Sunday on Monday Season 2 logo

2: “I Will Go and Do” (Jan. 6–Jan. 12)

Sun Jan 05 14:00:11 EST 2020
Episode 2

Laman and Lemuel are clearly the "bad guys" of the Book of Mormon, right? Or were they more like us than we realize? In this week’s study group, join Tammy and her friends Holly and Jalyn as they dig into 1 Nephi chapters 1–7 to discuss how Laman's and Lemuel’s murmurings aren't so different from our own and how we can strive to “go and do” like Nephi.

Segment 1: (0:00-9:01)

9 Basic Doctrinal Beliefs of the Church

(also find on

  1. Godhead
  2. Plan of Salvation
  3. The Atonement of Jesus Christ
  4. Dispensation, Apostasy, and Restoration
  5. Prophets and Revelation
  6. Priesthood and Priesthood Keys
  7. Ordinances and Covenants
  8. Marriage and Family
  9. Commandments

Segment 2: (9:10-18:55)

Question: Who is God to you?

William Paul Young Quote: “For some of us, our first experience of God is going to happen in any kind of masculine sense through our relationship with our dads or some male figure and if that’s violated or that person has no real clue of who they are either, we still adapt to the presentation of God through that person. . . . It took all of 50 years to erase the face of my Father off the face of God” (William Paul Young, The Heart of Man documentary, 2017).

We must know God—who He is and our relationship to Him—and that is exactly what 1 Nephi teaches us. It is the premier lesson that Nephi starts out with.

Scripture: "And it came to pass that when my father had read and seen many great and marvelous things, he did exclaim many things unto the Lord; such as: Great and marvelous are thy works, O Lord God Almighty! Thy throne is high in the heavens, and thy apower, and goodness, and mercy are over all the inhabitants of the earth; and, because thou art merciful, thou wilt not suffer those who bcome unto thee that they shall perish!" (1 Nephi 1:14)

Lectures on Faith asks the question: Is the character which God has given of himself uniform?

Answer: It is, in all his revelations whether to the Former Day Saints, or to the Latter-day Saints, so that they all have the authority to exercise faith in him, and to expect by the exercise of their faith, to enjoy the same blessings. (Lecture Third 3:26)”

Test this statement with Lehi’s description of God: 1 Nephi 1:14

  • First, That He was God before the world was created, and the same God that he was, after it was created.
  • Secondly, That he is merciful, and gracious, slow to anger, abundant in goodness, and that he was so from everlasting, and will be to everlasting.
  • Thirdly, That he changes not, neither is there variableness with him; but that he is the same from everlasting to everlasting, being the same yesterday to-day and forever; and that his course is one eternal round, without variation.
  • Fourthly, That he is a God of truth and cannot lie.
  • Fifthly, That he is no respecter of persons; but in every nation he that fears God and works righteousness is accepted of him.
  • Sixthly, That he is love. (Lectures on Faith, Lecture Third 3, pg.41)

Segment 3: (19:05-24:51)

Elder David A. Bednar Quote: “Through personal study, observation, pondering, and prayer, I believe I have come to better understand that the Lord’s tender mercies are the very personal and individualized blessings, strength, protection, assurances, guidance, loving-kindnesses, consolation, support, and spiritual gifts which we receive from and because of and through the Lord Jesus Christ. Truly, the Lord suits 'his mercies according to the conditions of the children of men'" (D&C 46:15)(Elder Bednar, "Tender Mercies of the Lord," April 2005 general conference).

Segment 4: (25:02-31:42)

Question: Why was Lehi's land of inheritance so important?

Answer: There are many biblical references to lands of inheritance. Land of inheritance was a family’s most important economic asset. It could be bought and sold but inherited land was special. In the ancient Near East, if a family sold inherited land for its full price, ownership passed permanently into the hands of the buyer. If a family sold it for a lower price due to economic hardship and the need to sell quickly, family members were generally allowed to redeem (repurchase) the land at the same of a similarly low price. It was important to give families the chance to keep their inheritance (Ruth 4). It was also a reminder to the covenant keeper of the earthly and spiritual gifts which God plans to give to those who are his "children."

Elder Marvin J. Ashton Quote: “Why the heart? Because the heart is a synonym for one’s entire makeup. We often use phrases about the heart to describe the total person. Thus, we describe people as being 'big-hearted' or 'goodhearted' or having a 'heart of gold.' Or we speak of people with faint hearts, wise hearts, pure hearts, willing hearts, deceitful hearts, conniving hearts, courageous hearts, cold hearts, hearts of stone, or selfish hearts.

"The measure of our hearts is the measure of our total performance. As used by the Lord, the 'heart' of a person describes his effort to better self, or others, or the conditions he confronts.

"A question I suggest to you is this: How do you measure up? Where is your heart? We will be measured by our hearts” (Elder Marvin J. Ashton, "The Measure of Our Hearts," Nov. 1988 Ensign).

Segment 5: (31:53-40:51)

Question: Why didn't the Lord just give Lehi the plates before he and his family left Jerusalem?

Zion's Camp

  • Zion’s Camp, a group of approximately 150, gathered at Kirtland, Ohio, in the spring of 1834 and marched to western Missouri. By the time they reached Missouri, the camp had increased to approximately 200 men.
  • The purpose of the trek was to join the saints in Missouri and buy lands in Jackson County and surrounding counties and retrieve those lands taken by the mobs who had dispossessed the Missouri saints of considerable of their property.
  • Upon reaching Missouri, and after extensive negotiations with Governor Dunklin failed to produce results, it was felt advisable to disband Zion’s Camp and await some future opportunity for the redemption of Zion.
  • Most of those who had formed Zion’s Camp returned to Kirtland, which was at that time the center of ecclesiastical activity.
  • The “journey of Zion’s Camp” was regarded by many as an unprofitable and unsuccessful episode. A brother in Kirtland who did not go with the camp meeting Brigham Young upon his return said to him, “Well, what did you gain on this useless journey to Missouri with Joseph Smith?” “All we went for,” replied Brigham Young. “I would not exchange the experience I gained in that expedition for all the wealth of Geauga County,” the county in which Kirtland was then located (B. H. Roberts, “Brigham Young, A Character Sketch,” Improvement Era, vol. 6 [June 1903], p. 567).

Question: What lessons can we learn from Zion's Camp?


1) The lesson of testing, sifting, and preparing.

2) the lesson of observing, learning from, and following the brethren.

Segment 6: (40:59-50:53)

Zoram was a man of men—Oath of all Oaths 1 Nephi 4:32-38

Question: Why was keeping oaths so important?

Answer: To swear falsely would damage social standing and his reputation ruined.

When Nephi promised Zoram his freedom, he used the "oath of all oaths" found in 1 Nephi 4:32-38.

Scripture: "32 And it came to pass that I spake with him, that if he would hearken unto my words, as the Lord liveth, and as I live, even so that if he would hearken unto our words, we would spare his life.

33 And I spake unto him, even with an aoath, that he need not fear; that he should be a bfree man like unto us if he would go down in the wilderness with us.

34 And I also spake unto him, saying: Surely the Lord hath acommanded us to do this thing; and shall we not be diligent in keeping the commandments of the Lord? Therefore, if thou wilt go down into the wilderness to my father thou shalt have place with us.

35 And it came to pass that aZoram did take courage at the words which I spake. Now Zoram was the name of the servant; and he promised that he would go down into the wilderness unto our father. Yea, and he also made an oath unto us that he would tarry with us from that time forth.

36 Now we were desirous that he should tarry with us for this cause, that the Jews might not know concerning our flight into the wilderness, lest they should pursue us and destroy us.

37 And it came to pass that when Zoram had made an aoath unto us, our bfears did cease concerning him.

38 And it came to pass that we took the plates of brass and the servant of Laban, and departed into the wilderness, and journeyed unto the atent of our father."

Hugh Nibley Quote: “Not any oath will do, to be most binding and solemn an oath should be by the life of something even if it is a blade of grass. The only oath more awful than that “by my life” is the 'wa Hayat allah' by the life od God or as the Lord liveth, the exact Arabic equivalent of the ancient Hebrew 'hai Elohim…'

"It is the equivalent Hebrew- 'Hai Elohim' or Jehovah- his name is rarely spoken. So we see that the only way that Nephi could possibly have pacified the struggling Zoram in an instant was to utter the one oath that no man would dream of breaking, the most solemn of all oaths to the Seminte; “as the Lord liveth and and I live!” (Hugh Nibley, An Approach to the Book of Mormon, pp. 103-5)

1 Nephi 4:33: Nephi told him not to fear, that "he would be a free man . . . thou shalt have place with us."

1 Nephi 4:35: Zoram took courage and in return made an oath with Nephi.

What we know about Zoram from this exchange: "He was a man to be trusted; his oath was binding; his word was as good as his bond" (Elder Sheldon F. Child, "As Good As Our Bond," April 1997 general conference).

Tammy 0:00
Alright, were Laman and Lemuel really that bad? I mean, sure, they murmured, a lot. Okay, and so maybe they tried to kill their brother. But when all was said and done, is there any part of that story we can relate to? Because they kind of were obedient, in the end. Well, stick around because we're going to talk about that and so much more.

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 really dig into the scriptures together. I'm your host, Tammy Uzelac Hall.

So here's something fun. If you're really busy, and you don't have time to sit and listen to an hour-long podcast, this podcast is broken up into six different segments and each segment is about around 10 minutes long. So you can listen while you drive or you can "glean while you clean" as we like to say, that's kind of a fun one. Whatever it is, we just want you to join us as we study the "Come, Follow Me" lesson for the week.

Now, every week we get to have different groups of friends to help us talk about the scriptures so we have new perspectives. So today, I'm so excited because I have two of my very dearest friends joining me, Jalyn Peterson and Holly Rawlings.

Holly 1:04

Jalyn 1:08
Dang it, she took my line.

Tammy 1:09
Sorry, Holly from the block, didn't know she was here.

Holly 1:12
Hey, we have a rough up in Maine.

Jalyn 1:14
I was going to say for the record, we're not women that should be saying "holla."

Tammy 1:18
No. So I'm just going to say though, for those of you listening, these two women I've known for a very long time, like over 20 years for sure. So I could not be more excited. So we're going to joke a lot and it's going to be fun. Hopefully not too many inside stories. But when I was preparing for this lesson today, I knew I wanted these two women with me at the table because they have a lot of insight into the topic that we're going to talk about. So let's get our scriptures, and let's dig in. You guys ready?

Jalyn 1:42

Tammy 1:42

Holly 1:43

Tammy 1:43
This week, we're studying 1 Nephi chapters one through seven in the Book of Mormon, and we are really going to explore our relationship with Heavenly Father, which is why I've invited you two come because you have a lot of insight on this. I didn't invite you because it was about Laman and Lemuel, although I could have.

Jalyn 1:58
I could do a good lesson on murmuring for sure.
Holly 2:01
I was really sad they didn't ask me to play Laman or Lemuel in the new Book of Mormon videos for the Church.

Tammy 2:06
You'd be a shoo-in.

Holly 2:07
Yeah, I'd be a shoo-in.
Tammy 2:08
You're great at murmuring.

Holly  2:09
Right? Throw on a fake beard and murmur away.

Tammy 2:14
All right, do you guys remember doing scripture mastery when you were in seminary? Did you guys take seminary?

Holly 2:20
Two years.
Jalyn 2:20

Tammy 2:21
I mean, you're in Maine.

Holly 2:22
Well, yeah.

Jalyn 2:24
Two years, she was that kid that only got one star behind her name on the graduation program.

Holly 2:29
I did two years and that's probably why I didn't know a lot about the Book of Mormon when I went on my mission. I read half the Book of Mormon, and Larry Bird's autobiography.

Jalyn 2:38
Wow. I'm Larry Bird should have given you a good background

Holly 2:41
One-hundred percent grit and determination of that Hoosier.

Tammy 2:45
Yeah, I mean, that's all you need to get ready to go. So you, okay, two years, Jalyn?

Jalyn 2:50
Seminary student council.

Tammy 2:52
Wow, I did not realize

Jalyn 2:55
You're in the presence of a legend. I believe my face is still on the wall of the Wasatch High School seminary building.

Tammy 3:02
I think you might be right.

Jalyn  3:03

Tammy 3:04
Their claim to fame, Jalyn Peterson.

Jalyn 3:05
I mean, who are we kidding.

Tammy 3:07
Okay now, this is what's interesting. So we did scripture mastery growing up, and I, I'm back in the classroom as a substitute. And this was kind of cool to learn. They actually now are doing what's called doctrinal mastery. They do scripture mastery, where you have to learn scriptures. But now they're teaching our students, our teenagers, our kids, doctrinal mastery. And they're, well, here's what's cool because I want us to talk about it. So the idea behind this is that there are nine basic doctrines that we believe as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and they are not the Articles of Faith.

Jalyn 3:37
I was going to say I thought there were, I thought there were 13.

Tammy 3:39
So did I

Holly 3:40

Jalyn 3:40
We cut it down, we're streamlining.

Tammy 3:41
We're going to streamline. So these are the nine things and you can find these in our show notes as well as the website on so that you know where it comes from. And for me, when I learned these, I was like, "Oh, this is so powerful because these are nine things that can never change." Like there's lots of things that are changing, but it was significant because Holly, we had this conversation as we were getting ready for general conference. I was like, "What do we really believe as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?" And we looked this up because I was like, "Oh, there's nine basic doctrines."

Holly 4:12
Yeah, I had no idea.

Tammy 4:13
And so they're listed right here. I'm just going to read well, Jalyn, why don't you read through the nine?

Jalyn 4:17
Yeah. Number one, Godhead; two, plan of salvation; number three, Atonement of Jesus Christ; four, dispensation, apostasy and restoration; number five, prophets and revelation; six, priesthood and priesthood keys; seven, ordinances and covenants; eight, marriage and family; nine, commandments.

Tammy 4:38
Okay, I like how you guys said, "I've never known this." And I think there's a lot of us that that resonates with. Snow you know the nine things, and we're going to really dig into the scriptures. We're going to start out with the Book of Mormon and we're going to focus on one of these, but knowing what these are, how do you think this will help us study the scriptures this year?

Holly 4:55
Well, I really like how you mentioned that in seminary that the students have to have a doctrinal mastery, or that you know, they're trying to achieve that. And that makes so much sense because it's really great to have scriptures memorized because it gives you kind of a framework and a schema. But to think about it, through that new lens of these are the nine doctrinal focuses that will help us stay on the covenant path. Yeah, that, that's powerful to me.

Tammy 5:26

Jalyn 5:27
Well, I think it's just we're getting away from the checklist, like even the missionary training stuff is now like, you need to be able to speak to these topics, not necessarily just regurgitate these exact scriptures.

Tammy 5:39
Yeah, definitely. Well, and these things were very helpful to me in the last general conference because there was a talk that was given that I just, it didn't seem to sit well with me. And I remember thinking, "I don't know if I really like that." And so I waited it out, and then I read it, and then I was still like, "Uh." Then I remember this, and I read the talk again, and I looked for each one of these in it and sure enough, true, true, true. So I might have not appreciated the delivery of the talk, but the basis of it was all true. Everything that that talk was about hit all nine doctrines. So the talk is true. And then it made me rethink it. Why didn't I like it?

Jalyn 6:16
I do think it's fascinating that there's marriage and family on there because that's missing from the 13 Articles of Faith, from what I remember.

Tammy 6:25

Jalyn 6:26
Thirteen articles.

Holly 6:27
Yeah, as a whole, you know, we spend a lot of time thinking about what it means to be a member of a family,

Jalyn 6:35
Tammy 6:36
This is a neat quote by Elder Packer and the purpose of understanding these doctrines and this was before the doctrines were even introduced. Holly, read this quote by Elder Packer.
Holly 6:44
"True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior. The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior. Preoccupation with unworthy behavior can lead to unworthy behavior, that is why we stress so forcefully the study of the doctrines of the gospel."

Tammy 7:04

Jalyn 7:04

Tammy 7:05

Jalyn 7:06
I've always loved that quote.
Holly 7:08
I've never heard it. I feel like I need to read it.

Jalyn 7:10
I am such like a self-help junkie. And then I always like come back to this, that line, and you're like, "Oh, study the gospel." But I've never, I've never seen that last line of "preoccupation with unworthy behavior can lead to unworthy behavior." That's amazing.

Tammy 7:27
So if you have a preoccupation with doctrine, then surely it can lead to good behaviors and actions in your family, teaching your kids, "Here's what you need to know." And moments that come up in conversations, if you know the doctrines, you can say, "We believe that, that's something in our family we believe."

Jalyn 7:45
Well, and I think we do focus a lot on unworthy behavior. We are so quick to label stuff as like "a war on drugs" and like we get so dramatic with some of the stuff like faith crisis.

Tammy 7:58

Jalyn 7:58
Is that a crisis or is it just something we're kind of going through because that's part of life?

Holly  8:03
Or normal progression of our testimony is to ask questions. And to have doubts and to negotiate.

Jalyn 8:11
Right, instead of catastrophizing everything. And I think, I mean, that probably just in little ways, we can be a little preoccupied with unworthy behavior.

Holly 8:20
In looking at this list of nine doctrines and thinking, "What's not here?" And how much time we spend talking about what's not there.
Jalyn 8:31
Yeah. Oh, good point, right?
Holly 8:33
I mean, you know, we really, we're in the weeds.

Tammy 8:37
Well, and so when we do get in the weeds, what's really cool about this list is that then you can go to it and say, "Okay, where does my question lie? What basic doctrine will support or help me to figure things out?" And what I love about this list is that when we start studying 1 Nephi chapter one, the very first doctrine we get to learn about is number one, the Godhead: who Heavenly Father is and how He deals with His children. So we're going to look at that next.

So here's what you do. Grab a piece of paper, and if you're listening to this, I want everyone to write down these words and then finish the statement. I don't want you to give me church answers. I want you to give me your real-life thoughts, beliefs, whatever, okay. You're not gonna get in trouble if you say how you feel. With me, your very, very best friend. Okay, here's the question: What do you believe about God? For everyone who's listening, we're going to give you a minute to think about that or write it. And then I want either both of you one of you to share what you wrote or what you think about God. God is what do you? What do you believe about God? Finish that statement.

Jalyn  9:43
To me, God is love. And that just, it sums it all up.

Tammy 9:47
Great answer.

Holly 9:50
Mine's a little different.

Tammy 9:51

Holly 9:51
But the first thing that came to mind is God is an executive.

Jalyn  9:56
How so?

Holly 9:58
It's kind of the picture I grew up as a Protestant. And so there wasn't a whole bunch of specific teachings about God, other than God loves us. You know, the all-in-one theory, the Trinity, all being one. And so when I was a little child, I would look up to the ceiling of the church, which was kind of a quaint New England, white church, and there was some metal grillwork at the top of the ceiling. And when I would look up there, even as a little girl, I would think, "Well, where is God? And what does He look like?" And I would picture Him at a, you know, kind of an executive desk. You know, like a nice desk with a nice chair and all the accouterments and that He would be up there and that He lived up above that metal. That was where His office was.
Tammy 10:51
Okay, now, we're going to get in deeper because I know you both very well, and you just gave me good God answers. Now, I want you to give me your real answers. Holly Butterfield Rawlings, God is what to you? What have you believed Him to be growing up?
Holly 11:06
Growing up, I perceived him as someone who was disappointed in me and angry with me. Someone that I would never be able to meet, I'd never be able to meet the bar.
Jalyn 11:21

Holly 11:22
It's interesting to hear that for you God is love because I'd like to get there. And I feel like I'm on the journey to get there.

Tammy 11:28

Holly 11:29
I definitely recognize His hand in my life and all the goodness that comes from that, but there is a disconnect for me.
Jalyn 11:37
And I get that and I've definitely had that at times in my life where I've been angry at God. I feel so silly saying in that in like, you know, there are people who really have struggles, but everybody's grief is everybody's great, right? So God is love and I know that's what it is, but sometimes there's that flip side of love, like the tough love where it's not your turn or doesn't feel fair or feels like maybe an absent parent.
Holly 12:08
Jalyn 12:08
And I know I'm the one creating the absenteeism like I'm the one that's doing that. But I have definitely had those moments where you feel like, "I can't go to you in prayer, like, I'm not worthy enough, or are you really even listening anyway, doesn't matter?"

Holly 12:25
And I think that's why I do picture him as an executive.

Jalyn 12:27
Yeah, that's fascinating.

Holly 12:29
There's a little distance.

Tammy 12:31
Well, this is what I know about you, two and the reason why I was so happy to have you with me to discuss this is because, and it gets me emotional because Nephi wants us to know who God is. And one of the things and I believe this, and then it's also in a really great Christian documentary called "The Heart of Man." There is this idea or belief that our Heavenly Father and who we believe in actually has a lot to do with who our dads are. And I think that's important for us to kind of acknowledge. It isn't for everyone, but I think it is for a lot of people.

And in this movie, "The Heart of Man," a man by the name of William Paul Young, he's a great Christian philosopher, this is what he says about our relationship with God. So I want you to think about this in context of how you just described Him. "For some of us, our first experience of God is going to happen in any kind of masculine sense through our relationship with our dads or some male figure. If that's violated, or the person has no real clue of who they are, we still adapt to the presentation of God through that person." And then he goes on to explain how his dad didn't have the fit for being the dad and he was kind of abusive and he was always angry. And then he says, "It took all of 50 years to erase the face of my father off the face of God."

I taught this. I was teaching a bunch of young boys in the detention center, 30 young boys. And when I got to the detention center, I asked them what they were there for. And the woman in charge said, "Oh, they're the worst of the worst." And I was like, "What does that mean?" Like, all right, and she said, "They are all here for sexual abuse or murder." And I thought, "What am I going to say to these teenage boys?" And just as clear as day this inspiration came and said, "You're going to teach them about me." So I started by saying, "Just by the raise of hands in this room, how many of you know who your dad is?" And two boys raise their hands.

Jalyn 14:13
Tammy 14:14
And then I said, the next question was, "Now raise your hand if you believe in God." And who do you think raised their hand?
Jalyn  14:19
The same two boys.

Tammy 14:20
The same two boys. And one of those boys, I played this video clip for them in the prison. And after it got done, and he said, he, this young boy heard him say, "It took all of 50 years to erase the face of my father off the face of God," this young boy goes, and he's like 16, he's like, "Whoa." And I said, "Why did you say that?" And he's like, "I mean that, 50 years! I don't want to wait that long." He's like, "I want to believe." And it was just such a beautiful moment for me because when I finished that sentence, God is? I think God loves me more than anyone in the world. Like my dad thinks I'm the greatest human being that's ever lived.

Jalyn 14:58

Tammy 14:58
And I believe that about God. I think I'm His favorite. I don't think He likes anyone more than me. I also think that God will be like, "Yeah, but we can't do unless we can afford it." I believe God will give me anything I asked for.

Holly 15:11
He has to look over last quarter's finances but...

Tammy 15:16

Okay, so go to first Nephi chapter one, verse 14. And before we study this verse, here's I'm going to ask you to do: take whatever negative ideas or beliefs that you currently have about God, and I'm going to ask you to put them aside while we study in verse 14, who God really is and how He deals with His children because this changed everything. For me, this is the crux of the Godhead, and here's what we need to know. In the vision that Lehi has, he's carried away in a vision is what verse eight says, and then verse 14 teaches us number one doctrinal truth, the Godhead and who Heavenly Father is. Here's what we know. In verse 14 it says, "And it came to pass that when my father had read and seen many great and marvelous things, he did exclaim many things unto the Lord; such as: Great and marvelous are thy works, O Lord God Almighty! Thy throne is high in the heavens, and thy power, and goodness, and mercy are over all the inhabitants of the earth; and because thou art merciful, thou wilt not suffer all who come unto thee that they shall perish." He's great, He's marvelous, He's Almighty, He's powerful, He's good, and He's merciful.

One of my favorite books is "Lectures on Faith," I love that it teaches us the characteristics and attributes of God. And when you learn that, you suddenly come to understand that He is our Heavenly Father. And when you think about now "God is?" No matter what you've believed, I think it's interesting, you feel like He is absentee, He's not there. And Jalyn, your dad died.

Jalyn 16:46
When I was a senior in high school. And he was a truck driver before that so he wasn't home a lot. And I think you and I have had that exact conversation of how your father is the way you really understand who God is. And it's not that my dad wasn't caring and didn't love me and all of that, but wasn't very emotive or very, you know, we weren't huggy family and all that. And like when you tell me your story, that I know I'm God's favorite, I believe you are.

Holly  17:12
Yeah, like so I was thinking the exact same thing. I thought, "Well, because she is."

Jalyn 17:16
She is. You are God's favorite. I totally believe that. But what you're saying is like, so am I and so's Holly, but for us to get there? It's way different. And I totally believe this for other people.

Holly 17:31
But I believe I'm going to be before the pleasing bar of the great Jehovah and they might say to me, "You know, we had to make some tough calls in the last fiscal year and Holly, you didn't make it."

Tammy 17:43
But we must know God. We have to know who He is before we can even move on in our study of the Book of Mormon because when we realize that He is love, that He is just, that He is no respecter of persons as "Lectures on Faith teaches. And that, right here Lehi is trying to help us understand, "Here's who He is," because if you know who He is, then the rest of the Book of Mormon will make sense and how Heavenly Father works with his children.

Holly 18:05
Just one more thing.

Tammy 18:06

Holly 18:07
I had never noticed this in verse 14, but I can picture Lehi in my mind's eye, you know, saying, "And He's this, and He's this, and He's, good and He's merciful, and He's, you know, He loves you." And I feel this like urgency from him that we grasp a hold of that. And I feel the Spirit when I read that, you know, of Lehi's intent there, that He's not going to turn you away.

Jalyn  18:32

Tammy 18:32

Holly 18:33
He can afford us.

Tammy 18:34
Yeah. Holly, I really like that you just said that He can afford us. I think that's an important thing for everyone to recognize. He can afford everyone, that no one's exempt from His tender mercies. That's what we're going to talk about when we come back.

I have a question and we have an English Lit teacher with us today, Holly.

Holly 18:55
Well, really composition, but I have read a couple of books.
Tammy 18:59
This is the perfect question for you, Holly, because I don't really know the answer. What's a thesis statement? And why is it necessary?

Holly 19:06
It's funny you should ask that, Tammy. Just last Thursday I was talking to my English 2010 students. All writing begins with a good question. And the thesis statement of any given essay is your answer to that question. And it gives focus to your whole paper.

Tammy 19:24
All right.

Jalyn  19:25
Wish I would have I got that answer that easy before I took...

Holly 19:28
Before ninth grade?

Jalyn 19:28

Tammy 19:30
Because they're hard to come by.

Holly 19:31
We like to keep that under wraps. Don't share that with your kids.

Tammy 19:34
It's a trick of English teachers, isn't it?

Holly 19:35

Tammy 19:36
Alright, so that's, you know, what's kind of cool about that is there's a thesis statement to the Book of Mormon. How about that? Who knew? Let's go find it and mark it. The thesis statement to the Book of Mormon is in 1 Nephi 1:20. And Holly, as our English teacher, read it and see if you can pick out the thesis statement in this verse. Let's see how good you are.

Holly 19:55
All right, here we go.

"And when the Jews heard these things they were angry with him; yea, even as with the prophets of old, whom they had cast out, and stoned and slain; and they also sought his life, that they might take it away. But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make the mighty even unto the power of deliverance."

Tammy  20:22
What is it?

Holly  20:23
Oh, it's that last sentence: But behold, I, Nephi, will show that the tender mercies of the Lord are over, I never noticed that before, all those whom he has chosen, dependent on our faith, and that power will make us mighty and deliverance.

Tammy 20:41
Okay, let's pretend you're grading this paper right here and you just read that, what is it telling you about the rest of the paper? What's it going to be about?

Holly 20:48
Well, I would have told Nephi you really want to avoid using a conjunction to start your sentence. But I'll allow it for it as a style choice.

Tammy 20:59
For the record, though, in Hebrew, totally normal.

Holly 21:02
Oh, really?

Tammy 21:02
Yes. In Hebrew you begin sentences with "ands" and "buts," it joins them together. It's called a "vav."
Holly 21:08
So this is actually a coordinating conjunction.

Tammy  21:11
Yeah. When Joseph Smith is reading this, and it's being written down, they would have known that wasn't right, maybe. Like, you probably would have found that you can't start a sentence with a "but," but in Hebrew, you can.
Holly 21:22
Jalyn 21:23
Also wish I would have known that in the ninth grade when I got knocked down for that.

Tammy 21:27
It's Hebrew.

Holly 21:29
We keep it under wraps so we can use our red pens.

Jalyn 21:32
I got it.

Holly 21:32
Okay so, what was your question again? How would I rank that?

Tammy 21:36
Yeah, what's this book going to be about? If that's the thesis, what do you take from that?

Holly  21:40
It's pretty powerful. That God is on our side, and that we'll be saved.
Jalyn 21:45
So that's the answer but what was the question?

Holly  21:47
How, how do we make it through this world? How do we make it through this life?
Jalyn 21:52
It's kind of those standard, "Where did I come from?" "Where am I going?"

Holly  21:55
And then the answer is, you know what, you're chosen and He loves you. He loves you so much. Yeah, those tender mercies.
Jalyn 21:55

Tammy 22:05
He loves you. You're His favorite.

Holly 22:07
More than one mercy, right?

Tammy 22:09
Mm hmm, mercies.

Holly 22:10
So what's really interesting to me about this is that we can look for this pattern in every chapter that we read in the Book of Mormon. We can look for types of this where He shows us mercy, where we're delivered, where we exercise faith, and we're made mighty and delivered.

Jalyn 22:30
Well I love just those three words, mercy, mighty, deliverance. Just those three, you see them the whole way through.

Holly 22:38
You really do.

Jalyn 22:39
Yeah, mercy, mighty, and deliverance.

Holly 22:39
Yeah, and a good paper will continue to back up the thesis statement throughout the entire thing and then the conclusion will point you forward. And boy does it, right?

Tammy  22:53
Definitely. So this is a good quote, I like this. It's by Elder Bednar and he's the one that introduced us to tender mercies and so we have to read this. And I'm going to read it, "Through personal study, observation, pondering, and prayer, I believe I have come to better understand that the Lord's tender mercies are the very personal and individualized blessings, strength, protection, assurances, guidance, loving kindnesses, consolation, support, and spiritual gifts, which we receive from and because of and through the Lord Jesus Christ. Truly the Lord suits “his mercies according to the conditions of the children of men” (D&C 46:15). How great is that?
Jalyn  23:35
It's really great.

Tammy 23:36
So tell me then, what's a tender mercy? Can you think of one you've had in your life?

Jalyn 23:41
Oh, so many.

Holly 23:42
Yeah, you know, I needed on my mission to have a male role model who I was his favorite. Who loved me and I knew. And I realized later, years later, that every missionary on mission felt like they were our president's, you know, he and his wife, that every single one of us would have said, "Well, actually, I'm his favorite and I'm her favorite." And that was a mercy for me.

Tammy 24:14
Yeah. And I think you don't even notice the tender mercy when you're in it. That's what's so beautiful about it. It's when you've come through that you look back and go, "That was a tender mercy."

One of the key elements to being able to recognize these tender mercies and have them in our lives has to do with a lot with our hearts. We're going to talk about having a soft heart and what that means to receiving tender mercies and letting the Lord have a role in our lives in the next section.

We're going to go into first Nephi chapter two. Okay, you guys know this story. I mean, come on. Lehi has a dream, the Lord tells him that he needs to take his family and depart into the wilderness, right? And this is crazy because they don't want to leave their land of inheritance or any of that stuff.

This is one of my favorite chapters in that I would always say to my seminary students, "What's your favorite scripture? Everyone turn to their favorite scripture." And as you can imagine, teenagers are always going to turn to the two sorts of scriptures. In the New Testament, it is?

Jalyn 25:09
"Jesus wept."

Tammy 25:09
Very good. And then in the Book of Mormon, it's verse 15.

Holly 25:12
"My father dwelt in a tent."
Tammy  25:14
And I would always roll my eyes and one time a football player said that and I rolled him my eyes. I'm like, "Yeah, you and all the other guys in the room." And he goes, "No, this really is my favorite verse." And I said, "Okay, tell me why, if you can back it up." And he said, "Well, my dad always taught me that I can't believe they would waste time to put on these plates and my father dwelt in a tent, but it's because he left everything and now he's living in a tent." Like for me, I was like, "I never thought of that before." I love camping so I'm like, "So I'm living in a tent." It was powerful because we need some context for how crazy this is.

So I just want you to see, picture in your mind. I mean, they're leaving their land of inheritance. And why that is so significant is because, during biblical time, land of inheritance is everything. It's your land you get to inherit. It's land you get to sell. It's land you get to pass down to all of your children. It's everything you own. And there's some kind of cool rules about this. I kind of like this, it says, "If a family sold your land for a lower price due to economic hardship, and the need to sell quickly, family members were generally allowed to redeem or repurchase the land at that low price again later on." So it had significant value and Lehi's leaving everything. The scriptures say his land of inheritance, that's in verse 11. His gold, his silver, and his precious things. Okay, leaving everything. I want you to think in your mind because if your parents came to you and said, "All right, let's go. We're leaving everything and we're living in tent." What do you think?
Holly 26:39
Forget it. I'm choosing a new family.

Tammy 26:42
Jalyn 26:45
I mean, if I were born like...

Holly 26:46
Are you a camper?

Jalyn  26:48
Glamping, maybe.
Holly 26:50
Yeah, I'm more of a glamper.

Jalyn 26:51
Like, I probably would have never made it across the plains.

Holly 26:55
I love a s'more.

Jalyn 26:56
I know, but I'd be back in England, like a pioneer? No.

Holly 26:59
One-hundred percent would have been the people that would have...

Jalyn 27:02
I wouldn't even go on a modern-day trek. But it's not the family that kills me because like mom and dad, yeah, they're gonna drag you. Zoram.

Tammy 27:11
Oh, we'll get to him. Okay, I think everybody struggled. We often kind of gloss over this verse and I just think it's so important for us to recognize, look at 1 Nephi 2:16. Wait, before you look at it, I just want you to answer this question, how do you think Nephi felt? What do we teach?

Jalyn  27:29
I don't know.

Holly 27:30
Right, that he was already packed.

Jalyn  27:31
I will go. I will do. I'm the king.

Tammy 27:35
This is why we need to study this because look at verse 16. Who wants to read? I can never get rid of that seminary teacher line.

Jalyn 27:41
You really can't.

Tammy  27:41
Jalyn, read for us.

Jalyn 27:42
"And it came to pass that I, Nephi, being exceedingly young, nevertheless being large in stature, and also having great desires to know the mysteries of God, wherefore, I did cry unto the Lord; and behold, he didn't visit me and soften my heart that I..."

Tammy 27:56
Stop. What did he do?

Jalyn 27:58
He softened his heart.

Tammy 27:59
What does that tell us about Nephi?
Holly 28:00
It implies that his heart was hard.

Tammy  28:02
Yeah. And we kind of gloss over that because we like to pick on Laman and Lemuel.
Holly 28:06
Well, I just watched this morning, I watched 1 Nephi 7.
Jalyn 28:12
Oh, you got the video, right?

Holly 28:13
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I have it on my VHS. But I've been hearing about the Church videos but I haven't gotten to it yet, the Book of Mormon. And the whole time it was playing I thought, like I joked in the beginning, I would have made a great Laman or Lemuel, and I really felt for them. I like that they're not vilified. And I love what you just pointed out because if Nephi's heart was hard, then my reaction of, "I'm not going to the wilderness," makes a lot more sense to me and there's hope for me.

Tammy 28:43
It makes Nephi human, right? Yeah, which, this is before the "I will go and do." He's like, "I don't know if I really want to go and do."
Holly 28:50
If I can go and do.

Jalyn 28:52
Which, I really like that and I've never really noticed that too because I always like get to these first, you know, few chapters and you're like, "Yeah, yeah, Nephi paints himself out to be the hero." Everybody cracks at one point, everybody cracks at one point, and Nephi never did. But that's because he cried unto the Lord from the very get go, and was on board with the mission from the very start.

Tammy 29:11
Like, let me see if this is real.

Jalyn 29:12

Tammy  29:12
I need to get my own answer.

Jalyn 29:14
Because always asked.
Tammy 29:15
Yeah, and we can do that. And here's what I think is interesting. He did soften my heart, why doesn't it say and he did change my mind? Or he did help me to see differently. Why are we focused on the heart?

Holly  29:25
Because it made no sense to do what Lehi was doing.

Tammy 29:28

Holly 29:28
There wasn't any economic value in it for him, or political gain, or anything. But, you know, the place is about to burn down so Lehi wants to get them out. But only he knows this because he's had the vision. It makes a lot more sense that it wasn't, "He changed my mind," because you'd have to be, you'd have to be wholeheartedly invested in the vision to go.

Jalyn  29:49
Yeah, absolutely.

Tammy 29:50
When you think about your hearts and where they are and where that has led you, I want to read this quick quote by Marvin J. Ashton in the 1988 April general conference. Holly, would you read that?
Holly 30:00
"Why the heart? Because the heart is a synonym for one's entire makeup. We often use phrases about the heart to describe the total person. Thus, we describe people as being 'big-hearted' or 'goodhearted' or having a 'heart of gold.' Or we speak of people with faint hearts, wise hearts, pure hearts, willing hearts, deceitful hearts, conniving hearts, courageous hearts, cold hearts, hearts of stone, or selfish hearts. The measure of our hearts is the measure of our total performance. As used by the Lord, the 'heart' of a person describes his effort to better self or others or the conditions he could front. A question I suggest to you is this: How do you measure up? . . . Where's your heart? . . . We will be measured by our hearts."

Wow, that's his thesis statement, right?

Tammy 30:42

Holly 30:43
How will we be measured? Where's my heart?

Tammy 30:45
Where's my heart?

Holly 30:45
Yeah, we'll be measured by it.

Tammy 30:46
And that all hearts are capable of being changed.

Jalyn 30:48
Tammy 30:49
Nephi's was, and it's interesting because as you continue to read, Laman and Lemuel didn't ask to have it changed, and we're going to talk about that later. But, and can we just give some props to Sam the hero because Sam just beliefs.
Jalyn 31:00

Tammy 31:00
He has the gift of belief. And so I like how Nephi says and I told my brother Sam what happened and Sam's like, "Great, let's go."

Jalyn 31:07
Super duper.

Tammy 31:09
So when we, we go in and we're going to talk about Laman and Lemuel. And that's what I want us to talk about next is a little bit about their hearts and we're going to dig into the experience that teaches us about the tender mercies and soft hearts.

Laman and Lemuel. I mean, when you hear those voices, what's our first reaction?

Holly 31:31
I mean, they're the villains

Tammy 31:32
Yeah, big villains.

Jalyn 31:35
I don't know, I just see myself. Like yeah, that would be me.

Holly  31:38
I do more now, but not on the cartoon Book of Mormon. Yeah, well, I mean, we used to drag the VCR TV combo on the mission. Hauled that.

Jalyn 31:47
Oh, yeah.

Holly 31:48
You know.

Tammy 31:48
Well it's going to buy you about 25 minutes, that counts as a discussion.

Holly 31:51
One-hundred percent.
Tammy 31:53
You pop some popcorn and you got a nice hour. Best appointments. Did we waste time on our mission?

Jalyn 31:59
Dang those nine principles.
Holly 32:02
And they came in Spanish, don't think I didn't have all of them in the trunk of my car at any given time.

Tammy  32:05
Well, here's the, let me give some context for Laman and Lemuel because we did talk about this but I didn't point this out. In 1 Nephi 2:5, I want you to write this in your scriptures next to that verse. So they've left Jerusalem and now they're walking on their journey. It says, "And he came down by the borders near the shore of the Red Sea; and he traveled in the wilderness in the borders which are near the Red Sea; and he did travel in the wilderness with his family, which consisted of my mother, Sariah, and my elder brothers, who were Laman, Lemuel, and Sam."

That journey is a 12 to 14 day trip one way, okay, so that's how far they've come. And then they're three days past that journey and the next verse, so 12 to 14 days, and they get settled, and then we get a dream, right? Lehi has another vision and then he says, "Okay, you gotta go back." Now go to chapter three of first Nephi. Look at verse five, what do Laman and Lemuel, what words do they describe what's been asked of them?

Jalyn 32:57
It is a hard thing.

Tammy 32:58
Can you relate?

Holly 32:59
Yes, I can because every day in the carpool line at school when I feel that murderous rage, then I think this is terrible. I can't believe I'm in this line with all these other moms and all these other people, and ugh, you know? I mean, everyone...

Tammy 33:18
You just wanna die. Come on, give me your voice.
Holly  33:22
Yeah, why!?

Tammy 33:25
There it is.

Holly  33:27
There's the real me ladies and gents.
Tammy 33:28
Yeah, that's it.

Holly 33:30
Yes, but I do think that and then I think, "Oh my goodness, you know, they're 17 days in and dad says, 'I'm gonna need you to hoof it back to the homeland.' That's terrible.

Tammy 33:43

Holly  33:44
Were they punked? I mean, you know?

Jalyn  33:46
No, like, I would be thinking too before then that, like, "Okay, well, maybe we gotta stop and rest here." And then you'd be thinking like 17 days in like, dad is serious about this."

Holly 33:56

Jalyn 33:57
This is not some little like laugh, like we're in it. And I still don't know what's going on.
Holly  34:02
It's like when my parents drove us five minutes out of town for our summer vacation in 1981 and we ended up at the Red Barn Inn campground. And my brother and I pretended we were from French Canada.

Tammy 34:13

Holly 34:14
Because we were too embarrassed to tell the other kids at the pool at the campground. Oh, it's nice, it had a pool.

Tammy 34:18
That you lived five minutes away?
Holly  34:20
So we said, "Uh, bonjour, we are from Canada."

Tammy  34:25
I think that's awesome. So, we go, let's go into this because we know this. There are three failed attempts, right? The first time that they go it doesn't work out for them. The lot falls on Laman.
Holly 34:36
Wait, do they go back?
Tammy 34:37
They do go back. So they're in there and they go...
Holly 34:40
Are you kidding me?

Tammy 34:41
That's where we get the Nephi, "I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded." So they're going back.

Jalyn  34:46
These negotiation tactics are amazing.

Tammy 34:48
It is, it is because the first, so they go back and the lot falls on Laman to go and get the plates, okay.

Holly 34:54
I didn't realize they were journeying back and forth and back and forth and back and forth all the way back to base camp. I was wondering, where do we see this in the nine beliefs that we talked about in the beginning?

Tammy 35:07
That's a great question. Let's look at those nine. Does one fall, does one stand out to you? I mean, I think for me, it's the revelation.
Holly 35:15
I was just going to say prophets and revelation.
Tammy 35:19
Nephi has to get his own answer.

Holly 35:22
And, yes, he has to get his own answer, but also, I think there's safety in following the prophet. Even when you can't really see, why would that be a policy?
Tammy  35:36
Holly 35:37
And we, you know, we spend a lot of time now talking about policies and beliefs. And to me, they're, you know, they're very intertwined. And so, there's sometimes where maybe they change something and I think, "Oh, I really wanted to stay at church for three hours." Just kidding.

Jalyn 35:54
I heard people say that, though.
Holly 35:55
Yeah, I just have to walk by if someone's saying that.

"I really missed three hours." No, no, no one does, do they? They might, maybe they do? That's okay. And so yeah, I think to put in the physical steps, I mean can you imagine Nephi's Fitbit? Yeah.

Jalyn  35:58

Tammy 36:12
Right. Well, so they go back and then they have that experience after they get the plates and they come home. And then we're going to read later that then Lehi says, "Okay, now you gotta go back so you can get wives, right? Yeah, which I'm gonna come back and...

Jalyn 36:25
Yeah, which I was gonna say like marriage and family are commandments too. Like, that's very respectful of their parents and the obedience to your dad, who's first your dad and then is also a prophet.

Tammy  36:36
We'll cover that next time, definitely. Now, this is my question: Where's the tender mercy? Why couldn't they have gotten that, like, in my mind...

Jalyn 36:46
What do you mean? They probably went back home...

Holly 36:47
You can't see me but I'm throwing my hands up in the air.

Tammy 36:49
Like, why wasn't the tender mercy to all of a sudden have them fall on their doorstep before they all left? Why couldn't have the tender mercy been the Lord to say, "Lehi, before you go, go get those plates, then head out with your family."

Holly 36:59
I've thought a lot of this, though. I think of all the times in my life where I've needed a good stretch of time to figure it out.

Jalyn  37:09
Well, or to even strengthen your testimony about it. And I think it's tender mercy for Nephi, like, Nephi's got to put up with these people because he's just not seeing it that way. Right? Like he's like, I don't know what's wrong with you...

Holly  37:22
But he has to go back and hear from his dad and from his mom who tell him, "You can go and do this."

Jalyn 37:29

Holly  37:29
"We believe in you."

Jalyn 37:30
Yeah. Yeah. Kind of bit of a heavy load for him, though. You gotta take these two whiny brothers.

Tammy 37:36
Like, I would be wondering where the tender mercy was when Laman comes back and he gets kicked out as a robber so he flees. Then they're really upset. And then the Nephi says, "Well, let's go back and get all of our golden silver and all of our riches at our house and see if that works." It doesn't. And then they finally find, well, Nephi finds Laban drunk, cuts his head off. I mean, all of these experiences to get the plates, and in my mind, if I was Nephi, I'm like, "Heavenly Father, why can't this be easier? Why couldn't you just?"

Holly 38:00
Maybe it was for Sariah.

Jalyn  38:01
You know, what I always think about Nephi when you read these chapters is we talk about prayer and the need to go ask and to do that. And it's the specificity with which he asks. He never says, like, "Hey, could you just kind of make this drop in my lap?" It's like, well, "What tool do I need?" Like, how do I solve this problem?

Holly 38:21
It's not a potion or a spell.

Jalyn 38:22
Exactly, it's like, "How do I go do this?" And plus, God's also using our own knowledge and so you're going to go do what you know how to do, right? "Well, I'm just gonna ask nice," okay, that doesn't work. "I'm gonna try and buy it." That doesn't work. "Oh, I guess I'm," then he really has to be talked into, "You got to cut his head off."

Tammy 38:41
When you think about this idea and if you're in the middle of something and you're like, "Where's my tender mercy?" I really like this correlation between this and Zion's Camp. And if you read about Zion's Camp in the Doctrine and Covenants, it was sort of a failed attempt at trying to help the people and nothing went right, at least, according to what they thought they were going for. They thought we're going to fight. They didn't fight. They were actually the laughingstock of the saints who stayed behind, the men who were like, "I'm glad I didn't go, I mean, there was no point in that."

Holly 39:06
Maybe people joked and said, "Well, could be in Zion's Camp."
Tammy 39:08
Yeah, exactly. Because this is kind of a cool quote. And I want to read this to you because that's basically what happened. It says, "A brother in Kirtland who did not go with the camp, meeting Brigham Young upon his return, said to Brigham Young, 'Well, what did you gain on this useless journey to Missouri with Joseph Smith?' And Brigham Young responded, 'All that we went for.' He says, 'I would not exchange the experience I gained in that expedition for all the wealth in Geauga County.' And I wonder if sometimes I look at my life and think, during that hard time, can I answer all that I went for? Like, it was hard and that tender mercy didn't come the way I thought, but hindsight is when you see the tender mercy, you're like, "Oh, now I get it." And when you asked Nephi, was it worth it? And he would say, "I wouldn't exchange that experience for all the gold in Jerusalem."

Jalyn 39:54
Well, it's the building of your own testimony, right? It's like you go on a mission not necessarily to convert others to the gospel but the tender mercies you gain that strong testimony of the gospel.
Holly  40:06
One-hundred percent.

Tammy 40:07
Now, talking about having things not go the way you think they're going to, and if you're waiting for things to happen the way they should, I think the Zoram is a beautiful example of everything working out, but you didn't think it would. And so let's talk a little bit, and we're going to in our next section talk about Zoram.

Let's talk about Zoram because so little is known of this man but I feel like I want to title Zoram "the man of all men." This guy is pretty powerful and his story is something I think we need to focus on. We're going to find that in 1 Nephi 4:30. What we know is that he is a servant of Laban and he's in charge of the treasury. And so Nephi is able to get the plates from him because Zoram thinks that it's Laban, his master, and then Zoram follows Nephi out into the wilderness. The brothers are freaking out thinking, "Here comes Laban." Nephi says, "No, it's me. It's me." And then Zoram's like, "Whoa, what are you talking about?" And this is where Zoram realizes, "Wait a minute, what is going on?" And, "Who did I just follow into the wilderness?"

Holly 41:12
Uh oh.

Tammy 41:12
Yeah, thank you. We're gonna go back and read 1 Nephi 4:30. Holly, would you read verses 30 and 31?

Holly 41:20
"And it came to pass that when the servant of Laban beheld my brothren he began to tremble, and was about to flee before me and returned to the city of Jerusalem. And now, I, Nephi, being a man large in stature, and also having received much strength of the Lord, therefore I did seize upon the servant of Laban, and held him, that he should not flee."

Tammy 41:39
Imagine that, in your mind. Like, oh, seems like a tackle from an offensive lineman.

Holly  41:45
Well, and I'm guessing that the keeper of the keys of the treasury of Laban was probably not a weakling. Yeah, right?

Tammy  41:54

Holly 41:54
I mean, he had some high-security clearance.

Tammy  41:56

Holly 41:57
So he would have been rough, tough and ready to rumble.

Jalyn  42:00
Wearing all of Laban's garb. I mean, all of Laban's stuff. He's got that sword.
Tammy 42:05
And he might be ready to fight.

Jalyn  42:07
He's got the goods. Yeah.

Tammy 42:08
So building up that context is what makes verse 32 so powerful. So here's what Nephi says to him. Jalyn, read verse 32, and 33.

Jalyn  42:15
"And it came to pass that I speak with him," meaning Nephi to Zoram, "that if he would hearken unto my words, as the Lord liveth, and as I live, even so that if he would hearken unto our words, we would spare his life. And I spake unto him, even with an oath, that he need not fear; that he should be a free man like unto us if he will go down into the wilderness with us."

Tammy  42:35
Okay, highlight in verse 32, "as the Lord liveth, and as I live." This is a powerful statement. It isn't just him saying, "Hey, listen, I promise, or I swear to you on my mother's grave, or, as I would say, I swear on the Holy Ghost Bible." I always swore on that as a kid.

Holly  42:51
That's an ancient oath from Sandy.
Tammy  42:53
"This right here, "as the Lord liveth and as I live," write in the side of your scriptures, "oath of all oaths." This is the most binding oath or pact that a person can make. In fact, in Hebrew, it's "Hai Elohim." And the word Jehovah is used and you don't ever use the name, Jehovah. So you are literally making an oath on God's name. Hugh Nibley writes about this, he's saying, "Not any oath will do." Like, he had to have the most binding and solemn oath, that should be by the life of something, even if it was even the blade of grass. If you made an oath like that and you didn't keep that oath, it was the worst thing you could do. It would ruin your social status. It would ruin who you were as a man in the community. You never broke an oath, especially this one, "as the Lord liveth with and as I live." And so, this oath is what settles Zoram down. When he hears these words, he's like, "Oh, wow, this is like they will really protect me."

It's often when you hear in the scriptures, "Thou shalt not swear. Thou shalt not forswear thyself." It's talking about this.
Holly  43:55
About this particular oath?

Tammy 43:56
This particular oath. It's not talking about you can't say swear words, right. Swear all you want people.

Holly  44:01
I think that's the takeaway from this.

Tammy 44:04
I think that's my takeaway.

But it's, it's saying you can't make false swears, false oaths, do not even think of it. And I like how Nibley says, "even on a blade of grass." If you swear on the blade of grass, it's that binding. And so then we come down and then Zoram in verse 35 will make an equal oath to them. And so verse 35, it says, "Now Zoram was the name of the servant; and he promised that he would go down into the wilderness unto our father. Yea, and he also made an oath unto us that he would tarry with us from that time forth."

And if you continue, 36 and 37 says a lot about him. Jalyn, will you read those?

Jalyn 44:39
Yeah, "Now we were desirous that he should tarry with us for this cause, that the Jews might not know concerning our flight into the wilderness, lest they should pursue us and destroy us. And it came to pass that when Zoram had made an oath and to us, our fears did cease concerning him."

Tammy  44:54
What's so significant about this and why I say Zoram's the "man of all men" is he must have had a relationship with God for him to recognize Nephi's words, that he will make an oath with him, it had to trigger something in Zoram to go. God is good. He is merciful. He is all powerful.

Holly 45:11
When you just were talking about that I, as a child growing up in New England, that is something that people say when they're serious about telling you the truth. They say, "I swear to God,

Tammy 45:24
Yes, of course.

Holly  45:26
I dropped that from my vernacular when I became a member because we don't say that, right? But it's really, this has been great for me to think back on that because people only say that when it's serious business.
Jalyn 45:41
But that's the original attention-getter, right? So that's what kind of calms him down. But it says way more about Zoram and his belief and that the Spirit had to touch him in some sort of way. Because you could have said that to me and like, "Okay, I get you're promising me that and that's really serious, but like I'm pretty big deal here in the kingdom."

Holly  46:00
I got the keys.

Jalyn 46:01
Yeah, "And you want me to like go into the wilderness because your dad had a dream?" So there had to be something, you know, there's so many volumes of stuff we don't know about him. But clearly, the Spirit spoke to him and witnessed that it was all true for him to make the same binding oath back to them.

Tammy  46:21
Well, then it makes me think in the context of our own lives, has the Spirit spoken to you? And what oaths have you made? When you think about covenants, promises, oaths that you make is there one that is spiritually binding, one specific one for you?

Holly 46:38
I have something that happened to us in the last year. I had a neighbor who passed away and my children are friends with this neighbor's children. And, all three of my kids, when they got the news, they were in my house. My children held these two girls in their arms and let them cry. And, for the first time as a mom, I watched my kids honor that baptismal covenant to mourn with those that mourn. And they took that really seriously and it was so powerful to me to see them do that. It was so heartbreaking.
Jalyn 47:19
And a heartwarming that your girls did it, right?
Holly 47:21
Yeah, and my son. I mean, they were 11 at the time.

Jalyn  47:24
Oh, he's the spare.

Holly 47:25
He's is.

Jalyn  47:26
Of the pair and the spare.
Holly 47:27
The pair and the spare of the triplets.

Tammy 47:29
Yeah, thank you for sharing that, Holly.

So this has been such a good discussion today of first Nephi chapters one through seven. We just got to introduce the Book of Mormon.

Jalyn 47:39

Tammy 47:40
How fun is that? So tell me, tell me, what your takeaway is? What did you learn?

Holly 47:45
I think the biggest takeaway for me is that our Heavenly Parents are going to work with us. Our Father in Heaven, our Mother in Heaven, they are going to do whatever is necessary to give us the best chance of coming back.

Tammy 48:04
Excellent answer.

Holly  48:06
And it shifts what, when you asked me at the beginning, "God is?" And now I'm thinking, "Wow, they're on my team."

Tammy 48:17
Right. They want you to succeed.

Jalyn 48:18
I think the biggest thing for me was chapter one, verse 20, and we took away those three things of mercy, mighty, and deliverance. Like, I really want to read the whole Book of Mormon now and just like looking for those three things. Like, that tied everything back into the thesis sentence of the Book of Mormon in mercy, mighty, and deliverance and how that story repeats itself over and over in our own life like all the time.

Holly  48:18
I'm on their team. They want me to succeed.

That there is that pattern.

Jalyn  48:50

Holly  48:50
And to recognize it will make us feel gratitude.

Jalyn  48:54

Holly  48:54
And make a see that the nature of God in our lives.

Jalyn 48:57

Holly 48:58
Like who He really is.

Tammy 49:00
My takeaway was who Heavenly Father is and how he deals with his children. I just found it fascinating that that's the very first thing that Nephi wants to teach us. I used to think first Nephi was a travel log of where they're going, where they've been, and all the things that have happened to them, but when I read it through the lens of who Heavenly Father is and how He deals with his children, it's changed the way I read the Book of Mormon.

Well, Holly, Jalyn, thank you so much for joining me today. This has been a spirited, fun discussion. Of course, it is because you're my dear friends.

So thanks for hitting the books and digging in with us and for those of you who are listening today, I want you to tell us what was your big takeaway this week? Now, this is kind of cool, because every Saturday on our Instagram and Facebook account, we're going to share a post asking you for your weekly takeaway. So go to the show notes at and find the link on our social media there to follow us and get in the conversation.

This is episode two, and we are in it and we're studying the "Come, Follow Me" and I know you have things to say. I want to know what you've learned, and I want to know what your takeaways are. So join in the conversation because I really want to hear from you.

And if you're enjoying this and it has added to your gospel study, go to, search "Sunday on Monday," and leave us a rating and a review. We're always looking for ways to make it better and we want to know what you think.

God loves you, study hard, and we'll see you next week!