haven't seen or heard from him since."
So Zeniff leaves the land of Zarahemla to go and find his land of inheritance. We'll get to that story later today. Zeniff is then going to have a son by the name of King Noah. And this is wicked King Noah that we read about, and then King Noah's going to have a son by the name of King Limhi. And we'll read about him also later today.
After King Limhi then, I want you just to add the word "spies," and then add the words "the Jaredites/brother of Jared," and we'll come upon them later in our story, we won't fill anything out about them.
Those are the main characters in today's narrative. And I think it's important for us to understand and know who they are. So I have to say that the complexity of this story is sort of for me like a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book because it goes back and forth and to and fro, it's all over the place. And so for me, it's kind of another testament of the authenticity of the Book of Mormon because I can't believe someone could actually write like this and write so well, in the short amount of time that Joseph Smith had to translate the plates.
You know, I like the way some scholars put it. I'm just gonna read this quote, "Those who knew the Prophet, testified that he could not have created such a complex storyline out in his own head. As it was, nearly translating such an interrelated and interwoven narratives, required Joseph Smith to depend entirely on the gift and power of God to translate, and the help of several others to write while he translated without repeating previous lines when resuming translation," and that's written by D. Kelly Ogden and Andrew C. Skinner, they wrote a really great book called "Verse by verse: The Book of Mormon." I highly recommend it.
Now, Holly, you're our resident English professor, what are your thoughts on that?
Well, you know, I think that it comes down to trying to fathom... there's no way that Joseph Smith was, the schooling that he had, just of his own means, could have come up with such a rich and intertwined piece of literature. Not a chance. It is a record of what really happened. It wouldn't work out as the narrative.
Yeah, absolutely. This is just the beginning. There's so much more to come. And I'm going to give you names to add to your paper, so I want you to hold on to that. And in the next segment, we're going to learn about Limhi, and we're going to study the doctrines found in Mosiah chapter 7 through 8.
Segment 2 10:07
So I'm just curious, Holly, Ruth, have you guys ever been called to repentance? Has someone ever called you out?
Yeah, and it feels crushing at that moment.
Yes, and I remember it so clearly, and it was on my mission. I had a companion who followed every rule to the letter of the law. And in my immaturity, I was really offended by that because she'd turn off the lights at 10:30. And I got so mad at her about that and I would say, "You know, Sister, I'm brushing my teeth." And I remember, you know, things weren't going well. And my mission President called me and said, "Sister Butterfield, you can learn to love the sister in two weeks, or you can learn to love her in six weeks."
And the next day was the day we wrote our weekly letter. And I wrote, boy, "I, in the last 10 hours, I have really learned to love this Sister so much, and appreciate all her strengths..." and everything was a lie in the letter. And then he'd already told me to knock it off, and then when he got the letter, I got another phone call. And he told me that my job was not to administer, but my job was to minister.
And that the number one person to minister to was this sister. And oh, boy, I wanted to be the dust of the earth, you know?
Oh, I bet. Especially because I know how much you loved your mission president.
Oh, boy. Did I ever. Do I still.
Well Holly, I'm really glad you shared that story because Mosiah chapter seven is entirely about a group of people being called out. It struck me as I read this because I thought, "Wow, this must have hurt." So let me give you a little bit of history for this. Now we are in Mosiah chapter seven, and we are at Mosiah number two. And Mosiah number two decides he needs to send some spies. He wanted to find out what happened to the people of Lehi-Nephi so he actually sends some spies, and if you look at Mosiah chapter seven, you can see their names, it's kind of fun.
So next to "spies" put "Mosiah chapter seven, verse three, verse six," their names are Ammon, Amaleki, Helem, and Hem. And these spies go into the land of Lehi-Nephi and when they get there, they're captured, they're imprisoned, and the king at the time whose name is Limhi comes to see them and starts to talk to them and saying, "Who are you? What are you doing here in our land?" And Ammon explains who he is. He's like, "Well, we're from the land of Zarahemla and we just came to find out what happened to our friends and some of our family members."
Ruth, will you just look at verse 14, and tell me how did Limhi react when he found out who Ammon was? I love the word in there.
He was "exceedingly glad."
Yes, he's so happy because now he's realizing, "You're on our side! This is so great. Because listen, we've been in bondage to the Lamanites for a really long time. They've been taxing us this whole time, and we want out, we got to get out of here. And we just can't seem to leave because we are being held in bondage too." I mean, he's so happy thinking this is his ticket to freedom, right?
And so he and Ammon are together, and they're talking, but I love what Limhi then says. He turns to his people, and he's like, "Listen, everybody gather tomorrow at the temple because I've got some words for you." And I love that he follows this pattern of speaking to the people from the temple, which is just all over in Scripture. So the people come back together, he starts to talk to them, and he says, "Listen," there's where he calls them out. And I want us to read the calling out. So this is found in Mosiah chapter seven, verse 20. He says, "You guys, we need help. We got to get out of this situation and the only way we're going to do it, is if we repent."
Let's remember Mosiah chapter seven, verse 20. And Holly, HB, will you read that for us?
"And again, that same God has brought our fathers out of the land of Jerusalem and has kept and preserved his people even until now; and behold, it is because of our iniquities and abominations that he has brought us into bondage."
Thank you. Limhi is like, "Listen, we were pretty bad, like we did some pretty bad things," and when I read this, and I thought, I'm like, "Wow, what did they do?" Now remember, back into our history, Limhi's Dad is King Noah, wicked King Noah. And so Limhi and a lot of his people, they were alive during King Noah's reign.
Later on we'll study King Noah, but he was pretty bad, but not just the king, so were his people. He had such a great influence. I love that Hugh Nibley calls him the "Most popular king in the Book of Mormon" because he was so awful and wicked and everybody loved it, and so they were too. So Limhi's like, "You guys remember how bad you were? Remember my dad. He led us all into bondage with all of the sins that we were committing, like we have a lot to repent of, if we want the Lord to help us."
So now let's go down to Mosiah chapter 7, and let's look at verse 26 through 29. Ruth, will you read verse 26 for us?
"And a prophet of the Lord have they slain; yea, a chosen man of God, who told them of their wickedness and abominations, and prophesied of many things which are to come, yea, even the coming of Christ."
Write the name "Abinadi" next to that verse.
But why can't they just say, "This is Abinadi," that would have been awesome and like, "Oh, this is why you know the story."
Yeah, I know, as it said, "and a prophet Abinadi of the Lord have they..." I know, I totally agree.
So put your own in there and write "Abinadi." So he's saying, "Remember, Abinadi? We killed him. Many of you were there, some of you probably weren't. But remember how that happened? Like we were wicked." And then verses 27 all the way through 29. I'm just going to have you put in this cross reference. On the side of your scriptures, write "Mosiah chapter 12 through 18."
The whole story of Abinadi and all of their wickedness is found in Mosiah chapter 12, verse 18, and that's what Limhi's reminding them of in verses 27 and 28. "We killed Abinadi. We are wicked and we need God's help."
Hey, you know what I think is so cool Tam, is that you can be the most vile of sinners and you can come from a long line of wickedness, and you can always, always change.
Oh, yeah. You can always come to the Lord.
And Limhi said, and I like how you said that Holly because Limhi is setting the people up for that exact conversation. He's saying, "Listen, we were sinners, and we've got to change our ways. We've got this guy Ammon here and he's going to help us, but the Lord won't." Let's go to Mosiah chapter seven, verses 29 through 31.
I want us to read Limhi's words to his people because he's telling them why they've been stuck, and why they've been in bondage to the Lamanites. So let's start there, and Ruth, I'm gonna have you read this time and then I'm gonna come back to HB in a minute.
Verse 29: "For behold, the Lord hath said: I will not succor my people in the day of their transgression; but I will hedge up their ways that they prosper not; and their doings shall be as a stumbling block before them."
So when it says... okay "succor" it’s an important word, right?
Yeah, let's go ahead and mark that. I'm glad you brought that up. We've studied that word before in past sections.
I remember that coming up, but I don't remember what it means.
It means "to run, giving aid or help." How interesting is that, that the Lord has said, "I will not run and give aid or help to my people in the day of their transgression." That's so significant.
Oh, in the day.
But I think it's so interesting. He says, "I'm not going to do it in that day. This is what I will do..." he says, "I will hedge up their ways." And when I think about that, I think of it like a speed bump.
Yeah, I mean, well go on.
"I'm going to slow it down so that you have a chance to repent."
Yes. I love the idea of a speed block right there. That's such a great way to put it, Holly. He's gonna give us a speed block, so we have time to repent. The stumbling block is before them. Now look what else he says. And in verse 30 and 31 there's some words I want us to mark and write what the meanings are, so I might stop you. But Ruth, keep reading in verse 30.
Okay, verse 30: "And again, he saith: If my people shall sow filthiness they shall reap the chaff thereof in the whirlwind; and the effect thereof is poison."
Highlight "chaff." That word it means the "non nutritious waste product of wheat that's separated from the grain by the wind when it's tossed up into the air." It's a really cool process if you want to YouTube it, I recommend it. This process is called "sifting." And Satan desires to sift the saints like chaff, like he wants to separate us from our soul saving nutritious grain of the gospel, and he counts to carry us away in the winds of wickedness.
And look at verse 31. I like the imagery in this one. HB, read 31 for us.
"And again he saith: If my people shall sow filthiness they shall reap the east wind, which bringeth immediate destruction."
Highlight "east wind," this one is so intriguing to me. So the east wind is a destructive wind, which originates in the east. And it's cool because it's symbolic of the direction of deities presence. So it's also called the "Wind of the Lord." And you can cross reference Hosea, Chapter 13, verse 15 to that. It's prepared by God and it's the purpose of destroying the ungodly and the unrighteous.
Isn't that interesting that he will send out that east wind, but then the beauty of this whole thing and it goes back to what we said, that he won't help us in the day of our transgression, but he will help us and here are the terms.
Verse 33. This is how the Lord will help us and I'll read verse 33.
"But if ye will turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind, if ye do this, he will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you out of bondage."
So Limhi's saying, "Listen, let's just come together, repent, God wants to help us. We just have to become better. Turn to with a full purpose of heart to Him, and we're going to get out of here. Isn't that we all want?"
We all want to get out of bondage.
Yeah, safe and sound, out of bondage, perfect.
This verse reminds me, I had a roommate in college, who one time sat down with me when I was struggling about prayer and wondering if God was even listening to me, and she said, "Holly, in the very moment, you say, 'Dear Heavenly Father' it's like He took drops everything, and He, His full attention is on you."
And I thought that was so beautiful because I never really thought about it like that because I thought you know, I get caught up in well, I mean there's wars going on and people starving and you know how would he have time to listen for me, but He has that ability because He's our Heavenly Father that He can, the second we say "Dear Heavenly Father" He is dialed right in.
And He does succor, and He does come running.
He does come running.
Yes, He does. He wants to, of His own will and pleasure, deliver us, save us, right?
100%. Oh, Holly, thank you for saying that I love the idea of that, the minute you say "Dear Heavenly Father."
In that instant.
In that instant. So that's what Limhi is teaching his people. They To Say, "Dear Heavenly Father," so they can leave. And so after Limhi encourages his people to repent, he then seeks the expertise of somebody who could interpret languages, and to help translate these plates that he's found. We're going to talk about why he was looking for a translator and who can do that in the next segment.
Segment 3 22:17
Do you guys remember the closing song from this last past general conference that we had? And we sang "We Thank Thee, O God, for a prophet."
I loved it. Absolutely loved it.
Let me preface that I love the Tabernacle Choir at Temple square. I really do. But I kind of felt like what they did for that closing song was just a breath of fresh air because what they did is they highlighted little choirs throughout the whole world, and the people that normally you don't get to see, and for me it felt like, "Yes, we are connected." That it's not the conference center, that conference is all of us, and everybody has a voice. And I loved seeing those little, those little groups all over the world because I was able to see the Worldwide Church as people. And that like, "Yeah, I can be friends with them. Those are my people."
Well and I love that it's sort of like our anthem. And Holly, you have if I'm remembering correctly, don't you have a really cool story about that song?
I do. I had a moment in my life where I had mixed feelings about singing that song. I had just returned from my mission, and I went to hear President Howard W. Hunter speak at BYU. And we were all seated in the Marriott Center, which holds about 25,000 people, President Hunter was standing and he was shaky on his feet at that time, he was having trouble walking, and but he was making his way to the podium when a man came running down out of the audience.
And I saw him out of the corner of my eye. He was moving as fast as he could go down those steep stairs, and he leaped over the velvet rope and jumped on stage and he was holding something in his hand, and he yelled, "I have a bomb, and if you don't let me take the microphone, I'm gonna blow this place up."
Oh my gosh.
And President Hunter is just standing there at the podium silently, and it couldn't have been more than 10 seconds, I heard a young woman's voice begin to sing "We Thank Thee, O God, for a prophet" and my first thought was "don't antagonize this guy, pipe it down." You know. I'm looking for the nearest exit, and one by one, by 10s, by hundreds, and then even I began to sing "We Thank Thee, O God, for a prophet."
The room was filled with power, and then these young men, they jumped over the curtains and barricade and they tackled this guy and President Hunter's bodyguards threw themselves on top of the Prophet knocked him down to the ground to cover him from the impending blast. And these young boys struggled with this assailant and had him pinned to the ground. The police came in, cuffed him, took him away. The bodyguards got up off President Hunter, helped him to his feet, he walked to the podium, and began his address.
Oh my gosh, that's a good story. Incredible
This idea of a prophet, we talk a lot about it in our church because we believe in a living prophet. I want you to think about the terms "Prophet, seer, and revelator." And what you know about those three words because we're going to talk about those. And as you're thinking about that, I want to give you a little bit of background about why these words are introduced in Mosiah chapter eight. So Ammon gives a little bit of a speech to the people after Limhi, then he teaches the people King Benjamin's address, he's like, "Let me catch up on what's happened so far."
And when that's over, Limhi says, "Hey, do you know a guy that could interpret some records because I got to tell you a story." And so here's another "Choose Your Own Adventure" part like we're going to go back in time. Limhi actually sent more spies to go and find the people of Zarahemla. And as they're out wandering, they get lost, and they don't find them, but they actually find a place where there are bones, and then they find these records.
And they're like, "Wow, somebody used to live here," and they bring the records back to Limhi, and he's like, "Now I've got these records, but I have no idea what's on them." And in verse nine, it says that "they're engravings, they're on pure gold." And these plates, you'll see if you go into Mosiah chapter eight, and it's in verse eight, right next to the side of verse eight and nine, I want you to write "Brother of Jared" or "Jaredites." That's who this is. Going clear back to the Book of Ether. How cool is that?
That's another place where I wish they would have just like put in parentheses like, "Hey, this belongs to a cool story that you know."
Yeah. So Limhi says to Ammon, "Can you translate these plates for me?" And in my mind, Ammon says, "No, but I know a guy."
My Uncle Joey.
Yeah, he's got this great skill. So he introduces us to who can interpret these plates in Mosiah chapter 8, verses 13 through 18. And this is where we get the term "prophet, seer, and revelator." Now, we're gonna talk about that, and so I want you guys to tell me, do you know the difference or is there anything that stands out, "prophet, seer, revelator."
Well, I know a seer is greater than a "prophet."
Mmhmm. And that's exactly from Mosiah. Good job, Holly.
Right. And I had memorized that for a test. But I think it's a "threefer." I mean, you know, we sustain our prophet as a prophet, seer, and revelator.
Very good. Now, this is what was so fascinating to me because you can be a seer and not be a prophet, and you can be a prophet and not be a seer. And a seer is greater than all three. Here's some cool things, write down those three words on your paper, "prophet, seer, revelator." And I'm just going to give you a little bit information about each one.
So Harold B. Lee said this about a prophet, "Anyone who enjoys the gift by which he may have God revealed has the spirit of prophecy, the power of revelation, and, in a sense, is a prophet within the sphere of responsibility and authority given to him" (Stand Ye in Holy Places, p. 155).
And so when we have a prophet, he is set apart as a prophet. Now we have the word seer. Now in Hebrew, it's really neat because this word in Hebrew is "ro'eh" which means "one who sees, or one who looks." And the ancient usage of this term is designated seers as a distinct class of prophets. Isn't that interesting?
That it's from an ancient word and when we talk about the ability to see with spiritual eyes, you can cross reference Mosiah chapter 1, verse 11 to that. And this is really cool about a seer which I didn't really, I didn't realize this, and Elder Orson F. Whitney said this.
"It is not an ordinary ecclesiastical duty within the Church but rather is a 'supernatural endowment' belonging to those who have been sustained as seers and who hold those seeric keys (see Elder Orson F. Whitney, Saturday Night Thoughts, pp. 39-40)."
Isn't that cool?
So it's not it's not like a calling. But when they say "keys," are they talking about like priesthood keys or...?
I would think it is a calling because, because he said you have to be sustained.
Correct, but when we sustain him as a prophet, seer and revelator, he is then given the keys to be a seer.
Yes. Oh, I thought that was really interesting because now when I think of how we call him a prophet, seer, and revelator, then the revelator is one who uncovers and restores truth to the Lord's people.
So not every prophet has also been called to be a seer and revelator.
Correct. Yes, so you can be a prophet and not a seer. You can be a seer and not a prophet necessarily. But a seer is the greatest of all three. The ability to see with spiritual eyes, the ability to see what's coming, I mean, that's really cool. But the revelator is a, and I like how Elder John A. Widtsoe said this, "A revelator is a bearer of new truth. A revelator makes known, with the Lord's help, something before unknown."
Isn't that great?
So like show something that other people cannot see.
Yeah. He says right here, "It may be a new or forgotten truth, or a new or forgotten application of known truth demands need." He says, "Always the revelator deals with truth."
We set apart our Prophet as a prophet, seer and revelator. So here's my question for you, when you're thinking about this right now and you think about our modern day Prophet, our Prophet today, President Nelson, is there anything specific that stands out to you that he has seen or revealed?
Do you want that like alphabetical or by conference session? Right?
What one stands out to you the most?
Oh, I think right now in the environment that we're in, it's home centered church supported worship. I mean, who would have thought that that's where we would find ourselves. And the interesting side note with that is when they had changed the age for young boys to get the Aaronic priesthood, I was mad. Because I have a December baby, and so he lost a full year of primary and was ordained at 11. But now looking back, I can see so many blessings from that that not just my dad was able to be there, my dad has since passed, but my dad was able to be there for the ordination.
But now I look across and I see my husband blessing the sacrament and I see my son passing it, and I think that's really cool. That's really cool. And I know that he knew, he knows what we need. He knows where the Church needs to go, and he knows the way we need to be nudged and moved, and sometimes picked up and replanted somewhere that doesn't feel comfortable because he knows.
And what you said about that Elder Widtsoe said, goes along with what Ruth just said that I mean, I had forgotten that my home is where the gospel is centered. I thought it was across the street and around the corner and over in the building. I had forgotten that truth.
I love that.
I do too.
You know, I had a real moment of clarity on Sunday, we had just finished having the sacrament and a middle mini lesson for my 11 year old. And as I was cleaning up the kitchen and kind of getting ready for the next meal that I was going to cook, I'm like, "I can't cook one more meal, but I'm going to do this. I'm gonna do my family a solid and cook them a meal on Sunday night." But as I was thinking about this, this thought came into my mind which was "the gospel of Jesus Christ is preparatory" and I've always known that, it's always preparing us for something.
But three years ago or maybe four when the Church kind of took on this Keeping the Sabbath day holy lesson. Remember everything was about keeping the Sabbath day holy? I remember thinking, "Wow, they must really be calling people out. We clearly have a problem with keeping the Sabbath day holy." And as clear as day in the kitchen this thought came to me which was, "It was never about calling anyone out. It was about preparing us to see what it really means to keep the Sabbath day holy on your own volition."
Like on my very own, what does it mean for me right now because I'm not going to Church. And every day is the same for me right now, every day of the week is the exact same, I can't even remember if it is a Sunday, and I have to make a conscious effort to make Sunday such a different day than any other day of the week.
And it just hit me that I thought, "Wow, three years ago, the prophet was like, 'maybe we should have our people reconsider how they observe with their Sabbath because there will be a day when they're the only ones observing it for themselves without a two hour stitch.'" And so I kind of wrote this down in my journal that I said, "Maybe we were being prepared for this crazy time and maybe it was never about what we weren't doing right, but what we would soon be asked to do, and maybe for me, that was going to be the blood on my door post."
How the Lord said, "I will protect you if you put, for I will pass over you," and maybe keeping the Sabbath day holy is my Passover, my blood on my doorpost, how will I observe my Sabbath? And I think this wise prophet three years ago is like, "We need to prepare our people to observe a Sabbath."
I love that, Tam.
When you were talking about that, I also thought about that he knew what we would need to nourish ourselves to make it through the week because I know in today's environment and that climate we need that, we need to be nourished and to have that reset. It seemed like forever we were having lessons about "keep the Sabbath day holy," and it's like, "Yeah, I think we got it." But it's like, "No, we were being prepared to own it." To kind of live the higher law of keeping the Sabbath day holy that no one's holding your hand. You have to really believe.
Yeah, thank you Ruth.
So Mosiah chapter 8 just instructed us about a prophet, seer, and revelator. And in the next segment, we're going to talk about how upholding a prophet through faith and prayer will actually give us the glories of the kingdom.
Segment 4 36:05
So I talked about the solemn assembly experience that we had in this past General Conference when we started the episode, and I'm just curious to know, what was that like for you guys to do a solemn assembly in your home. Now, in the last episode I asked Tamu and Shar about it, but I'm just curious to know real quick. What was it like for you?
Ours began with me yelling up the stairs at my daughter to get her butt down in front of the TV and get out of the shower. So she came down in a bathrobe with her hair in a towel, like the house was on fire because I believe I yelled and not lovingly, "You're missing it!"
So real positive. That's awesome. Yeah, love it.
But I mean, I was kind of going crazy about it but she hustled down there and they knew, they knew like "something matters, like yeah we better pay attention to this," and you know they had just built a dog temple for Monty our dog, and they were letting him go in and out without a recommend, out of a cardboard box.
I love that Ruth said "reasonable."
Not without a recommend. I don't support that part about it. They should've given him a recommend.
It could have been on his dog collar. But they knew something important was happening.
Yeah. Ruth, what about you?
I really enjoyed it. I wanted my kids to understand that this was special and I couldn't find any handkerchiefs so I got some - I think they were paper towels or Kleenex or something, and after I convinced my kids that the world was not ending, and that we were doing this as a special commemoration of Joseph Smith, and it was cool that for them it, I think that was probably the first time that they had remember doing that. So overall, I was really lucky that my kids were sitting down and we were able to have that brief moment of like, "This is important, and we're doing this together."
Well you know, for me, I'm not a wear my Sunday clothes all day on Sunday kind of gal, I'll wear it to church, and then I want to come home and change. And maybe it's the seminary teacher in me, but I had to wear dresses all day every day, so I just want to be out of my dress. But I did say to my kids, this is pretty important. I kind of feel like maybe we should wear a skirt or something.
Oh, yeah, I did that too.
I mean, you know it might have been with like a you know, Camp Winnipeg t-shirt, but at least they had a skirt on. So I wasn't gonna fight that. But it was pretty special and when we talk about the use of solemn assemblies in our religion, and I gave the three reasons at the beginning, but the three main reasons why we have solemn assemblies in our church, are number one, we do it when we dedicate a new temple. The second reason is for special instruction to priesthood leaders and members, and then the third reason is for sustaining a new prophet in the Church.
And when we have these solemn assemblies, well the one I specifically mentioned was when President Nelson was put in as a prophet. I want to read this quote by Elder Neil L. Anderson, and he spoke right after the solemn assembly in 2018, and he reminded us why we just did that. And HB, will you read that quote for me?
“By our own will and choice, we raised our hand this morning, declaring our desire to sustain the Lord’s prophet with our “confidence, faith, and prayer[s]” and to follow his counsel. We have the privilege as Latter-day Saints to receive a personal witness that President Nelson’s call is from God.” (Elder Neil L. Anderson, “The Prophet of God,” April General Conference 2018)
Thank you, Holly. I love the idea when he says in here that we are going to sustain our Prophet, we raised our hands to do that to follow his counsel and to support what the prophet says, and the information we get from the Prophet. It made me think back to the story in Exodus chapter 17, verses 12 through 14. This is the story where the people of Amulek come to fight Moses and all of the other people. And so Moses says to Aaron and her, "I'm going to go to the top of this mountain, and I'm going to stand and every time I hold my staff up, the Lord is going to help us fight this battle."
And so he went up and he stood and he started to get so tired. So Aaron and her got a rock for him to sit down on and as he's sitting on the rock, holding up his staff, what do you think got really tired too?
Yeah, his arms. And so in the story, Aaron and her will actually hold and sustain and uphold his arms for the duration of that war, that fight that they had with Amulek and his people.
This idea of us sustaining and upholding the arms of the Prophet is what we do at a Solemn assembly. We are going to support and sustain him. I want you to think about this idea of sustaining and supporting the Prophet.
And you know what? I was just thinking Tammy, "I wonder what the metaphor of the 'arms' is," because really, what constitutes the arms of the Prophet nowadays? And we know that we are, you know, as we carry out the council the Prophet gives us, then we are his hands, we are his arms. And so this whole idea of holding up the arms of the Prophet, we're holding our brothers and sisters up, we're holding our neighbors up.
I think it goes back to ministering.
Right. Oh, yeah, I really like that.
It's kind of like, I kind of feel like ministering is the higher law of home teaching, visiting teaching because it's a deeper feeling, and it's not just doing but it's doing it for the right reasons, and doing it in the Lord's way. Not like as a checkmark, but it's because it's like well, "I love Holly. So I'm gonna bust my chops to serve Holly in every possible way that I can think of because I know if I can help her, that helps my ward family, that helps my Bishop, that helps a community estate."
And so in a small way, I am not going to ever have a chance to like go and hold up president Nelson's arms, but I can do my little bit in my little corner.
And today, Ruth brought me homemade tortillas. And if we think that's not holding up the arms of the Prophet, we'd be wrong because those tortillas fed my family tonight, and those tortillas taught my children for the 175th time, that when you're somebody's minister, then you look for ways to bless them. They see that example from Ruth, and they'll go forth and do the same.
Well and it's just by supporting the programs of the Church, and that program was instituted by our Prophet, and rather then turn your back and go, "Well, that's a stupid idea." You're doing it. You know, that's such great insight. Let's go into Mosiah, chapter eight, verse 18, and read about why we need to uphold a prophet. This is a neat connection. Ruth, will you read that please.
"Thus God has provided a means that man, through faith, might work mighty miracles; therefore he becometh a great benefit to his fellow beings."
And isn't the Prophet a great benefit to us?
It's, you know, it's interesting in this story, what I like about the story of Aaron and her, is when it's finished, and the war is won, the very last verse, Moses actually well, it's kind of cool, he creates this, he calls the place where they fought Jehovah-nissi and in Hebrew, it means "the Lord is my banner." Like that's what he's going to dedicate the whole fight and the win and everything to the term of "the LORD is my banner." I want you to think about this for a second, in your own life as you uphold the Prophet, what can we do as members of the Church to make the Lord our banner?
I gotta chew on that just for a minute Tam.
Yeah, it's pretty deep, isn't it? Like, why would he name the place where his arms were held? And they just won the war, why would he name this "The Lord is my banner."
Well, I kind of think of it as a banner, like that is what you carry into battle, whether it's you're carrying your army's flag, but when you said that I kind of think of that as my own personal banner that I'm carrying, like leading my family with my husband of what is the core of my strength and my faith, and what I'm putting my my trust in. Does that make sense?
Yeah, and it's like, "What's your theme song?"
Right. And I've been thinking about that a lot. I've been thinking of it in terms of a song, but what is my, what is the theme song of my family? Is it, "COVID-19's got us down," you know, or is it, "We can band together and do anything," you know, "with the Lord's help." Yeah, I need a lyricist but...
Well Ruth, I really do like what you said, "It's this banner you go into war, like The Lord is my banner, I will do what he asks, even when I don't necessarily like it. The Lord is my banner, I will trust in him." And there is wisdom in trusting in a prophet, there is wisdom in trusting in the Lord.
Let's go to Mosiah chapter eight, verse 20 because I think it's important for us to read this verse specifically about Wisdom because a lot of times people read it and they go, "Wait, what did that just say?" So I want us to mark it so we can understand this. So in Mosiah chapter eight, verse 20, HB will you read that?
"O how marvelous are the works of the Lord, and how long doth he suffer with his people; yea, and how blind and impenetrable are the understandings of the children of men; for they will not seek wisdom, neither do they desire that she should rule over them!"
Did anything... Like what?
Yeah, you know, what I was just thinking, what you were you know were just saying, about how, "I'll do, I'll do what the prophet asks, I'll trust in the Lord that he's called this person to be the Prophet." And I was thinking am I the only one who sometimes thinks like, "Well, what if this, you know, what if someone got it wrong or what is this is made up or..."
You know, I have moments like that where my faith wavers. I think it's so interesting, I was just thinking that when you were telling us "we're about to read verse 20" and how long does he suffer with his people? Well, in my case, a really long time because sometimes I'm blind, sometimes I am impenetrable, right? My heart is hard.
I don't look for wisdom in the right places, but then we know that his arms are stretched out still.
Oh, it's beautiful.
You can always come back. You can always turn from thinking that you know better than the Lord, you know better than the Prophet.
This idea of seeking wisdom. I love that you pointed that out with your own personal story, Holly. Something else that's cool about this verse that I want us to mark is at the very end when it says "neither do they desire that she should rule over them." I want you to circle the word "she."
Yeah, that's what I was wondering because that stood out to me when I read that.
Yeah, isn't that interesting Ruth. Circle the word "she" and connect it to the word "wisdom" right above it. This is such a neat concept to understand, and it is wisdom grammatically, in Hebrew, and in Greek is a feminine word. In fact, in Greek wisdom is the word "Sophia," which I told my daughter Sophia that so she feels very smart, which she needed in math this week.
But it's such a great idea and concept. This comes from what we call wisdom literature, and it is the book of Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Songs of Solomon, and job. And I would encourage anyone who's interested to do a little bit more research on wisdom literature, and how it talks about this divine feminine and women in general. And I'll have a link in my show notes where you can read about that.
But sometimes that slips people up like, "Wait, who are they desiring?" And so wisdom is "she" grammatically feminine, and it's just it's such a wonderful thing to study, so I highly recommend it.
The most important thing for us to understand about this at the end of Mosiah eight is, it's wise to follow a prophet, to seek his words, his words are wise, his ways are wise. And as we seek for this wisdom, it will lead us to following the words of a prophet, seer, and revelator, following the words of a man who speaks for Christ. In the next segment, we're going to talk about wisdom and what "she" looks like when it comes to keeping us safe and in some cases, actually keeping us alive.
Segment 5 49:37
Now, here's a "Choose Your Own Adventure." This is one of those parts of the story, and Zeniff definitely chose his own adventure. Let's go to Mosiah chapter nine and we're going to read this story. So I'm going to give you a little bit of background first. You see how it says the "record of Zeniff and account of his people from the time they left the land of Zarahemla." What I want you to know about that, is this heading, before the actual chapter summary, that was written by Mormon, and it was a part of the original record given to the Prophet Joseph Smith.
So when you see similar headings like that written in the Book of Mormon, Mormon wrote those, we wrote our own little section headings, but those specific headings were written and included. I think that's kind of neat.
I have a question, so were those kind of written to kind of connect these two sections to kind of clarify where we're going here?
Yes, because Ruth, I'm so glad you asked that question. The record of Zeniff now goes back 60 years in time. So we just ended with Limhi saying to Ammon, and to his people, "We want to get out of here. Do you know a prophet?" All of those good stories, and now we're going to go to Zeniff and Zeniff is Limhi's grandfather 60 years ago.
This is Zeniff's story. When we talked about how he left Mosiah, remember back in the book of Omni? Mosiah's told, "You need to leave with your people and go to Zarahemla." Well Zeniff is like, "Nah, I think I want to go back to my lands of inheritance. So he took a group of people with him. And as he takes this group of people, here's their story. Ruth read for us in chapter nine verses one and two. We'll start with that.
"I, Zeniff, having been taught in all the language of the Nephites, and having had a knowledge of the land of Nephi, or of the land of our fathers’ first inheritance, and having been sent as a spy among the Lamanites that I might spy out their forces, that our army might come upon them and destroy them—but when I saw that which was good among them I was desirous that they should not be destroyed."
Then in verse two: "Therefore, I contended with my brethren in the wilderness, for I would that our ruler should make a treaty with them; but he being an austere and a blood-thirsty man commanded that I should be slain; but I was rescued by the shedding of much blood; for father fought against father, and brother against brother, until the greater number of our army was destroyed in the wilderness; and we returned, those of us that were spared, to the land of Zarahemla, to relate that tale to their wives and their children."
Depressing, it's like the Civil War.
It does remind me of the Civil War. The American war.
Yeah, you know and Zeniff goes back to say to the wives and children, "Sorry, here's what happened." But then look at verse three. Ruth, keep reading.
Okay, because I was wondering, there's a word in here that I was wondering about.
"And yet, I being over-zealous to inherit the land of our fathers, collected as many as were desirous to go up to possess the land, and started again on our journey into the wilderness to go up to the land; but we were smitten with famine and sore afflictions; for we were slow to remember the Lord our God."
"And yet I being overzealous to inherit the land of our fathers, collected as many as we're desirous to go up to possess the land, and started again on our journey into the wilderness to go up to the land, but we were smitten with famine and sore afflictions, for we were slow to remember the Lord our God."
Let's underline that. The part that says, "For we were slow to remember the Lord our God." Now, Ruth, you said you had a question about a word.
I was wondering about being "overzealous." And what's the deal with the "land of inheritance?"
Oh, that's a great question.
Like, I know, I get that it's like his land and that's what was given to them, but if you're coming up against you know famine and sore afflictions, it doesn't say what those sore afflictions are, but at a certain point wouldn't you think like, "You know, this might not be worth it." So what's the deal with land of inheritance?
Well, I think Ruth what you said was absolutely right. He wants to go back and possess the land that originally Nephi settled with his people when he broke off from his brothers. That's the land we're talking about.
The original, okay, okay.
But remember, the Lord told Mosiah, "Get out." The Lord told Mosiah number one, "You probably should leave the land of Lehi-Nephi and so they all left and went to Zarahemla and joined forces with those people. It was a good thing. This Zeniff what makes him so unique is that word you said in verse three, he was what?
Yeah, that's a really interesting word. Because it's okay to be zealous isn't it, as a zealous member of the Church? But overzealous? That's kind of a scary place to be like when we think about knowing more than anybody else, thinking that what we are doing, it's excess, it's to excess. It's very eager to overcome this land that he didn't care about anybody. Like many people died before, and he's like, "Yeah, we're going to go back anyway and try it again."
So it's kind of like going too far because of your own terms or your own desires. So when he says, "We were slow to remember God," that that's the connection that he wasn't following the spirit and what he should be doing, but he wanted it.
Perfect connection Ruth. It's exactly it.
Well, and I think how we get caught up in that in modern day times, you know, we think, "Oh, my son is going to go on his mission as close to his 18th birthday as possible," that it somehow makes you more righteous, or more special, if you, you know, have two years of food storage, not just one, you know, one.
And I can see for Zeniff, it's like I think there's well intending overzealous people. I was a very overzealous missionary and my intentions were good because I just figured if I was overzealous, the Lord would bless me. And I remember we had a week and I still have the card in my missionary journal called "dura week," where my companion I set goals -- no lunch breaks, no exercise time, study only three hours. I mean, we kept every rule, but then we pushed it to the limit and our mission President got wind of it, and he shut that down.
Remember earlier I asked if anybody called you out for repentance? That was my moment. And I was like, "What are you talking about? I'm just being the best missionary I could be. The Lord's gonna bless us." And he's like, "You need to eat. You do not need to be, the Lord does not even need an overzealous missionary, that is dangerous." And I had never once considered being overzealous as dangerous. I thought it would give me more blessings.
But I love your connection, Ruth, that this overzealousness was causing them, like they were slow to remember the Lord their God because the only thing they remembered was their own strength and goodness. And that's what that leads us to.
You know the story of Zeniff, things actually kind of turned out, they got the lands, they started to repair and build, and they inherited it and then it got bad. Then the king of the Lamanites comes in and he starts to beat these people and kill his people.
This is such a great story because he goes from being overzealous to then he got wise. And there's a couple of verses of scripture I want you to connect to. Let's go to Mosiah chapter 9, verse 17. And I want us to read just the very beginning. HB will you read the first sentence?
"Yea, in the strength of the Lord did we go forth to battle against the Lamanites;"
Next to those verses, I'm going to give you two really cool scripture references. The first one is Ecclesiastes chapter 7 verse 12. And I'll read that verse.
"For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it."
This idea that wisdom is a defense. And then the next one I want you to put is Ecclesiastes chapter 7, verse 19. And this is a good one.
And that says, "Wisdom strengtheneth the wise more than ten mighty men which are in the city."
And the wisdom here for Zeniff and his people was that they fought in the strength of the Lord they went forth to battle, but at some point, they decided they needed the Lord's help, and they were no longer slow to remember their Lord or their God. They were wise to follow Him and Zeniff wasn't all bad.
Because in the next part of verse 17, he clearly points out it says, "For we were awakened to a remembrance of the deliverance of our fathers," that idea of being awakened.
Well, and that it's something that was being done to them. They didn't, they didn't awaken, they were awakened, which tells me again that Heavenly Father, Heavenly Mother, and Jesus are always actively giving us chances and speed bumps to slow us down. And a way for us to remember, and to wake up.
Holly, I love that. Will you in fact, I just want you to read then, read verse 18 because it's just what you said.
"And God did hear our cries and did answer our prayers; and we did go forth in his might;"
I love that.
Isn't that great? So Zeniff and his people, they relied on the power of God to fight their battles. But let's look at what the Lamanites were relying on, turn the page to chapter 10 verse 11, and that's going to tell us where they got their strength from. Scan your eyes over that and tell me what they were relying on.
Yeah, their own strengths.
Yeah. So I want you to kind of think about this, our own strength versus the strength of the Lord. Like, how do we do this as people today? What does it look like in our lives? Because we're not really fighting a hand to hand combat. So how do we rely on the strength of the Lord and not our own strength?
For me, it's when I think I know better than the Lord.
Yeah. It's a great answer, and Zeniff definitely did at first.
So all of this idea and the idea of being strengthened by the Lord and not counting on our own strength, I want us to think about the effects that this has on people that we know. In the next segment, we're going to talk about how our commitment to putting our trust in God and getting our strength from God can help people around us.
Segment 6 59:44
There's a phrase that's used often in Scripture. It's in the Doctrine and Covenants. It's this phrase of "the traditions of our fathers." I want you to think about that for a minute because "traditions of our fathers" can be good, and they can be bad. There can be traditions that we want to keep, and traditions we want to change, right?
Mmhmm. Is there a specific tradition of our fathers that we've seen change over time?
Oh, yeah. I think cultural wise, as we move more towards Worldwide Church, I think that's clarified a lot of the points of the gospel that it's not such a regional or local thing.
Holly, anything you can think of? A tradition of our fathers that's changed over time, in the world we live in.
I think about the tradition of my actual father's people, which was you eke out a living on the railroad in northern Maine, and you just barely survive, and that's good enough. And then my father's grandfather sat down with him on the porch one day and said, "What are your plans? You're about to graduate from high school."
My dad said, "Well, I'm going to work on the railroad." And my grandfather said, "There's no shame in that, but I think there has to be something better." And it was the first time my dad had ever had the thought of going to college, and so that tradition of "and that'll be good enough" became, "I can have, I can redefine my pathway."
That's a great example. You know, in the Book of Mormon, the root of the contention is steeped in the traditions of fathers. Let's look at what that tradition is in Mosiah chapter 10. This is the tradition of the Lamanites. This is what they were raised believing, and we need to understand this to understand the contention in the Book of Mormon.
Starting in verse 11, it says, "Now, the Lamanites knew nothing concerning the Lord, nor the strength of the Lord, therefore they depended upon their own strength. Yet they were a strong people, as to the strength of men."
"They were a wild, and ferocious, and a blood-thirsty people, believing in the tradition of their fathers, which is this—Believing that they were driven out of the land of Jerusalem because of the iniquities of their fathers, and that they were wronged in the wilderness by their brethren, and they were also wronged while crossing the sea;"
"And again, that they were wronged while in the land of their first inheritance, after they had crossed the sea, and all this because that Nephi was more faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord—therefore he was favored of the Lord, for the Lord heard his prayers and answered them, and he took the lead of their journey in the wilderness."
Then down in verse 17: "And thus they have taught their children that they should hate them, and that they should murder them, and that they should rob and plunder them, and do all they could to destroy them; therefore they have an eternal hatred towards the children of Nephi."
When we think about this idea of this traditions of our fathers, it applies to us in our own lives, like what are the traditions that we're teaching our children and what are the traditions we're passing on and what traditions will our children pass on? That maybe might not be correct traditions. What are your thoughts about that? Holly, I see your face.
Yeah, I'm just thinking it's so interesting because there's that repetition of, "We were wronged, we were wronged, we were robbed." But then there's actually a grain of truth, and all this because Nephi was more faithful in keeping the commandments of the Lord. And so the tricky part about this is, we have to be able to separate the truth from the lie in our tradition. And so the truth is, Nephi was more faithful, but that's not why they lost everything. They lost everything because they wouldn't keep the commandments. They weren't passively wronged. You know, the game wasn't stolen from them by a bad call from the wrath.
Yeah, yeah, ooh I like that.
So I have a question.
A couple weeks ago, Tamu referenced an insight that I had never thought of that the Lamanites were growing up without the record. And I am thinking about the impact of that. It changed my perspective towards the Lamanites to perhaps have a little bit more of an understanding of how they got there.
The only record they had was the tradition of the fathers, and that's huge.
Well, and it's interesting because in verse 16, it says, "And again, they were wroth with him because he departed into the wilderness as the Lord had commanded him, and took the records which were engraven on the plates of brass, for they said that he robbed them."
Interesting that they know about these plates, they know about this goodness, and yet this pervasive idea or thought handed down from generation to generation that is "but none of that even matters, you just hate them no matter what." And it's hard to change.
It is hard to change and it really makes your question about like, "Okay, so what is the theme song going on here at the Rawlings household? Like what am I teaching my kids? What is the tradition that I'm teaching them?"
Let's put in here, there's a great cross reference because if some of you're wondering, "What am I teaching them?" It's kind of cool, the only place in Scripture that actually is a how to of what you should teach your children, is found in Doctrine and Covenants section 68. So somewhere on this page, put "Doctrine and Covenants 68, verses 25 through 31." If you're wondering, "Am I doing it right?" Read these verses, and check yourself and say, "Oh, yeah, I am doing that. I might be doing it right. Maybe this is the traditions we're going to make sure, 'Oh, Sabbath day holy. Maybe I could work on that a little better.'" Teaching your kids to work.
You know, it's interesting that the Lord has these strict traditions right here. Nephi, what was his tradition? We talk of Christ, we preach of Christ, we testify of Christ, and that was his theme. All right, Holly and Ruth, I'm going to read a quote by Elder L. Tom Perry. He said this eight years ago, and it's about parenting and traditions. And as I do, and those of you listening, I want you to listen to what stands out about what we are responsible for or how we're teaching.
He says, quote, “Lessons taught in the home by goodly parents are becoming increasingly important in today’s world, where the influence of the adversary is so widespread. As we know, he is attempting to erode and destroy the very foundation of our society—the family. In clever and carefully camouflaged ways, he is attacking commitment to family life throughout the world and undermining the culture and covenants of faithful Latter-day Saints. Parents must resolve that teaching in the home is a most sacred and important responsibility. While other institutions such as church and school can assist parents to “train up a child in the way he [or she] should go” (Proverbs 22:6), this responsibility ultimately rests on the parents. According to the great plan of happiness, it is goodly parents who are entrusted with the care and development of Heavenly Father’s children. (L. Tom Perry, "Becoming Goodly Parents," General Conference, October 2012)
What stood out? What are you teaching in your home?
I looked at that, and that really resonated to me because in our house ever since March 16, we've been home. And it has been Church and school in our home. And it's really driven home how important those lessons are, and it's also made me feel incredibly overwhelmed, but it's also comforting. It's comforting to me that my children are also Heavenly Father's children, and they are in his care, and I am in his care, and we'll figure it out.
I love that Ruth because when you just were talking about how overwhelmed you feel, I love that quote that "whom the Lord calls he qualifies." And so heavenly father knew this was going to happen, and he gave you the what you needed to be prepared for a time such as this.
I love that and that we can ask, that we can we can go to him, like at that very moment that we need him and he'll be there.
Okay let me ask you this real quick then, and I want you to answer what comes to your mind. Ruth and Holly, what one thing are you teaching in your home that is a good tradition?
I am teaching my children that they are beloved, that they are cherished. And that was not a consistent message in my home growing up as a kid, and I know my children... they know they are adored. They do, they know that, they're confident in that, and because they know that we love them, they know that their Heavenly parents love them.
Ah that's wonderful. What about you, Ruth?
I was thinking about that, and I think I'm really trying to teach my children charity. Because I kind of feel like at times, I wasn't blessed with a ton of spiritual gifts like natural, pure spiritual things. And so I kind of have to work with what I have. And so I try to use the talents I have in trying to bless other people because I know that that keeps me close to the Spirit because I'm a really lazy scriptorian, I'm kind of like remedial church, where...
...but a heck of a bread Baker.
Well, I frequently struggle with, "Let's pray frequently. Let's read the scriptures consistently." I feel like those are the things that I'm still constantly working on. But for me, focusing on charity and trying to be the way the Savior was, helps me to live a little bit closer to the Spirit.
And your kids, I know they know that's the theme song.
Wow, thank you ladies. I think as we all think about what we're teaching our children, everyone has something that they're very good at. And, you know, as you were answering your questions, I thought, "Wow, what is mine," because there's a lot of areas I lack and I often feel like I'm failing as a parent, probably on a regular basis. I mean, it makes me pretty emotional.
I just, you know, I married into kids, and that was really hard. I don't want that to be the record of this whole podcast, but if anyone's a stepparent, they would understand that you just don't feel like you're doing a very good job. And you almost feel like you're being reminded on a daily basis how much you stink at it.
And I can remember often thinking, "Man, I'm a terrible mom. Like I just don't have the knack for this. I'm a lot better at other things." And the other day I heard my child say, "Oh, I should pray for that because I say really good prayers, and God always answers my prayers." And it made me think, "You know what, I taught her that." Like, I'll take that because every time we lose something, my first reaction is, "Let's pray to find it," even if it's something so simple. It was a needle, actually, that we dropped in the carpet.
And I was like, "Okay, we got to pray to find that needle." And we did. We prayed. We found it. And then we said, another prayer thanking Heavenly Father, and I thought, "You know what, that's a good moment. I'll take it."
And Tammy, you taught me that, you taught me that I could trust in a Heavenly Father who loved me and would answer my prayers in the right time and in the right way, and that I could ask for what I needed. And you taught me that as an adult...
When we lived together, we were single gals.
We were single gals, some real nice single gals, little older, but real nice gals. And I think that's so important to remember that, yes, we have a responsibility to influence all the children in our lives. The neighbor kids, our nieces and nephews, grandkids, but also, we're here to teach one another. And that was one of the greatest truths you ever taught me, and I know you've taught that to many people, and your kids, it's your banner.
It is my banner. I love this. Ladies, thank you so much for joining us today. This was an incredible discussion. From everything we studied today, what's your takeaway?
I think my takeaway is that, if I go with the strength of the Lord, and the Lord is my banner, and that is what I'm carrying forward, that that is my strength and that's also my protection, that we will be delivered.
And my biggest takeaway tonight is that tomorrow is a new day. And doesn't matter how much we've screwed up, we can always come back. We can be awakened, slowed down, and turn back to the Lord.
I love that.
No matter what. Holly, my takeaway was when you said, "The minute you open your mouth and say, 'Dear Heavenly Father,' he is running." That just really struck me because it is. It's that simple. The minute you Say, "Dear Heavenly Father."
...No matter what.
In that in that moment...
....He's on his way. That was my take away.
Thank you ladies. Thanks for being here. This has been so wonderful. I've loved every moment and every part of this. And I hope those of you listening have enjoyed it too. And I would love to hear what your big takeaway was from this episode. And if you haven't already joined our discussion group on Facebook, and if you're not following us on Instagram, you should because it's a great place where you can ask questions as you study, and I try to answer all the questions I can during the week.
And every week at the end of the week, it's usually on a Sunday, we'll actually post for your big takeaways. We do a post on Instagram and Facebook that says, "Share your takeaway." So comment on those posts that relates to this lesson and let us know what you learned. And I do read every single one of those posts and I love hearing what you guys are learning.
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 anyway because that's where we have links to all the references and a transcript of this whole discussion, so you should check it out.
The Sunday on Monday study group is a Deseret Bookshelf PLUS+ original brought to you by LDS Living. It's written by me, Tammy Uzelac Hall, and today our awesome study group participants were Holly Butterfield Rawlings and Ruth Cook.
You can find more information about these ladies at LDSLiving.com/SundayonMonday. Our podcast is produced by KaRyn Lay with post production and editing by Erika Free. It is recorded and mixed by Mix at Six Studios and our Executive Producer is Erin Hallstrom. Thanks for being here and we'll see you next week. And everyone should remember that you are God's favorite.