19: “Rejoice with Me; for I Have Found My Sheep Which Was Lost” (Luke 12–17; John 11)
Once upon a time ... just those four simple words have the power to bring back fond memories of story time as a child. Can’t you just imagine yourself listening to your parent or teacher and getting lost in the story while imagining yourself as the hero on a great quest? If you’ve ever tried to see yourself in a storybook, you’re going to love this week’s Come, Follow Me study of Luke 12–17 and John 11. These chapters are filled with familiar parables that we can just as easily find ourselves in and learn an important lesson from at the end.
Glue-Ins (free printables for your scriptures)
Luke 12:13-21 (The parable of the rich fool)
Luke 14:16-24 (The parable of the great supper)
Words of the Prophets:
We often must make significant changes in our lives in order to attend the feast at the table of the Lord. Too many of us put those changes off, thinking there is no urgency. Perhaps this parable could be called the 'don't bother me now, Lord's parable. We try to excuse ourselves in various ways. Each rationalization comes from selfishness and almost always relates to something temporal. For some, it is the Word of Wisdom. For others, it is the law of tithing. Perhaps it is a reluctance to live the law of chastity. Whatever the reason, we who reject or delay our response to the Savior's invitation show our lack of love for Him who is our King…Some who have accepted the gospel by being baptized do not continue to enjoy the feast. Once we have come to the Lord's table, let us not leave too early! (Elder F. Melvin Hammond, “Parables of Jesus: The Great Supper", April 2003 Ensign, 52.)
Luke 15:3-7 (The parable of the lost sheep)
Luke 15:8-10 (The parable of the lost piece of silver)
From Talmage’s Jesus the Christ:
Many have marveled that there should be greater rejoicing over the recovery of one stray sheep, or the saving of a soul that had been as one lost, than over the many who have not been in such jeopardy. In the safe-folded ninety and nine the shepherd had continued joy; but to him came a new accession of happiness, brighter and stronger because of his recent grief, when the lost was brought back to the fold. (James E. Talmage, “Jesus the Christ”, Chapter 24: From Sunshine to Shadow)
Luke 15:11-32 (The parable of the prodigal son)
Mosiah 3:19 (The natural man is an enemy to God)
In the context of a compassionate embrace, our brokenness may appear beautiful, but our brokenness has no other beauty but the beauty that comes from the compassion that surrounds it.
For most of my life I have struggled to find God, to know God, to love God. I have tried hard to follow the guidelines of the spiritual life—pray always, work for others, read the scriptures—and to avoid the many temptations to dissipate myself. I have failed many times but always tried again, even when I was close to despair. Now I wonder whether I have sufficiently realized that during all this time God has been trying to find me, to know me, and to love me.
The question is not “How am I to find God?” But “How am I to let myself be found by him?” The question is not “How am I to know God?” But “How am I to let myself be known by God?” And finally, the question is not “How am I to love God?” But “How am I to let myself be loved by God?” God is looking into the distance for me, trying to find me, and longing to bring me home.
In all three parables which Jesus tells in response to the question of why he eats with sinners, he puts the emphasis on God's initiative. God is the shepherd who goes looking for his lost sheep. God is the woman who lights a lamp, sweeps out the house, and searches everywhere for her lost coin until she has found it. God is the father who watches and waits for his children, runs out to meet them, embraces them, pleads with them, begs and urges them to come home. It might sound strange but God wants to find me as much as, if not more than, I want to find God. Yes, God needs me as much as I need God. (Henry J.M. Nouwen, “The Return of the Prodigal Son”, New York; Doubleday, 1992)
Luke 16:19-31 (The parable of the rich man and Lazarus)
John 11:35 (Jesus wept)
D&C 42:45 (Weep for those that die)
Words of the Prophets:
Irrespective of age, we mourn for those loved and lost. Mourning is one of the deepest expressions of pure love. It is a natural response in complete accord with divine commandment…Moreover, we can’t fully appreciate joyful reunions later without tearful separations now. The only way to take sorrow out of death is to take love out of life. (Russell M. Nelson, “Doors of Death”, April 1992 General Conference)
To cry is human, but to lament is Christian.
"Once upon a time". Now those four words bring back such fond memories of storytime. In elementary school. I loved sitting or laying on the carpet and hearing my teacher read stories, mostly because storytime meant no math. But the reason that I loved this part of the day was also because I would just listen and daydream. And sometimes imagine myself in the story, like I was the beautiful princess trapped in the castle. Or maybe I was the hunchback, I don't know, whichever story I was reading. But if you're anything like me and you love a good story, then you're going to love this week's Come, Follow Me study of Luke chapter 12-17, and John 11. These chapters are filled with familiar stories. And I think that we are being told so that we can imagine ourselves in them, and I'm excited for my guests to help me tell these stories.
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 our scriptures together. I'm your host, Tammy Uzelac Hall. Now, if you're new to our study group, we just want to make sure you know how to use this podcast so please follow the link in our description. And it's going to explain how you can best use this podcast to enhance your Come, Follow Me study just like my friend, Jennifer Aquinto. Hi, Jen. Now another awesome thing about our study group - and boy is it awesome today! Each week I'm joined by two of my friends, and today we have Tamu Smith and Barbara Morgan Gardner. Hey, ladies.
We were talking about how just we have years of friendship between the three of us. And then we were also talking about how we're just tired moms and a tired grandma.
I'm old enough to be a grandma but I'm not there yet.
Well, yeah, you and me both sister. But God loved us enough to have us wait to get married.
Oh, isn't that the truth!
Tamu got an early start, that's why she's grandma. What do they call you, by the way? What's your grandma name?
Some of them call me Sassy. I have 4, so some call me Sassy and some call me Yaya.
I like Sassy.
So I'm just a Sassy Yaya.
Sassy Yaya. That's cute.
And you are a Sassy Yaya.
Yeah, you are. It's absolutely perfect.
Makes me happy.
Thank you. Thank you very much. Yeah, I don't even understand how many times I changed my grandma name. That's why my grandkids are confused.
You're hilarious. I love it.
Yeah, I was like, I'm gonna be Gramu. And then I was like, Nah, that sounds crazy. So many different names.
And if anyone's wondering, just a couple weeks ago we celebrated Tamu's 50th Birthday.
What! Is that true?
It's actually, it's actually coming up.
Well, but this will come out after. We'll have to cut this out. But remember, this comes after your birthday.
True. Oh yes, yes. Yes. Yeah.
So you can say it was actually, say it was April 5. Go ahead.
It's April 10. It was April 10th. And, yeah. Fabulous in the 50s. We're got to see how this goes.
Oh, 50's fantastic.
I'm right behind ya, sister.
Yeah. Well, let me welcome you in ladies, because it's delightful. You really don't care what people think. I wish I could have been born in my 50s; I would have done really well in high school. Oh, well. What ya gonna do? Okay, well, if you guys want to know more about my guests, you need to go and read their bios and see their fun pictures which are in our show notes found at LDS living.com/sunday on Monday.
Okay, so here is everyone's assignment today. I know, you're like, an assignment? Yes, you get an assignment because the stories that we're going to tell, I want you to ask yourself, why are these stories in here? Like, that's what I kept thinking, why is it so important that the apostles wanted to include these specific stories? So the challenge is, here's your assignment: find yourself in the story. That is what we're going to do. And I'm going to just have such a fun hour of storytime. Here we go.
So, once upon a time, there were two siblings fighting over their inheritance. Now we are in John 12: 13 -21 if you'd all like to follow along or mark it or just listen. Now these two brothers fighting over inheritance came to the Savior and said, Hey, why don't you make my brother share his inheritance with me? I love that the Savior's like, 'Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you? That's not my job, but let me tell you a little story:
There once was a man, a very rich man who had this land that brought forth so much abundance. In fact, he had so much abundance that he thought to himself, What am I going to do? I don't even have enough room for all of the goods that I have. I know. What I'll do is I'm going to just pull down all of my barns and build bigger ones so that I will have enough room for all of my goods. And then I'm going to say to my soul, Soul, I have so many great good things laid up for myself that I'm actually going to take it easy now. I'm just going to eat, drink, and be merry. Well, God said to him, you fool. And this night, your soul, it's going to be required of me, you're coming to me. And all those things that you have saved - who are they going to be for now? So he that layeth up treasures for himself is not rich toward God. The end, there's our story. Okay, let's find ourselves in it. Go ladies.
Okay, so I have to just jump in immediately. In my own personal life, since you said jump in, you know, I have 12 siblings and both of my parents have now passed away. And this is real for me. So the, the biggest difference is that my parents didn't have a big field with a lot of things to say the least, right? But my parents did have a large family. And either the joke in the family is, was always you know, 'when dad mom died, it's not a big deal, because nobody gets anything anyway. I mean, there's nothing anybody wants.' So, great, right? We didn't have a lot of money growing up. But what became apparent to us was, we had to really learn to say, not only that items don't compare to relationships. Because it's funny to say this, but when you have no money and there was really nothing of value, the things that have no temporal value often do have sentimental value.
And so even even a spoon from DI became something of value after our parents passed away. Or a stuffed animal that my mother held while she was dying in the hospital that no one cared about while she was alive, all of a sudden became important because that's the last thing she held in the hospital room, right. So all of a sudden, these things in this case, you're talking about monetary value. And I think the reality is, it doesn't matter what, what the value is, if anything is of greater value than the covenant relationship with God, and our standing before God and with each other - so 1st and 2nd great commandments - then it's getting in the way.
And I just learned from my own family that sometimes you just have to say a prayer to the Lord. Ask to be extremely humble, ask to make sure your eye is single to His glory, learn to really not care about things. Anything but God, and the feelings of the covenant relationship that we have with each other - and it's, and it is sometimes very painful. But it's a refining, humbling, real experience to just finally say, You know what, Lord? I don't need anything; I just want to make sure we are a happy family at whatever the price, whatever the cost. You can, you can, you can have everything. You can have the glass pennies, somebody else can have that stuffed animal, somebody else can have the genealogy. Even the genealogy, which in our family became the most important thing, you get to the point where you just say, As long as we have a happy, eternal family it doesn't matter. It just doesn't matter.
Wow. And what struck me is when you said it's all about the covenant relationship with God, that's what matters the most, not the stuff. That was heavy, that was good.
Well, it's true.
Yeah, what absolutely is, but, thank you for just succinctly putting it into that, that perspective, that's what it's about.
Well, and I'll throw this out, Tammy. On the other side, it's the covenant relationship with God. And also, there's a philosophy that I just have as a sibling, that I always know that my relationship is good with my family. If I can stand in a prayer circle at the temple, or in my own home, kneeling on the ground with my siblings, and there is a feeling of love and peace. If I can do that, we're all good. So my covenant relationship with the Lord and my covenant relationship as an eternal family,
And with 12 siblings, that can't be easy all the time.
It's not easy all the time. But it's worth every, every price paid for it.
Wow. Tamu, what do you make of the fact that the Lord called him a fool?
Look. Oh my gosh, it feels like a lot right now. But I'm just gonna try to say it and get through this. I think that what you have, Barbara, is you actually have gold here on earth. Like you have a treasure in your family. I am the oldest of 10 children. Well, actually, I'm the oldest of 12 children. I mean, I count my mother's children and my father's children. And so of those 12 children, I would say I have a healthy relationship with one. And we were not raised together and he'd be like, I'm probably, I'm old enough to be his mother if I were a teenage mom. So, I lost my mother in January. My mother had absolutely nothing; she was destitute. She was, and a lot of her adult life, like past the the age of 30, like she was widowed, and then just kind of she became homeless, she became unhoused. And even over the things that she did not have, my siblings have found, we have found a way to fight over it.
Now, when I say we, I mean - them; we're fighting over everything except for her debt which, which she had a lot of. And, and so as, as I'm, as I was listening to your story and thinking about, you know, the scripture where God says, you know, you're a fool, it, I keep thinking to myself, like, especially where my siblings are concerned, we can't take any of this with this. But also, I had to, I had to back up and just say, Okay, after I pay for this, this, this, and this, you guys can have this. Like, I, I'm still paying for my mom's storage unit, because she had a lot of nothing. And I know that, that no one's gonna come and help me clean it. But I just had to, like, I don't want to fight with them. I know that. But I also, because I want to not preserve my relationship with them, but I want to be able to give my children a healthy start at a relationship with their children.
I don't want to hold, I don't want them to hold on or begrudge my children anything because they think that I don't, I actually don't know what they think. I honestly don't. But when I think about the foolish part, I do think it's foolish that in our lives we grow from childhood to adulthood, and then we're so, we're willing to risk it for things or for monetary, you know, and that comes and that goes. Like, I've been very blessed in my life, I've been blessed to have friends that have helped me with needs that I've, have helped take care of needs that I've had. But I've never, I honestly have never really worried about money. And so I don't even, that that money is not something that I'm willing to lose a friend over nor is it something that I'm willing to risk familial relationship over. And so I do feel very blessed in that manner. And, and I just, that from a very young age I do have a lot of things. But honestly, if somebody came and said, This is what I need, I would be willing to give them those things. Because growing up in a Pentecostal church, what I do know is that you can't take it with you.
That is a sermon at least three times a year.
Tamu, and let me, and let me clarify too with what you're saying. And I really appreciate it because I think maybe I was painting a picture that it was really easy, and we kept her covenant relationship. I cannot tell you how many times I had to go to my siblings and say, I am so sorry that I am such a fool, that I cared about that more than I should have this week. And I am, I'm so sorry to my younger sister for not being sensitive to your need. And please forgive me. I am, I am such a fool. I can't tell you how many nights I had crying over things that don't matter. And then also how often I had to go back in letter or an email or a text message or to the door on my knees saying, I am, in the scriptural term - I'm a fool, I can't take it with me, but I can take you with me. Please forgive me. I'm a total moron. I said that all the time.
And more importantly, I said it to the Lord. Like, Please help me to stop caring about anything. But my covenants like, and I frankly, I'm not a person who cares. I really genuinely don't care about monetary things. But when when you lose both of your parents, and you lose things that matter, all of a sudden, that's all you have to hold on to is what they did leave and no, you can't take it with you. But somehow, you're just trying to hold on sometimes, it's so painful to have them gone. And so you're just holding on for dear life. And that's, that's also requiring us to just say, I've got to trust in Jesus Christ that there is a resurrection, that there is a family that's going to be together on the other side, that life does exist on the other side of the veil. And I have to just trust God. And so putting it all on the altar.
Well, you're both real and that's what I loved about your answers. You understood the assignment, you found yourself in that story. And I love that because you when you read that story, sometimes you're like, Oh, that's a nice story and you turn the page. But look at this discussion we had with just a few verses, and your vulnerability - I so appreciate that. So that was awesome. So that's what we're gonna do throughout the whole rest of this episode. And I hope everyone is listening and having these conversations, like finding yourself in the story. So in the next segment, we're going to tell you another story. And I hope you can find yourself.
Segment 2 15:16
Once upon a time there was a really great supper. Now we're just going to pause there for a minute because here's what I love about these two friends. I just want everyone to know: Barbara and Tamu, they love food as much as me. Boy, do we love food. I mean, listen, I don't want to be friends with anyone who doesn't love food.
I'm eating my ice cream as we talk.
Thank you. So here's what I want to know from the two of you. If you were to have a really great supper and invite people over, give me some items. What are you going to have at that supper? What's an absolute you have to have?
Homemade Alfredo fettuccine with shrimp basted in major butter, a little bit of garlic.
Yeah, you can come. It has to be homemade though. And I like, I like a variety of the meats on top. So I would do like a rotisserie chicken., shrimp, right. And you know, I'd have to do probably a few toppings. I like the homemade Alfredo. But also I'd have to do like a basil sauce. I'd have to do a you know, just a brown sugar marinara. You know some of that. A few other.
Oh, yum!.That sounds delicious. What about Tamu?
That's just a start.
I love you so much. That's just a start.
It's gonna be there, if this is my dinner, there has to be some fried fish there - some cornmeal based fried fish. I don't want y'all to stereotype me out, but also some fried chicken. Everything is going to be fried. We're gonna have some like, and traditionally black families eat like spaghetti and fish together. The kids will eat fish and chips but we definitely are going to have some fried fish, some fried chicken, and a couple of probably some more fried items. And it will just be a potluck of deliciousness.
Yes, that sounds awesome.
I'm bringing some saucy meats. I love me the saucy meats. Something barbecued for sure. Anything in barbecue sauce., LOVE. And then we're gonna have to have fried, I already, yeah, fried foods so I don't have to bring that. Cheese. We'll definitely have a fine assortment of cheese of all kinds and bread. I want bread there.
And then the drink is really important to me. I'm not drinking water. Not at a big huge, gigantic, beautiful supper like this. No water. No, thank you. I want a solid, I wanna drink my calories. That's where I'm at. Love this. Okay, well, we're gonna have to have this
Whatever I'm drinking is going to be in a wineglass. I can tell you that.
Okay, so we have this idea of this really great supper. So we're gonna go into a story and see what God is serving at this really great supper. So we are in Luke chapter 14. We are doing verses 16 -24. And here we go.
Once upon a time, there was a really great supper that a man put on, and he sent his servant into the, to who was over the supper and he says, Listen, I want you to come and help me get everything ready for this big gigantic supper that we're going to have. And then invite everybody to come. Anyone who wants to come is welcome. So he sends a servant out and I'll be darned if he didn't get excuse after excuse. Whenever people were invited, verse 18 has two groups of people that are like, No, we can't come. The first man said, Listen, I can't come because I've got ground and I have to till it and I have to take care of it. The next guy was like, I got oxen; I gotta take care of them so I won't be there. Verse 20, another man said, You know what? I just got married, so I don't think we can come either.
So then we go into verse 21. And the servant came and said to the man, No one can come. And the man was super angry, because he's like, I got all this food, it's already here. Like, it's a done deal. Why wouldn't they come? So then he said to the servant, Okay, you know what, just go out into the streets, go on to the outskirts of the city and invite anybody. Find the poor, the maimed, the halt, the blind, like anyone can come. So the servant went as the Lord commanded, and he said, Yet there is still more room. And so the Lord said, Go out into the highways, even go farther now and find even more people and compel them. And I love how this word is 'compel' in here, like really encourage them to come so that my house may be filled. That's how many people I want at this amazing banquet. Because I say unto you, that none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper. So the men who said they couldn't come, they're not going to taste of my supper. And that is the end of the story.
Where are you in that story? First of all, let's just start out with the man who had the great supper is God; the servant is Christ. And when He sends people out into the city that is beyond the limits of where this was. But when He says go out into the highways and the hedges, that is anybody living clear outside, sort of what we'd call our religious beliefs, or the covenant. And He says invite them in. And then he invites the poor and the lame and everything. Okay, so here we go. Tamu, you're up.
Look. First of all, anyone who knows me knows that I don't really, I don't handle exclusivity very well. And so I, if you want me to come to your gathering, don't tell, don't make it be in a situation to where 'you're invited but I didn't invite everyone', because then that makes me not want to come at all. I don't, some, just my soul, that's hard on my spirit. And so I am definitely part of the group. Everybody that can come, I would want to be with everybody that could come I don't want to go to the exclusive party. And I think that, that even at the at the beginning of that chapter, where, you know, He's talking about,Hhey, if you get invited, if you get invited someplace, don't go in and sit at the best table.
So we're starting, like we're already learning the lesson of gather with the people in the margins, gather with our brothers and sisters who gather with the least of these. Because actually, that's where you're gonna have the most fun.
(laughter) That's the truth.
That's gonna be the most fun. They're not gonna say, 'You're eatin with the wrong fork, or you know, she's drinking out the like, she's drinking out of the finger dish.' Nobody's gonna say that. I'm just gonna gather with the least, we're gonna have fun. Y'all sit at the other table until somebody comes and says, Hey, you're sitting in my spot, somebody that's more superior. You're sitting in my spot, now you gotta move, now you feel stupid. So just gather with the lease, we just all gonna have fun. There is no 'isms', there are no 'ites'.
Well tell me this. Because I said, let's find out what what this man is serving or what the Lord is serving. What is's He serving? What's the metaphor for this, that He wants everybody to partake of?
I think that the thing that He wants everybody to partake of is Christ. He wants everybody to partake of love. Acceptance.
Tammy, are you looking for a correct answer here? Or are you just saying what is it?
Is there a orrect,, there's not a correct answer is there? I
Well, that's what I want to know from you, is like, what do you think, what do you think God is serving at this table? I mean, there's a metaphor in all of this; what does He want everyone to partake of? Anybody can come.
For me, to me, I think it's what Tamu was saying is it's the love. It's, it's the,it's the doctrine of belonging,
and the Gospel.
It's the gospel of Jesus Christ. You know, we talked about death a moment ago and parents and honestly this, just listening to this scripture, these verses that you're sharing, I can't help again to go back to my own childhood growing up. I, you know I have my 12 siblings and my parents. I almost say 12 siblings almost hesitantly because we always had somebody else living with us growing up. I don't remember ever not having a cousin or a friend or somebody. But more importantly, you know my, again, my parents didn't have a lot of money. We had a table that was a little metal table. And my dad took a huge piece of plywood, probably two. And he hammered it onto that piece of metal and it fit, I don't know, 20 people inside a small room. And we used luggage and piano benches and our food storage buckets, and those were our seats and there was, there was always room at the table, always.
And I, I can genuinely honestly say I cannot remember a single Sunday meal where it was just my family. I don't remember that ever happening in my life. It, my mom would go down to the local Safeway on Sunday mornings and find whoever was there. She would invite 'em to church and for dinner. Most of time they didn't come to church but they always showed up for dinner. We had more homeless people at our homes for dinner on a normal Sunday. We had people from every different color, every different background, every different, every different age. I can tell you the homeless people's names to this day because they came, became, some of them our very close, dear friends. And so I just, I think of this and I think, Yeah. I actually think that some people may not have come to dinner because because my mom did invite everyone. She just wanted everyone to feel loved and they, if there was one thing that people said about my mom - and I wish that I someday as kind and good as she is - it was she just loved everyone. Period.
Like she just loved everyone. And so missionaries were at our house, homeless people were at our house, the next door neighbors were at ou house. Our friends were at our house c,ousins were at our house. And it wasn't because she had a lot of money and cooked a good meal. We never had anything expensive. It was usually spaghetti, you know, but without the meat most of the time.
And we were all fighting over it if there was a meatball it was like, aaaa. Actually, I don't remember ever having a meatball. But, I mean, but what we all felt was that love. And we, everybody knew they were invited. And to Tamu's point, my girls had a birthday party and I think we had 60 people come to that birthday party because I couldn't say no. And I just said no, you don't just invite the neighborhood. You invite everyone.
Yes, I'm the same way.
And I recognize that doesn't work for everyone. And so there's no judgement if it doesn't happen, but for me, we're gonna do it at a park, the entire city's involved, invited if they want to come. But you don't say no to a single person.
I like how you've summed this up for us, both of you, that the great supper was a supper of love. It was the supper of the gospel of Christ. And how sad to think that there were people who said, Nah, I can't, I'm not, I don't want to come. In fact, in verse 18, they actually say, I pray thee, have me excused. Can you just have me excused so I don't have to be there. People who just didn't want to partake of that goodness and that love, and that is heartbreaking. I really like this quote by Elder F. Melvin Hammond in 2003. He says that maybe this parable should be called the "don't bother me now" Lord's parable, because the people were like, I don't have time right now. Maybe later, I'll come and show up at the party. And then he goes on to explain a little bit more about it. But I like that, like, don't bother me now, I don't have time for love or the gospel of Christ and how it angered him, in verse 21. God was so angry. Like, why won't you come? And this idea of this table, everyone, there's plenty of room. And that's, I like your story, Barbara, like such a small table but there was always room on your Sundays at your family. No matter how many people were there, there was in your mom's world, there was still room for more. So, beautiful connections, both of you.
And I think also in this, that there's an important point where they weren't going for themselves. I mean, the people that are there, perhaps they were, perhaps they weren't. But I think one of the lessons here is, it's the point of gathering. It's the point of we want people to feel included, we want people to belong. And if we come up, come up with excuses, there will always be an excuse to not want to be serving someone. There's always an excuse, all of us are busy. It's just what's the priority again, so it's so much of this is priority. And if I go to a dinner thinking they're not going to feed me what I want, or there's no one there that I want to talk to, well, we kind of miss the whole point of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
I was just gonna say that, Barbara, you know. I, when I said, when I saw that He was angry, it made me, it just made me think of people who, you know, we, within, I don't want to keep saying within the black community. But I have some friends that if I say, Hey, come over, everybody's over. Well, who's there? Who's there? who's there?
And I get so annoyed with that, because I'm just like, if everybody's here, but you're not, then you miss out on the key elements of a portion of love that I have to give. You're gonna miss out on this great conversation, you're gonna miss out on the greatness of others. Like you miss out on opportunities to get to know people on a deeper level if you're not here at this table. Because there is something about gathering people, having food together and enjoying one another. And it's not a formal meeting, but it's just you just get to love on each other and pour into each other and get to know each other. And so yeah, I can see where ,yeah, that would, that would anger me a little bit if you know. I know that I've spent time preparing and thought that you were coming and then at the last minute you say, Nah, I'm good.
Oh, so good. Thank you.
Thank you, Tamu. I remember, I'm just gonna give you a couple of people that I remember. I remember the Vietnamese refugee who's tongue was cut because of something that he said while living in Vietnam, he was probably in his 60s. And I remember he did not say a word because he couldn't speak because of the pain of his mouth. And he was just sitting at the table, didn't say a word. But my 10-year old mind has so much respect for that man and his decision and that culture. I remember the little woman that my mom found at Safeway that was blind. And I remember her sitting there and telling us how beautiful everyone was, and how much that impacted me.
I remember the elder that told us the story at that dinner table of how his parents were killed on the way to the airport dropping him off. And he was not able to write a letter home, and how much that impacted me. Had my mom not been inclusive of everyone, I would not be the person I am today, because I wouldn't have learned from the experiences of the people who were willing to come to the table. And there were people who were not willing to come to the table, and that's fine. That's their life, no judgment on their part. But to Tamu's point, boy, am I grateful for the people who just came, who just showed up to the table.
Powerful, powerful. Thank you, both of you. Oh, my gosh, thank you for finding yourselves in that story. That was so good. And now I'm touched by the people that came to your table. And Tamu, you're right. I am sad when people don't come. So thank you. Thank you so much. Okay, that was that story. So in the next segment, we're going to tell another story. And I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I know my place in this story. I'm already telling you I'm a jerk. So, we'll just tell ya that story when it comes up next. Here we go.
Segment 3 30:57
Once upon a time, there was a sheep that left the flock and was lost. Now we are in Luke 15:1-7. Here's how the story goes. Jesus was with some publicans and sinners. And remember, nobody likes the publicans because they're tax collectors. And we've got some sinners. Well, the Pharisees and the scribes, they're murmuring. And they're like, I can't believe that this man, Jesus, receives sinners, and He eats with them. And the Savior knows what they're thinking. And He turns to 'em and He's like, Let me tell you a little story. Let me ask you this: 'if any one of you men out here had some sheep, and you lost one of them, wouldn't you leave the whole ninety and nine and go into the wilderness, go after that sheep which was lost, until you found it? And then when you found it, wouldn't you lay it on your shoulders and rejoice? And then when you came home, wouldn't you call all your friends and your neighbors and say unto them, Hey, come rejoice with me, for I have just found the sheep which I lost.' And then the Savior says, 'I say unto you, likewise, joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.'
That's the story. I'll just go and start right now. I'll tell you where I found myself in there. Many, many years ago before I actually studied this parable, boy, did I get heated up with this one! I was so angry. I'm like, Oh, that's just great. So God cares more about the sinner than those of us who haven't sinned. Here I am trying to do my best and He's gonna get that sheep and put it on his shoulders. He's so glad he found the sinner. What about me? I've been doing my best Come on, has anybody else ever thought that? Am I the only jerk?
What's that video, that old church video? "I've been the good guy here."
Oh, I hope that one's coming up next. Sure. Oh, sure.
Oh, okay. That reminds me.
But I always was like, This does not seem fair. And then I realized as I was studying this, and I read everything I could, that He's speaking to the Pharisees and the Scribes, in verse 2, where the whole thing starts. And He ends, the last line in verse 7, by saying, "which need no repentance." Like, the Pharisees and scribes - they really didn't think they needed any repentance. And then I was like, Oh, wait. I do need repentance. Oh, oh, I'm the sheep. Oh, okay. Okay, I've been lost so many times. Well then I finally was like, oh, that's me. I was a jerk. I'm so grateful the Spirit taught me: Yeah, Tammy. You're that sheep that the Savior's carried. How many times has He gone into the wilderness after you? In fact, He just did as you figured out the parable. Oh yeah, right. Okay. I'm super sorry. So.
Hey, good life. Praise God!
So you thought you were the ninety and 9, huh Tammy?
Oh, for sure. Oh, you bet I did. I never sin. I'm a really good person.
No, I think a lot of, I think a lot of people think it that way, personally. I think when they think of the sinners, everybody but them because their sin isn't really as bad, right? I mean, whatever that is, I do think the number of people, I know I've felt that way. I could just, I, mean I honestly, I put myself in this story. And I was also that person. I'll just tell you a quickie. We have two little beautiful daughters. And, you know, a couple, a month ago, I got a random text message from a random person. And the text message was -I thought it was random person. I later realized that I actually knew the person but it didn't come through that way on my text message - and it just said, "I just wanted you to know that your daughter is on the way to Salt Lake and she's on the bus." And which may not be a big deal to anybody else. But she was supposed to be at school. And I was at work and why in the world does she go into Salt Lake City and how did she get on the bus?
Wait, a City bus?
Well, I didn't know what at the time what was happening, right? So I called my husband, Do you, do you know where Jane is? No. I called the school: Is Jane at school? No. Do you know where she is? No. Okay, well, I just got a text message that says she's on this bus. Can you help me understand what's going on with my daughter? So I found out - long story short - that my little Jane decided that there was a bus parked outside of the building and she wanted to get on the bus with a bunch of high school students. And she did. She just decided as a little seven-year old that school was boring, and she wanted to be with some friends that were older. And so she just excused herself and got herself on the bus. And I could not reach the person who sent me the text. I called, I texted back: no response for about an hour. And in that moment,
Although I'm sure everybody else has major bigger stories and everything else. In that moment, I understood what it meant to drop everything, and every ninety and 9 person and find that one. And I mean, it could have been any human being under the sun at that point that had my daughter, and you better believe that all hell was breaking loose in my mind.
And then all of a sudden - sorry, I just used that terminolog - and then
Well, 'hell' is in the Bible.
That is, it is, thank you. And then little piece by piece, after talking to people, I finally put the puzzle together and everything was - long story short - okay. Jane came home that night and as she walked in the door, she simply said, with their hands raised up, "Mom, I know I made a bad choice. Let's move on. That's what she said to me, my 7-year old. "Let's move on", she says. So I go, anyway, I'm not going to go into the discussion that came after that. But, I knew in that moment what it felt like for me to lose one and to literally drop everything for one lost sheep that I knew was young and a little bit naive, but also with a little mind of her own. And I also knew what it meant to rejoice when I found out the whole story. She was okay. She was taken care of, all was good. Called a lot of people, had a lot of laughs as I was getting over the, you know, lived the anxiety of losing a child.
I go from zero to kidnap like, it's nobody's business
Yeah, me, too. And I'm still clutching my pearls, I just want you to know that I don't have on, Barbara. I'm still clutching them.
Okay, well, Tamu, I want to know if you can find yourself in this next story, verses 8, 9, adn 10. Let me tell you this, and see if you can find yourself. So then He went on to say, Okay, well, what about a woman who has 10 pieces of silver, and she happens to lose just one piece? And doesn't she light a candle and sweep the house, like tear it apart, seeking diligently until she finds that piece of silver? And when she does find it, calls her friends and her neighbors together and rejoices and says, Rejoice with me, because I found the piece of silver I had lost. And then He says, Because "Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth." Can you find yourself in that story?
Absolutely. Yes, I have. I mean, I think that there have been times where I have lost, and there have been times where I am the lost piece, you know, I am the last piece. And I am, and I, it is difficult to find your way sometimes when you feel so lost. And so to have someone, I know the feeling of rejoice that comes from finding what was lost. And I know the feeling of rejoice and the feeling of relief of having someone come and find me. And so I daresay that not only was the shepherd grateful that He found the lost sheep, but the sheep that was lost was equally grateful. I think that we we forget our, sometimes we forget our worth and our value. And really in this life, all we have is each other.
All we have is each other and I think about my baptismal covenants often as I'm sitting in church, sometimes looking around and seeing there are faces here, that they're faces that I have not seen here for quite some time. I need to go and check on them, I need to let them know that they are of value. And that, and most of the times they don't come back to church with me. But I want them to know that when they decide to come back that there's not going to be questions asked. I'm just going to rejoice with them in a manner that is appropriate. Because I don't think it's appropriate sometimes be like, Oh my gosh! I haven't seen you in twenty thousand years! You know how people act sometimes and I know that that's just people being people. But I also feel like when you're, when you've been lost or feel lost or you feel you've been gone for so long. Sometimes you just want to come and sit by the window and listen to the sermon. And then let people see you there first before you walk into the building, because we don't know how to act sometimes when we would our lost sheep, or we find our lost values.
And I just want whoever is listening to this, if they've been away for a while, I want them to know that they of worth and that they are just as valuable, more valuable than the lost piece of silver, because they have something to add to testimonies like mine that struggled when I was younger. They have things to add to testimonies that if they don't come, and I don't get to have that value in that worth.
Wow. Tamu, I like how you said that - I wrote in my scriptures - "when someone finds me, the joy that I feel". And, and that invitation to find people. I really love how you have taken this whole idea and turned it for the joy that we feel when people find us. So, that was perfect. Thank you. Barbara, you look like you were gonna say something?
Yeah, just you know, I'm looking at verse 6 of chapter 15, where He says, "And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbors, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost." And then in verse 9, "And when she hath found it," (referring to the coin,) "she calleth her friends and her neighbors together, saying, Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece which I had lost." And to Tamu's point, you know, we both have just talked about how genuinely we are inclusive people. And I think that that is so true. And I to Tamu was saying, if anybody is listening, when I have somebody enter my door to my home that I genuinely try to create a piece of refuge for people. I try as best as I can, sometime like Tamu was saying not to be obnoxiously rejoicing over some people.
But when somebody's lost, and they enter my door, I am rejoicing because I love that person. And I would genuinely wrap them up in my arms and sing a song and give them all the money and all the joy and every neighbor and I would sell, I would have an entire party. Because I genuinely am so happy they came. And it's not a joke. Like I can have, again, faces of people that have entered my door over the years, my car door, my classroom door, my home door, you name the door, and they've walked through and I have wept out of joy inside, that they felt safe enough to come and they showed up.
Oh my gosh. I really appreciate what both of you said and how you've taken it to this idea of just rejoicing and being found. And so in the next segment, we're going to do another story that is about rejoicing and being found. We'll do that next.
Segment 4 43:15
Once upon a time, there was a certain man and he had two sons. Now one was younger and one was older. Now this younger one came to his dad and said, Hey, listen, Dad. I'm gonna need you to give me my portion of my property that's due for me. And so the dad divided up the property, and he gave his portion to the younger son. Now this younger son took his journey into a far country. And he wasted all of his substance on riotous living. I can't even imagine what that must have been like, but imagine riotous living, crazy time. And when he had spent all that he had, everything, all of a sudden a famine hit. And he began to be in want; he didn't have enough money for food or lodging or anything. So he went and he joined himself with a citizen of the country. And he offered to feed the man's swine. But he was so hungry, that he actually looked at the husks of the corn and thought to himself, I'll eat this. That's how bad it is. That's how hungry I am.
And then he just was so sad and within himself said, How many of the hired servants of my father's have enough bread to spare and here I am going to die of hunger? You know what I'm going to do? I'm going to go back to my father's house and I'm just going to beg him to let me be a servant, just so I don't have to live like this anymore. So he got up, he went back to his dad's house. And as he was walking towards it, before he even got to the house, his father looked down the way, saw his son, and with compassion he ran to his son. He fell on his neck and he kissed him. He was so excited that this son was back that he then said, You know what? We're going to have a feast. (Now I love this young son because he says, I'm not even worthy to be called your son anymore.} And then the dad says, No, bring in the best robe, bring in the rings, put shoes on his feet, we are going to have a feast. We're going to kill the fatted calf, and have a grand time. Because in verse 24, of Luke chapter 15 it says, For my son was dead, and is now alive. He was lost and is found, and they began to be merry.
Now, the older son was coming in from the field and he heard music and dancing. And he asked one of the servants, hey, what's going on, what's the festivities for? And the servant says, Hey, your younger brother came home, and your dad he killed the fatted calf and we're having a grand time. Well, this older son is angry, he wouldn't even go in at all to the home. So his father came out to him to talk to him. And he said, the son said, Dad, all these years I have been here. All these years (and as Barbara said), I've been the good guy. I've been serving you, I have been working with you, I have done nothing wrong. And yet my youngest brother goes, lives with harlots, and you're gonna kill the fatted calf for him? This beautiful father says to his oldest son, Son, "thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine. It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found." Okay. Barbara, find your place in the story?
Well, I have a few. And I think that's one of the beautiful parts of the story is we can place ourselves in, in every person, right?
Okay, let's just stop for a minute. And so, let's just absorb that for a minute. Because I totally believe that - we are every person in this story. I hope everybody heard what Barbara said. So carry on, Barbara.
Well, so I think I may, at some point, be just as guilty as the brother who considered himself more righteous than the other and could have said at some point, I've been the good guy here. And then the wife says, 'What do you mean, you've been the good guy,' right?
I mean, did we show that on our mission to anyone we could? That counted as a discussion. Yeah, and we popped some popcorn and watch that you. You bet.
So I think that sometimes we could see ourselves that way. And maybe it's a matter of, I mean I don't want to say I'm extremely spiritually mature. But in my older age, I see myself more as the sinner and the father, depending on what role I'm playing at the time.
I can. I can picture myself in the top story of an office building in Salem, Oregon, where I'm from, right before my mission having a conversation with my father, who at the time was a stake president and him saying to me, Barb, is there anything that you've ever done? This is for my temple recommend interview. "Barbara, is there anything that you've ever done, that you have not repented of?" And I said, No. Because a week before that, I went to my bishop and told him everything I'd ever done that was wrong, because I was afraid that my dad was going to ask me that question. Clearly not the good reason to repent, right? I mean, that was my own pride.
Yes. But then my dad's next question was "Barb, is there anything that you've ever done in your life that you're embarrassed to tell me that you're keeping from me?" I looked at my dad and I said to him, "That's not one of the temple recommendation questions." That was my response. Like, you, I recognize you're my father but you're also stake president and I don't have to answer that question. Next, right? But he just sat there and looked at me. And I knew, because I knew what I had just done and I hadn't repented, I just had confessed, that I. I was being very prideful and I needed, I needed to talk. And so I didn't talk for about three hours, I just sat and cried in his office.
Oh, my gosh.
And at about hour three or four, I don't know, I think I was in his office that night. I remember it was sunny when I left-when I got in there, and it was pitch black when we left and it was hours. But after a few hours, I finally started talking. Because I wanted my dad to think that I was this perfect child, right? And I didn't want to admit to him, although he's my dad's - now that I am a parent, I realize that people actually do know that their children are not perfect. But I literally went through my life with my dad and that I told him every single thing I was embarrassed for. Like every sin that anybody else would that was, everything that I was embarrassed. I just laid it on a table and I had Mosiah 3, "for the natural man is an enemy to God."
"....and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit and
Yes, so I actually had that scripture clearly go through my mind, thank you seminary for having us memorize scriptures that actually really did matter principle-wise.
But that was the Scripture. And here I was sitting there, and this verse simply where he says, "For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been" (so this is Mosiah 3:19), "and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit,: (And here you go), "and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father."
And I was sitting there as the child of my father, this scripture, and I was thinking to myself, I am a child of my father, and I'm not even willing to tell my own dad, let alone the Lord? I, and I'm supposed to be a missionary, and I'm supposed to go to the temple, and I can't be honest with my dad? And it was a, it was a slap to me, a very humble, Holy Ghost reproving saying, You honestly think you're gonna go represent me out in Los Angeles, and you cannot humble yourself as a child before his father? You are sinning as a natural man, and you are very prideful. And until you start repenting, the Holy Spirit is not going to be with you, and you are not going to be an effective missionary. And it was all in this moment. And finally, I just said, Look, dad, I am a sinner and I have sinned for years, and I have done some stupid things, and you're gonna hear everything. And I, I said, until I knew I was 100% completely free of anything I was holding back.
And then to my dad's credit, he jumped across from his chair to mine, grabbed me, and hugged me, and just said, "Welcome to the team of people who need the Savior. "
And he, and I know when I went in there, he was not expecting that, but his natural reaction was just arms. And there were some things that I said that I know he could not have been happy about, and if he had known earlier. But but his reaction was hug, kiss, grab the neck, "Welcome to the team of people who need the Savior." And from that day until after I got married, until I got married, my dad was the number one person I went to to tell any sin. If I, if I thought about that, I told my dad. If I was a jerk, I told my dad. If I stole something, I told my dad. I just told him everything because I knew he loved me no matter what. And I knew he brought me to the Savior.
Okay, Barb you have to read this quote. Cuz this, okay, so I don't know if you've ever read this book, this is my absolute all-time favorite book about, it's called "The Return of the Prodigal Son" by Henry Nouwen.
I will have not read that.
This is a Catholic priest that wrote this. He's the most beautiful human being. And it's, this book is based on the premise of what you said, Barbara, that we are all the people in the story. But listen to what he has to say about compassion, and what you just taught us. So when you talked about your father, how he hugged you, this is the quote that I thought of. I have a bunch of his quotes, but this is the one we're gonna use. And then we'll use one more at the end. But go ahead and read this Barbara
K. He says "In the context of a compassionate embrace, our brokenness may appear beautiful. But our brokenness has no other beauty, but the beauty that comes from the compassion that surrounds it." And amen.
That was your dad.
That was my dad. And I'm just gonna say this there. You know, I remember going to my husband one day and just saying, "Dustin, I am a sinner,and this is what I've done." And I remember him looking at me and crying. Not because he was hurt, but because he loved me so much. And he, sitting in the car, just grabbed me Barb, it's okay. Nobody's perfect. And then I remember now that I have my own daughter's, my little Ally walking into me one day and saying, "Mom," this is after struggling with her own life. She's you know, only nine, is coming into my office, tears coming down her face and saying, "Mom, I just lied to you." And saying to her, "Ally, why are you telling me that?" And she said, "My heart hurts. My heart hurts." And I naturally, because I learned it from other people, grabbed her so fast, and held her as close as I could, and just embraced her with all the love. I get, I get what's happening here and I get how important it is. And I have felt that from God too, who is the other person in this story, of course, it's our relationship with God and with the Savior. As it says in Section 18, of the doctrine, covenants, how, how the Lord rejoices in one soul who comes unto Him, right? And we, I think we learn in maturity in the gospel and things. For me to see my daughter then crying over her sin, and I wanted her to have nothing but love. Because I know how hard it is to be eating, I know how hard it is to be feeding swine. I know the feeling of sincere humility.
Wow. Oh my gosh, Barbara, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Wow, thank you for finding yourself in that.
Teach, teach me your ways.
Yeah. You know what, let's end this whole segment with this quote from the book. Tamu, will you read this for us? It's a little bit long, but it is worth it, because it's going to sum up everything we've just spent the last two segments talking about. So this is by Henry J. M. Nouwen, and this is what he has to teach us about this.
"For most of my life I have struggled to find God, to know God, to love God. I've tried hard to follow the guidelines of the spiritual life., pray always, work for others, read the scriptures, and to avoid the many temptations to dissipate myself. I have failed many times, but always tried again, even when I was close to despair. Now I wonder whether I have sufficiently realized, that during all this time God has been trying to find me to know me and to love me. The question is not how am I to find God? But how am I to let myself be found by Him? The question is not how am I to know God? But how am I to let myself be known by God? And finally, the question is not how am I to love God? But how am I to let myself be loved by God? God is looking into the distance for me, trying to find me and longing to bring me home. And all three parables which Jesus tells, in all three parables which Jesus tells in response to the question of why He eats with sinners, He puts the emphasis on God's initiative. God is the shepherd who goes looking for His lost sheep. God is the woman who lights the lamp, sweeps out the house, and searches everywhere for her last coin until she is found it. God is the Father who watches and waits for His children, runs out to the meet them, embraces them, pleads with them, begs and urges them to come home. It might sound strange, but God wants to find me as much as if not more than I want to find God. Yes, God needs me as much as I need God."
Wow, that's beautiful.
Right? What part was most beautiful to you? What's, what is striking your heart from that quote?
There's, it's just so much. I love the questions, you know, how am I going to let myself be found by Him? How do I let myself be loved? How do I let myself be known. But then the part that God is the shepherd, He goes out looking for the lost sheep. He's the woman who lights the lamp, sweeps out the house and searches for everyone, and searches everywhere for her lost coin until she's found it. God is the Father who watches and waits for his children, runs out to meet them, embraces them, and pleads with them, bigs and urges them to come home. That God wants to find me as much as I, as much if not more as I want to find Him. That we are needed by God as much as we need Him. Oh, Lord!.
So good, so good. I mean, look at what we all, everything that we just learned from this beautiful parable. And now we can go, Oh, that's why it's in here. That's why the story is there is to remind us that yes, we are every one of those people. But the message is, is that God wants to find us. If, I mean, the message is that God wants to find me just as much if not more than I want to find God. And I just thought that was beautiful, and that God needs us, oh He needs you. Those of you listening, oh, he needs you, for sure. So thank you, both of you for sharing your thoughts and stories.
Well, I just maybe share a couple of thoughts here for what it's worth. But in the experience with my own father, one of the things that I think is beautiful with how he was as a husband, as a father and everything else was, him hugging me and kissing me was not out of the ordinary. I don't know that I would have been able to say what I said to my father had he not shown love before I had done this. But the love he was showing after was an increase of love because he saw my desperate need. But it wasn't that he wasn't already showing me love. I think with the Lord and that is how He is with us. Because we learn to recognize God's love we we recognize how dependent we are on Him, right? I mean, that's kind of an Elder Renlund statement. But in this case also with God needs me as much as I need God. Sometimes I, you know, I have a hard time thinking God needs me or that God needs anything. He's God. Right?
But at the same time, His work and His glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. And He has a special love and He, His law is to love. So He needs to love, He needs relationships. I don't know if that makes sense what I'm trying to say here, but God is love.
And you can't love if there aren't people. So He does need us. We are His children. We need Him, He needs us. He cannot be a God of love unless he has some some one to love. We're needed by Him. And we're needed by Him.
And He needs to show love through us.
Yes, exactly. Amen, Sister. Amen. Exactly.
Yes, absolutely, thank you. It goes back to, to accepting the invitation to the dinner table, to the supper of love. And when we go there, and we say yes, we get to feel that love, the love that He has for us there with all of our family and friends and neighbors. That we're partaking of the love. So we know what it feels like; we're familiar with that, Barbara. That's what it makes me think of.
Can I just add to that, too. I, when I just as I was reading through the story of the prodigal son, of course, I always find things that I didn't really see before as I'm going through different seasons in my life. And, and this season that I've been going through is really trying to hash out the things that my mother had and or didn't have, and feeling a little bit angry about it, to be honest with you. But then also, as I was reading that, just seeing myself as being the brother that stayed. Like, and being on my high horse at times, because I mean, the truth is, is that I do have all of my mom's things because my mom tried to stay close to me. And, and so I can give or I can keep, I get to be the God of her stuff.
And, and then thinking about the law of plenty in the law of scarcity. And, and as I was reading through through this story, just reading that, you know, seeing the bitterness of the brother that stayed when really he doesn't have some of the hangups in life that the brother that left has, you know. You know, I don't know if he came back with addictions, what you know, proclivities he came back with. And so, but also the brother that left, he came back, knowing how to love deeper, he came back having a greater appreciation. And he came back with a humility that, 'I don't care if I have anything because what I want more than anything is to bask in the love of my father because I know that in my father's love I will be taken care of. Like the least, I don't have to be treated like a son. He can treat me like a servant and I know that in being treated like a servant it is way more than what I deserve.'
I love it. Gosh, I love you two so much! Wow, what a good discussion, that was so good. Thank you
And you realize your, your genuine desperation.
And I mean, you, the more you know God and the more you know yourself, the more you realize how desperate you are.
Every single person, it doesn't matter. You could be a person in prison for murder and you are just as desperate as me today. No matter what, I am desperate for God.
That is a perfect segue into the next story we're going to tell because both people we're going to study now really need God on the same level. So we're going to do that in the next segment.
Segment 5 1:04:34
Okay, we are in Luke chapter 16. We're going to do verses 19-31. Once upon a time, there was a homeless man. Now, isn't this great? Let me try that again. I'm gonna try this again. Okay, we're, let's start it differently. I wrote it down but what I realized when I read it, okay, we are in Luke 16:19-31.
Once upon a time, there was a very rich man. I mean, so rich that he's dressed in purple clothing and fine linen and he fared sumptuously every day. I mean, that means he's living in luxury daily. This man has everything you could possibly want. Well, right outside of his gates, there was a certain beggar by the name of Lazarus. And this man, Lazarus, he was laid at the gate full of sores. And all he wanted was just to be fed the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table. That's how destitute he was, he would have taken the crumbs. And as he laid there at the gate, it says, the dogs came and licked his sores. He was helpless, he couldn't even move away from dogs walking up to him. Well, while he laid there, one day, the beggar died. And he was carried away up into the angels, into Abraham's bosom. And then the rich man died also. And he was buried, which I think is interesting that the rich man was given a burial by family and friends. That's how little the homeless man was known; the beggar had nobody to bury him, there's no mention of that. So while they're up there, it's interesting because the Lazarus is Abraham's bosom, but the rich man went to hell. That's in verse 23. And he's in torments. And he sees afar off Abraham and Lazarus sitting with him. And this rich man cries, and he says, "Father, Abraham, have mercy on me. And then he orders Lazarus, that he would come and dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool this rich man's tongue, because he says, I'm tormented in this flame, meaning it's so hot down here. I am so thirsty, I just want a little bit of water. But Abraham says, Hey, you remember that in your lifetime you received a lot of good things. And Lazarus received a lot of evil, evil things. And now he's being comforted and you're being tormented. And besides all of this, there's this great gulf that's fixed between you. (Now they're giving us this imagery.) There's this gulf between good and bad, and you can't come and visit him and he can't come and visit you. Well, this rich man thought for a minute and said, Well, wait a minute, I don't want the same outcome for my family. So could you just send Lazarus down back to Earth and have him go visit all of my five brothers, and teach them the gospel of Jesus Christ so that they can repent and come back? And Abraham said, Yeah, they have Moses and prophets, let them listen to them. Because if they're not going to listen to Moses and the prophets, they're certainly not going to listen to Lazarus. And that's the end of the story. Okay, hit it, Tamu. Find your place in this story.
Like Abraham!. Abraham, and the cool part about they really to me is Abraham says, "But Abraham said, Son." What, he's like son. Oh, baby. Okay, there's some, there's some chapters in some of the books in the Bible. This actually, this whole story right here could have actually been in the Old Testament,
which would not have surprised me like, that just, it just seemed like one of those go and brush your shoulders. So like, I just read, I don't and I actually don't remember ever reading this portion of Luke. Like, I, I must have just gotten to the prodigal son and been like, Oh, I'm good. Because when I read that, I had several questions. Is this the same Lazarus that rose from the dead?
Good question, the answer is no.
Well, I kind of figured it wasn't when Abraham was like, oh, no, no, you're not going back. Like, y'all had prophets and stuff. Y'all didn't listen to the Prophet. So I mean, you're not listening to that. They don't listen to the prophets. Why would I bring him back so that he could talk to them about anything? No, you're good. Like, I just,that hurt my heart, but also is one of those things that made me be like, if you have done it unto the least of them, you have literally done it, like you've done it unto them. And can I just show y'all something? Just wait right here. Y'all have conversation, wait right here. Let me show you what I did after reading this. Hold on.
Do you see this?
Okay. Oh, yes.
That's a lot of money. Wow, all these dollars. That's a lot of dollar bills.
I keep, I keep one of these in my glove compartment. I go and get money once a month. I keep it in my glove compartment. When I'm passing by people that are in need I just pull a couple of them out ,one or two, so that I can remember the "least".
I like that.
It's just, it's just $1, maybe two, but also everybody needs to and deserves to be seen. And they should always hear "God bless you." And I just like after that I was like, it's sometimes where I'm reading the scriptures and it gives me. It, it jars me. And I was like, well I sure don't want to be that. I mean, I know I'm not gonna be the rich man, I don't think I am. But everybody is somebody's rich. So, just like, let me just take care of my brothers and sisters here. Well, I can't because if I should need somebody to dip their finger into some water on my behalf, I'm don't want that to happen. And just remember that I gave what I could. and I gave to as many as I could. I
Oh I like that, Tamu. Well, here's a fun little thing to know about the name Lazarus. in Hebrew, the name means "God has helped". Isn't that interesting?
I really like that. So Lazarus, whom God has helped in this story, but then going to your experience Tamu is that you are then helping God help His children. And maybe that's the message is that He wants us to be like Lazarus in that God has helpe,d and who are we helping? Or what are we doing with our time here on this earth? Because at some point, it'll end, and what kind of reckoning will that be like for us, just like you did with your dollar bills. I like that. Tamu. Any thoughts Barbara?
What did Barbara say? Barbara said that God is love.
And God is help. And if we are helping, then it's really the circle of love.
I like that, the Circle of Love.
I just, you know, when I think of these, I guess I'm I'm pretty simple in my thoughts, here. It is that Jesus went about healing the sick and caring for the poor. And as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have a covenant responsibility to look out for the poor among us. And sometimes I think that our level of comfort is higher in my own life than perhaps it could be or should be. And it's a reminder for me simply to do what Tamu is saying and take $1 and give it to people. Or it's, it's, you know, it's Jacob saying, If I would, if I could, I would. Right? And just whatever I have really does belong to the Lord. And, you know, the Church gives and gives and gives through the tithing and the fast offerings of the members of the church. I, just think of fast and not fast. But testament, tithing settlements, back in the day, we had tithing settlements. And again, back to my parents, growing up and the example of them. I just, I just remember Christmas Eve, so many years of my childhood, and it seemed like it was always coming around tithing, settlement time and fast offerings. And my parents, giving a generous, fast offering, even though that meant we were not going to get hardly anything, if anything. But, but that, and I appreciate that as a child, because as an adult I also didn't care if I got an inheritance. And I don't mean that to be prideful on my part. But I, but as parents and as leaders, we have to set the example for our children to really, to sacrifice and to teach that if I'm too comfortable, and I'm not hurting a little bit with my fast offering, maybe I'm not giving quite enough. And I don't mean that as a general rule for everyone, but for me personally, if I'm not - sacrifice for me requires in my world a level of discomfort. Otherwise, it's not really a sacrifice for me. And, and for me, as Lazarus is saying, you know, he needs to go do this. He's looking down on a person. And anytime, whether it's a financial, a spiritual, it's a judgment call from one person in one area looking at the other person as an object. And the Lord is making it very clear that there is no object; they are all children of God who have been bought with a price through the Savior's Atonement and they are all part of this covenant family. And anyone for any reason looking down upon another person is simply not acceptable to God.
Amen. That's good.
I know we know that but that is an
Hey, we need to hear it.
for any reason.
Yeah, so good. Great, okay, that's, Oh.
After, I was just gonna say after reading this, though, it's not, I know that giving someone $1 doesn't make or break them. Like you really can't even buy a cheeseburger these days with a dollar.
But the thing that I want people to know is that I see you, I see you as my brother or sister. You are a child of my Father in Heaven and I want you to know that this is what I have to give. And if and when I can do more, I will do more. That is my commitment.
I think that's great.
And you know, it's great, Tamu. I. I don't know why I'm talking so much about my parents, I guess I miss them today. But these are so so good there. I remember this, another, like, almost a battle between my parents. My dad's philosophy was, you know, we give money to the church, and the church will take care of the poor. And my mom was, that's not good enough. Like, I, I get it that that is the organizational structure with which your mind works. And that's fantastic. But like Tamu, I remember my mom giving, and maybe she shouldn't have, I'm not going to judge her. But she would have a prayer in her heart. And if there was a person, and they were asking for money, she would go and talk to them, she would sit with them, she would just hang out with them. And if they needed money, she'd give him money. If they needed a hug, she'd give 'em a hug. If they needed, it didn't matter. She just, and I remember my dad sometimes just saying, you know, you're adding to the problem. And my mom being like, No, I'm not; they know they're loved.
Like it was just, I just want to love them. I don't really care.
We had the same parents, like of my grandparents, we had a very similar upbringing. And I was the kid that was always like, stop giving our stuff away. We outta here We barely got stuff of our onw. I was that kid. And then, you know, I grew up to be this person.
Yes you did. You're that grandma.
I am. I'm that grandma. And so but I appreciate, I appreciate that I got to have a voice that was not listened to. Because at the end of the day, she did what she felt like God told her to do. And I love, and the reason that you talk about your parents is because you have this, they, through them, this epigenetics they passed on charity, and the pure love of Christ to you. And so, and we acknowledge our origin story, and that is a part of your origin story.
And I, and I, you know, I appreciate that. And it's the same with you. I know, Tamu from our many, many discussions, I mean, when I was adopting my daughters, I went to you. Like Tamu, help me out here. I'm adopting two little girls, I need your help, I need to know how to raise them. I need to know what obstacles are going to be in front of me and how to do, you know ho,w to walk these these paths and roads. You know, it reminds me of President Nelson, and to all these different levels, all are like unto God. Root out racism, we all belong. All those quotes and all those principles that President Nelson has been so good in teaching. This principle of one person being higher or lower than another needs to be completely wiped out, gone from the Church of Jesus Christ. Gone from people who are, who are declaring themselves as disciples. There is no person on the earth that is better than anyone else. All our heirs unto Christ if they become like Christ. Not even Christ considers, He wants to give it all, holding nothing back. A
And God has helped all of them. Yeah, we all need to remember we're equal in how God has helped. So in fact, taking on that name "God has helped", meaning Lazarus, then let's do this. In the next segment, we're going to study another story about a man named Lazarus, who God has helped.
Segment 6 1:18:22
Okay, everybody, we are in John 11:1-46. We're not going to do all those verses, we're going to give you a "Reader's Digest" version of this story, but here's how I'm going to start it. Once upon a time, there was a man named Lazarus. And he had two sisters, Mary and Martha. And Lazarus fell sick. And he was very ill. And Jesus caught word of that. And Jesus said we need to go and heal Lazarus. But we're going to stay here for two more days, we're not going to go immediately. And the disciples wondered at that. And he said, Well, the reason why I'm taking so long to go visit him is because the miracle that I'm going to perform will cause many to believe. Yea, even all of you will believe in this miracle. So the days went by, and then finally they came but Lazarus had passed away in the meantime, and he had been in the grave for four days already. Now, this is a big deal because if you're in the grave for four days, you are officially dead, according to Jewish and Roman law. There's no disputing it.
And He shows up and Martha is devastated. She's so sad that sh says to Him, in John 11:21, "Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. 23: "And Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again." He's going to live; and then He teaches us and beautifully in verse 25: "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." And she says to him, 27: "Lord, I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world. "And when she said this, she went her way to tell Mary, "...Mary, the Master has come and He calleth for thee." So Mary arose and the Savior came into the home. And when He saw Mary and Mary saw Him, Mary said, in verse 32: "Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died." And then verse 33: "When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit and was troubled. 34: "And said, Where have ye laid him? (and) They said unto him, Lord, come and see."
And 35: "Jesus wept." And as he wept, he walked to the tomb. And as they were going, Martha said, Lord, my brother will stink, he's been dead for four days. And the Savior then goes to the tomb, and says, This prayer. He puts his eyes up into the heavens, and says, 41: " Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. 42: "And I knew that thou hearest me, always: but because of the people which standby I said, that they may believe that thou hast sent me." And when he said that, 43: "...he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. 44: "And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes: and his face was bound with a napkin, Jesus saith unto them, Loose him and let him go." And then, like he had predicted, 45: "Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen these things which Jesus did, believed on him." So Tamu, why have you been reading John 11?
I was reading John 11, really trying to, to comfort myself, trying to soothe myself. And I was reading it trying to soothe myself because, and this is no, I know that every person that sent their regrets and their condolences, I really honestly in my heart, I know that it came from a place of love. And it came from a place of them not wanting to see me sad, not wanting them to, not wanting to see me mourn the way that I was mourning. And which wasn't really a like, I have tried to pace myself with the morning, and how I feel and just. But to have people, and I think that within our LDS faith, we really, we just mourn very differently. It's and it, and it can come off as being very cold. And to have people come to me and say, you know, well, it's okay, because all you have to do is do her Te,mple work. And, and one lady promised to me, she said, I promise you, once you get her temple work done, then the grief just goes away.
And I know that, that she meant that with love. But, and I can say, I, no, I don't feel like I'm calling anyone out, because so many people said very similar things like that to me. And I just thought if you knew my mom, she's gonna have to come to me. God is gonna have, father Abraham is gonna have to let my mother come to me and visit me and tell me to do her sTemple work. If she does not, then I'm just gonna leave that to the kids, to my kids. I have, she did not feel great about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And, and so she, so just hearing that, and just really needing to know that I, something was not wrong with me because of how I felt. And then reading this scripture, reading John 11, and seeing that Jesus knowing what He was about to do, Jesus saying to the disciples, like, like when they went to him, and they said, they didn't even say Lazarus' name. He whom thou lovest is is sick. Jesus was like, okay. And I just want people to know that when I'm saying Jesus was like, this is just me paraphrasing, this is how I read the scriptures in my head.
So if there is ever a translation version from Tamu, ooo, it is going to be so easy. So Jesus is like, oh, yeah, you know, we got time. And then the disciples, you know, He says to the disciples, Disciples, Lazarus is asleep. And they're like, Oh, that's great. He could rest and Jesus is like, Ah. He's dead, like Lazarus is dead, so we're gonna go now, because now I could do the thing that I need to do, knowing what He was about to do. Jesus still wept. He still wept, and He didn't weep because Lazarus was dead. He wept because those who loved Lazarus wept. He was showing us in His final days, how to weep, how to mourn with those that mourn, and how to comfort those who stand in need of comfort. Even though He knew what He was about to do. He still, he could have said, Girl,s stop crying. Like you, through Me you have life eternal, you know. He could have saod a lot of different things. But He didn't, He wept.
He wept. And then He showed them that this life is truly just temporal, and I'm going to show you how temporal it is, even though you are in this stage of weeping. I'm weeping with you because I mourn with you. I'm sad, because you are sad. And I'm sad because you don't even know. you don't know how big this life is. This life is so big, it doesn't just end here. And I mourn with you, not just because you mourn, but also because you don't you don't see what I see, you don't know what I know. And I mourn for that also. And then He goes and He, you know, calls Lazarus forth. And then that started making me think about Jesus knew how to mourn with us because God shows us how to mourn, also. Like, He learned that from His father.
And I say that because you know, often people will stop me, especially, you know, when, when critical things are happening in the United States, and especially when it involves black people. And the first thing that people want to ask is, Well, why did they, why are they tearing up their own communities? And it's, for a lot of people I've had to say, Have you ever read what happened to the like, when Jesus died? Did God not know where Jesus was? Did God not know what was going to happen? Yet He rent the temple, He called somebody forth from the grave. Like, God mourns hard. Like, that's some serious stuff. Like, you talk about a riot. We read about that in the scriptures, like, I don't know, nobody that rent the temple, I don't know, nobody that was able to bring bodies out of the grave and make them appear in the city. That would be a little crazy, a little bit trippy. But I'm just like, even God, like, and then it goes dark for three days. Because even our Father mourns with us.
And so I don't know where we get this attitude of, because we're going to see someone again, that it just makes it easier. Because our job is not, we did not covenant with one another to tell each other, Oh, it's going to be easy. Like, just do this, this and this, and you don't have to mourn anymore. We covenanted to mourn with those that mourn, comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and really to stand as a witness of Christ and to be brothers and sisters to each other. And if something is harmful to you, something hurts you, it should hurt me. Not because it's my experience, but because I love you.
Tamu. Wow. I'm so glad you're excited about John 11. And I wrote my scriptures, "He shows us how to mourn." You're absolutely right. It's beautiful. And I like how you said, I might not understand your situation, but I will, I will mourn with you because I love you. And that's all we have to do. We don't have to understand any of it. We just have to love each other through it. Thank you, thank you for sharing those beautiful words.
And, and I want to say this, too. I got to experience that with you, Tammy. Like you, like it just meant so much to me to have you show up and say, What can I do? How can I serve? And to have you show up with me in that moment and to really mourn with me,. You and your family and you know, my Deseret Book family and so many people sending messages and sending like those who could not be there just to know that I was not alone. And so knowing that and having that actually it lessened the blow and made me have more compassion for those that said things like Oh, you know, if you get her work done, or if she were a member of the church, things would be different.
I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Wow,
Wait, we don't cry in this church?
Have you been tested?
Yeah, we cry. Oh, thank you. Thank you. That was beautiful. Okay, Barbara, do you have anything to add?
I do. I
Tamu has, you're speaking to my heart, sister. So, my, the scripture that I cross reference to anything dealing with death and mourning, but mourning death is Doctrine and Covenants 42:45, and note that it's a commandment, which I think this is fascinating, especially when we're talking about the difference between culture and principles of the gospel. So in verse 45, it says, "Thou shalt live together in love, insomuch that thou shalt weep for the loss of them that die, and more especially for those that have not hope of a glorious resurrection." But it's a commandment from God to weep for those that die.
I love President Nelson where he says, he made this statement, I had this quote that I have this here along with it. It says: "Irrespective of age, we mourn for those loved and last. Mourning is one of the deepest expressions of pure love. It is a natural response in complete accord with divine, with a divine commandment. And then he quotes that scripture again, "Thou shalt live together in love, insomuch that thou shalt weep for the loss of them that die." And then he continues: "Moreover, we can't fully appreciate joyful reunions later without tearful separations. Now, the only way to take sorrow out of death is to take love out of life." I know my personal, my loss of, of very close family members, including to me when my mom died, I it took a long time to see light, it took a long time. And I remember my dad coming in - I was single at the time - and sitting by my side and just saying, like the good soldier, "It's okay to cry, lay down and cry for a while. At some point, you'll get up and fight, fight, fight. But sometimes you need to just lay down and cry."
And I appreciate in my personal life and experience people that, like you said, were willing to just sit and cry with me, or just come visit or just acknowledge and teach me that there wasn't a timeframe to stop crying. I still cry today. I mean, it's, it's my mom. It's my dad. It's my, it's my, it's, I mean, we have covenanted to love. We, we cry because we love and you think about the Savior. And this, I mean, He has a perfect knowledge of the resurrection, and it is going to be possible through Him. Yet He's weeping. And I think He's not just weeping for the loss of Lazarus, but I think He's weeping because of the pain. He's, He's feeling for those other people. I mean, after you lose someone, as Tamu was saying, Tamu, when I found out that your mom was crying, I cried when I found out your mom died. Like, you find out somebody else's mom dies, you find out somebody else's sister dies, you find out somebody else's, somebody dies. When you lose someone that you love, you know, if I have students who say, you know, 'I am so sorry that I had to miss class on Friday because my grandpa passed away.' Great. Fantastic. I'm so glad you weren't in class. I'm so glad that you were mourning and there. I don't know my relationship, your relationship with your grandpa, but if you needed to be there to mourn, by all means. And do you need more time? Because mourning is a commandment from God, and it shows a deep ability to love. And, gosh, if we're not trying to become like Christ and our ability to love, then what are we trying to do?
We perhaps, perhaps it is a cultural thing; I hope we're getting better at it. I was grateful for those who mourned with me, like you said, and also gave me space to genuinely mourn. So I wasn't. In fact I remember, I remember when Dustin - my husband now but at the time we were dating, he wasn't my husband - but I would say one of the times that I felt the most relief from my mother's death was when Dustin lost his mom just a few months later. And I was able to succor him in the loss of his mother, because I got it. And it was, it was relieving for me to be able to mourn with him. It was a tender mercy from the Lord to be able to cry with someone who understood the pain.
I think it's a blessing.
And also I just want to add to that, you know, I mean, because I don't, I try not to mourn in front of people because it is a ugly cry. Like it's not cute, is not cute. But also, Jesus, it says he groaned, so I know what that belly, like that in your gut cry is like, and that is what it sounds like to me Jesus was doing. Like he wasn't just like, you know, oh, my goodness. Like he was queezy. Yes, it was a soul thing. And my grandmother, one of the things things that she used to say, and let me try to get it right. She said to, ""To cry is human, to lament is Christian."
To cry is human, to lament is Christian.
And so we lament our loved ones.
I'm writin' that down. That was incredible. Thank you, Tamu.
Tammy, can I just throw one more thing out to you? And I just want to just, because there's so few places where women are involved, too. I just love the focus here with Christ and his sincere love for women. Is it Elder Talmage who says "The greatest champion of women is Jesus Christ."
He doesn't just say like, why are you crying? And He doesn't say, it's gonna be okay, the resurrection, and He doesn't say, you know, you must be menopausal.
Right. He doesn't offer platitudes at all.
Yeah, nothing. He doesn't go there. Right? I mean, he weeps with a woman. There's no demeaning. And I think it's not just, it's not just to show the demeaning or anything like that. It is, He is a champion of women, and
and Christ gets it. And He is having a sacred experience with the women. He's going to do that later with His mother. He's going to have experiences where He's weeping, and He is very tender to the feelings of these women. And I love, I love that it is a legitimate real relationship that He is expressing and crying with them at the loss of their brother, even though He knows what reality is going to be in just a matter of minutes. And I just, I just love, I love that He acknowledges the women there.
Thank You. Well, that is a beautiful way to end this whole episode. Thank you. Thank you, both of you. Well, that's it. That's the end of our discussion.
Thank you, Tammy.
Gather your thoughts, and then just give me a quick, one-sentence takeaway. What's one thing you learned from today as we've discussed, or anything you wrote in your scriptures?
For me, it is when I am dealing with those people who are trying to make right things that they feel like they've done wrong, to remember how hard it is to beat swine.
Um-hmm. That was so good. Thank you. What about you, Barbara?
I, you know, with in discussing Luke, I wrote in my scriptures "I want to always rejoice in the success of others." I just want to rejoice in the success of others. But then in John, I wrote, "I always want to mourn with those who mourn." So it's just, I want to find joy in the joy and I want to find mourning in the mourning. I just want to be present and I want to be real with people.
Yeah. Thank you,
and hopefully be an example of Christ in both things.
Mine was Barbara when she said I know what it's like to feed swine. And that was so powerful. And then Tamu, "To cry is human, and to lament is Christian."
So good. Oh I love you both. Get your
See you guys.
Oh, wow, that was such a good discussion. Oh my goodness. Okay. Now, if you haven't joined our discussion group on Facebook or Instagram, go do it. I mean, especially for this one. I'm just dying to know what you guys learned. Throughout the week you can post anything on social media on our Facebook. I like, it's just awesome the community that we have. You can ask questions, I try to answer them and then at the end of the week on a Saturday, we post a question from this episode, so comment on the post that relates to this lesson and share your answers and thoughts.
You can go with both our Facebook and Instagram by going to the show notes for this episode on LDS living.com/sunday on Monday. And go there anyway; it's where we're going to have a link to all of our references and quotes that we used, as well as a transcript of this entire discussion. And we are going to have a glue-in and I think you're gonna like this one.
The Sunday on Monday Study Group is a Deseret Bookshelf Plus original brought to you by LDS Living. It's written and hosted by me Tammy Uzelac Hall, and today our incredible study group participants were Barbara Morgan Gardener and Tamu Smith. And you can find more information about my friends at LDS living.com/sunday on Monday. Our podcast is produced by Cole Wissinger and me, it is edited by Hailey Higmam, and recorded and mixed by Mix At Six Studios. And our executive producer is Erin Hallstrom. Thanks for being here. We'll see you next week.
And please remember: God rejoices over you because you are His favorite.
I mean, I can see maybe if we were millionaires. I probably wouldn't be valiant. But the truth is, is I'm not fighting. But I am petty and so that's the problem. That's my problem.
Okay y'all please forgive me. I love Jesus. I cuss a little bit sometimes. Well,
Damn is in the scriptures.
Damn, my notes.
He was damned; you used that appropriately. That's an appropriate
Once upon a time, Tamu left me this message on my phone. So when I told Tamu what we were doing, this is the message she left me.
Not John 11. Girl. I have been reading me some John 11. Look, I've had some, I had some thoughts. So yes, I can do that. I'm really excited about this John 11.
Is that the greatest message ever? Alright, Tamu. Why are you excited about John 11?
Transcribed by https://otter.ai