20: "That Which Is of God Is Light" (Doctrine and Covenants 49–50)
One word for "evil" in Greek is ponos. But unlike the English definition of evil, the word ponos means pain, anguish, distress, or suffering. In most cases, ponos could describe what we feel when we make a mistake or commit sin. The Savior knows this pain because He suffered for us. He will always be the first to meet us and the last to judge us. That’s what this week’s lesson from Doctrine and Covenants 49–50 is all about: Christ coming to meet us where we are and helping us understand the great blessings He has in store for us.
So one of the things that surprised me the most about teaching an Institute class at the women's prison was this, that Jesus was there. And that surprised me because I was surrounded by women who the world would judge as evil, sinners, or bad. But the prison taught me that they were the Greek word for "evil," which is "ponos," and it means pain, anguish, distress, or suffering. You know, these women had done some pretty awful things and yet every time without fail, the moment I stepped foot into that dedicated building on the prison block, I could feel peace. And every class I attended, the Holy Ghost was there witnessing to those sweet "ponos" women that what was being taught was true. I learned that Jesus will meet you where you are, whatever or wherever that looks like. Jesus is the first to meet you, and the last to judge you. That made me emotional. Today's discussion of Doctrine and Covenants, Sections 49 through 50 is all about Jesus meeting people where they are and doing all He can to bring them unto him. And I'm so excited to show you what this is all about.
Welcome to the "Sunday on Monday Study Group," a Deseret Bookshelf PLUS+ Original brought to you by LDS Living where we take the "Come, Follow Me" lesson for the week and we really dig into the scriptures together. I'm your host, Tammy Uzelac Hall, who's a little emotional. Now if you're new to our study group, we want to make sure that you know how to use this podcast so please follow the link in our description. It's going to explain how you can best use this podcast to enhance your "Come, Follow Me" study just like my friend Jamison Wyatt in Spokane Valley in Washington. Hi, bud! He's 17 and he loves the podcast. How cool is that? Now my favorite thing about our study group, absolute favorite thing, is that each week we're joined by two of my friends so it's always a little different. And I could not be more excited to introduce you to Diane Gerdy Iman and Ron Case. Hi, guys!
Ron Case 1:54
Diane Gerdy Iman 1:55
So the little background about the three of us. We all taught seminary together. I was just trying to be a seminary teacher. And so when they decided to just give me a shot, I got to teach an early morning seminary class at Olympus High School in Salt Lake City, Utah. And Diane had been already hired full-time and Ron was hired full-time. But you weren't a principal yet, you were just a teacher, right?
Ron Case 2:15
And the three of us taught together. And it was so glorious. If that could be Celestial Kingdom, I'm in.
Ron Case 2:23
Do you remember our CERT training, Tammy?
Ron Case 2:28
We went through CERT training like 25 years ago, at least.
And if you're wondering what CERT training is, if it's an acronym for certified emergency response training. Then we learned how to be firemen, on hose!
He turned on the water because they trusted Ron and I to be in charge of any natural disaster. As part of our seminary teacher training that summer, they needed us to be CERT officers. That is so funny you remember that. I'm gonna tell you one thing right now though, here's a couple things I love about both of these two. They taught me how to laugh. And they taught me that you can laugh and still feel the Spirit at the same time, which I was super grateful to have that because I always kind of believed that growing up, but they confirmed it to me. We've had Diane before. She is the happiest person you will ever meet. Like she's divinely happy and so fun to be around all the time. And then Ron, he's your cheerleader in the corner. There was no one else in my life that wanted to get me married more than Ron—not even my mom. Like he was in Tammy's corner. And it was my favorite thing about him. Every time we would see each other he'd say, "How's it going?" And he'd want to set me up with people. Like that's my favorite memory about Ron.
Diane Gerdy Iman 3:38
Before we started filming just now, I showed him my oldest son, whom I was pregnant with when I was teaching with Ron and I just remember Ron just being so good to me when I would throw up in the middle of classes and he was just always there with a Sprite. And there saying, "It's okay, Sister. Just keep doing this. You're alright." And I was like, "Oh, Ron, seriously? I can't do this anymore." Good people! And Tam, you have been one of my nearest and dearest friends for life. Boy, we've had some good times.
Such good times. And then we see each other at Tuesdays, movie Tuesday, $5 Tuesday here in Utah.
Diane Gerdy Iman 4:22
With my cute Dad. And our blankets and our popcorn.
It's the greatest.
Diane Gerdy Iman 4:30
And I should say that this podcast has helped me and my family more than I can even express. Um—
You haven't even started and you're already crying.
Ron Case 4:43
Wow, you guys. I hope you don't get me crying.
We're gonna get you, Ron.
Ron Case 4:49
Oh, boy. It's not hard. I cried at Charlotte's Web. Kids are looking at me, "Dad, what's going on?"
You're like, "It's the saddest story ever."
Diane Gerdy Iman 4:59
It was sad!
It was. Alright, and if you want to know more about my guests, you can read their bios and see cute pictures of them in our show notes at LDSLiving.com/SundayonMonday. Now, I'm just going to kind of let you know right out of the gates, before we start, I am with two master teachers. So anything goes. We might talk all over each other. And this is gonna be different than we've ever done, because I've never taught with two awesome truly master teachers. So I just have to ask you this question right out of the gates, from my beginning story that I got more emotional than I thought I would, I just want to know from your life experience, do you guys believe that? Do you believe that Jesus meets us where we are?
Ron Case 5:36
Absolutely. You see that so often in the Doctrine and Covenants, right? where he's talking to people and saying, "Look, you're little children. You don't really understand what's happening. But I'll lead you along. Kingdom is yours. It's all going to be okay. Just look to me in every thought. Doubt not, fear not. I'll take care of you. You're my little flock."
Diane Gerdy Iman 6:01
I am right with you, Ron. I was talking to my sister about these sections. And we were talking about those same verses, Ron, that you were just alluding to, and the Lord always has our back. He's always the person in the back. For us. He's always, you know, bringing us up from the rear and, and He's always waiting there for us also, and he's carrying us through those really hard times. So yeah, He definitely meets us where we are.
Wow, perfect, both of you. So, for anyone who's listening, who's feeling like this resonates in your heart, no matter who you are or where you are, Jesus will meet you there. And we're going to show you that throughout today's episode. So friends, grab your scriptures and let's dig in. Alright, do you either one of you come from a different religious background? Or your family members?
Diane Gerdy Iman 6:56
So my family are converts to the Church. I don't know if you knew that.
Diane Gerdy Iman 7:01
Well, look at that. So I grew up Congregationalist.
Diane Gerdy Iman 7:07
Yeah, so my family when I was eight years old. And it's kind of cool, because when my sister—I have two sisters, I'm the baby—when my oldest sister was in high school, they had an assignment for a journalism class that they had to write an article for a magazine. And she sent in our conversion story to the New Era. The purpose of the assignment was to get a rejection letter. Well, my sister's article got published. And so she got an F on her assignment because she got published. But the coolest thing was, I was able to take that article with me on my mission to the Czech Republic, and we translated it into Czech, and we would share that story.
Oh, my gosh.
Diane Gerdy Iman 8:02
And it was so powerful. I remember this one girl, her name was Yana. And her mom did not want her to get baptized, and we shared that story. The mom was like, "Oh, wow. Okay, I feel something different. Yes, she can join the Church." And she was baptized.
That's awesome. Wow, that's a cool story about your family. I had no idea. Thanks for sharing. What about you, Ron?
Ron Case 8:31
My fourth great-grandfather was in the original pioneer company with Brigham Young. So I'm kind of a Church member from way back. I can only just imagine how hard it is for people to join this Church, and have to give up a lot of the things that they've believed, maybe their whole life, that they thought were true, and just kind of change traditions a little bit. It'd be hard.
Ron, I'm so glad you said that because that's exactly the premise for Doctrine and Covenants Section 49. Let's go there and look just in the section heading and you guys can kind of just tell us, what is the purpose of Section 49 of the Doctrine and Covenants?
Ron Case 9:13
Well, the missionaries go through Ohio on their way to Missouri, and they've converted a bunch of people in Kirtland, 100 people or so, and then on their way southwest, they go through this Shaker community, and Leman Copley joins the Church, but he also feels like there's some truth in the Shaker religion, and he wants to help those people understand what he knows to be true.
Perfect. Okay. So, for those of you with your scriptures open, next to Section 49, the title for this section is called "Shaking Quakers." The whole section is just like Ron said, it's a revelation given to this congregation of Quakers.
Ron Case 9:54
You're saying Quakers, but it's really Shakers.
Shakers. Well, it's so funny because the Doctrine and Covenants manual that has titles, titled it "Shaking Quakers."
Diane Gerdy Iman 10:04
Yeah, it says the "Shaking Quakers." That's what I have written in mine, too.
Ron Case 10:07
Yeah, it's true. It's true that they're kind of a break off from the Quakers. their religion has kind of died out...
It has. There's only two living members left in Maine. And the congregation is called "The Sabbath-day Lake Shaker Village" in Gloucester, Maine, and my friends from Maine, actually, every summer, his kids would go up to this place and see everything and watch how cows were milked, and people would sleep on hay bales. Her whole childhood is memories of this community. And it's really fascinating to research, I highly recommend you do that. And the reason why there's only two left is because one of the prominent beliefs they have is celibacy. I did think it was kind of cool they used to adopt orphans. Since they were celibate, they would adopt orphans, raise the orphans as Shakers, and then when they were old enough to make their own decisions, they would say to them, "Okay, you can go and decide if you want to stay with our religion or live something different." And they were like, "Yeah, I'm out of here." They lived something different, and not enough people stayed to be this religion. So it's really interesting. So yes, they are Shakers, not Quakers. And this is a revelation that Joseph received about their practices. Now, you said this earlier Ron, but let's just point out, let's have us mark in Section 49, verse 1, we just want to make sure we understand who the Lord is speaking to. And so, Ron, will you please read verse 1 for us?
Ron Case 11:25
"Hearken unto my word, my servants Sidney, and Parley, and Leman; for behold, verily I say unto you, that I give unto you a commandment that you shall go and preach my gospel which ye have received, even as ye have received it, unto the Shakers."
Thank you. So highlight that, mark that, and I love how you taught that, Ron.
Ron Case 11:45
I just thought it was interesting. You know, you said you've been studying Hebrew. You see a kind of a Hebrew-ism right there in that first verse, where the Lord doesn't say, "Sidney, Parley, and Leman." He says, "Sidney and Parley and Leman."
Ron Case 12:03
I don't know. I just thought that was interesting. It's a small Hebrew-ism.
Oh my gosh, yes. Ron, this is so cool. Because throughout the Book of Mormon, you see this a ton. Specifically, like if you look up Helaman, chapter 3, verse 14, that verse has so many "and"s. And the reason why is because they don't have commas in Hebrew, they use an "and" or it's called a "vav." And it's just a little "ch, ch." How do you even say it? Just a little "doo, doo."
Ron Case 12:25
Punctuation mark, almost.
Yes, just a little mark that connects all of the words. So, that's so cool you noticed that. Look at you—
Ron Case 12:32
I never noticed that before.
That's awesome. So the Lord gives this revelation, and gives the assignment to Sidney and Parley and Leman. "Alright, go and take this revelation I'm giving you and I want you to read it to the congregation of Shakers." And in the next segment, we're going to talk about what this Revelation says and how it went.
Okay, so there's a lot of things that are different between the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Shakers, and the Lord addresses them in Section 49. So what's one of the first ones you can think of?
Ron Case 13:10
They're not really the same as the Quakers. I mean, Anne Lee is this pilgrim that comes to America right before the Revolutionary War. She's had these visions and dreams and stuff. She's very inspired. People are following her.
They believe that she was Jesus Christ in female form. And you can find that in the section heading and in verse 22.
Ron Case 13:31
Yeah, I think that was a later belief that they adopted, huh?
Yeah, definitely. I mean, that's just one of the fundamental differences between the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and this, the Shakers. And then the Lord, he starts to address baptism in verses 11 through 13. So, Ron, will you read that for us? Just up to the word baptism in verse 13? And then tell me your thoughts.
Ron Case 13:52
"Wherefore, I give unto you a commandment that ye go among this people, and say unto them, like unto mine apostle of old, whose name was Peter: Believe on the name of the Lord Jesus, who was on the earth, and is to come, the beginning and the end; Repent and be baptized..." He's quoting Peter, from Acts, chapter 2, the Day of Pentecost, where he's going to the temple and telling them, "Repent and be baptized!" And all these Jews are like, "Okay, what do we do?" And he says, "Be baptized."
It's that simple. Yeah, like they felt the Spirit so strong, and all of a sudden, they're like, "Tell us what to do." And Peter goes, "Just get baptized!"
Diane Gerdy Iman 14:29
Another one that I see is in verses 15 to 17, where it talks about marriage between a man and a woman is essential to God's plan.
Because they believed in the law of celibacy. They did not think you should get married. Right here, teaching us, "No, it's pretty important."
Ron Case 14:40
That's not an uncommon belief in a lot of religions. I mean, Catholicism and the Universal Church, you see this where they just feel like celibacy is a higher law and if you can't live that higher law, go ahead and get married. But if you really want to take up your cross and follow Jesus, don't get married.
Diane Gerdy Iman 15:05
But I think something that is really important here in these verses is when it says in verse 15: "And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man." And so we see that it's an ordinance. And that marriage is attached to the priesthood. And I'm going to get emotional. But this is something that I see that the youth in the Church right now are really struggling with, is the importance of marriage, and understanding the beautiful ordinances and covenants that we make in the temple. That that is how we become like our Heavenly Father. And that is how we return to live with our Heavenly Father. And I see just the confusion. We're struggling with one of our kids that—I can't believe that we're seeing a struggle. But as we talked about in the beginning, that the Lord does see us where we are, and He meets us where we are. And He's going to help us get to where He wants us to be.
That was powerful. Diane, thank you for sharing that, those tender feelings. What you just explained is not new. The Saints were experiencing the same confusion, like all this, now they have all these different ideas, and they're starting to interpret things in their own way. And they're getting bombarded with different ways to think about things. And they don't know what to do with all this information that's coming at them. And remember, they've already had the conversation about false spirits. But they still are like, "But there's just so much information out here, and now we're not sure we're feeling all these different feels. What do we do with this?" And Joseph's like, "God, what do we do with this?" And boy, I'll be darned, for such a time as this, we get section 50, where Heavenly Father's like, "Let me tell you how you're going to discern between what is right and what is wrong. Let me tell you how you're going to know the difference, because, boy, you're going to hear about a lot of different things." And so, before we get to Section 50, we just have to pause for a minute and look at one more verse in Section 49, that I think has become my all-time favorite verse in all scripture. And we will study that in the next segment.
Okay, so do either of you like to hike?
Diane Gerdy Iman 17:37
Or maybe just a nice walk in the outdoors?
Ron Case 17:40
Diane Gerdy Iman 17:41
Okay, yeah, my kids would say that I'm not really a hiker, because I'm not running up mountains.
Sure. Sure. Sure.
Diane Gerdy Iman 17:47
You know, give me some water and a treat? I'll walk.
That's totally me: "Do we get treats in our backpacks?" Okay, I want to know what kind of hiker you are. When the trail starts, are you at that front of the hike? Are you in the middle with everybody? Are you at the tail end?
Ron Case 18:02
If I'm on a Boy Scout trek, I'm probably starting out at the front. Then they're passing me. And then I'm ending up at the end.
Diane Gerdy Iman 18:10
Okay, I'm just the cheerleader.
Yeah, I'm always at the end. Just because I always have the thought in my head that "Well, maybe if the group gets up there ahead and realizes they can't finish or it's too late, they'll turn around, and I'd have to make all that effort all the way up." So I'm like, "Oh, good. Let's turn around."
Diane Gerdy Iman 18:25
I'll carry you back. Because they're not gonna want to finish.
Totally. Yeah, what kind of hiker—for those of you are listening, what kind of hiker are you? Are you the one scouting it out? Are you up in the front making sure you're on the right trail? I want that imagery in your mind as we come to Doctrine and Covenants section 49, verse 27. I mean, I always say I have a favorite verse, but this might be it right now. Because I love going on hikes. I really, really do. And when I looked up some words in this verse, it just became so significant to me. So Ron, will you read verse 27 for us?
Ron Case 18:57
"Behold, I will go before you and be your rearward; and I will be in your midst, and you shall not be confounded."
Okay, let's define a few things. This verse, when it says, "I will go before you," when it comes to hiking, that's the scout. That's the guy at the front who's making sure you're on the right path. Then when it says, and I will "be your rearward," that's the end of the troop. That's the very end of that whole line of people hiking, he's the very last person. And then I like it says He'll also be in your midst, which we know means in the middle. We learned that a couple weeks ago. When it comes to the hike that all of us are on, Jesus is saying, "Oh, look, I'll be at the front, and I'll also be at the back. And I'm going to be right there in the middle with all of you." And then He says the reason why: "So you won't be confounded." And that word is so great. The word "confounded" doesn't mean "confused." It means "disorder and perplexed." It also means confused, but I like it also there's the disorder to it and being perplexed about these things in this idea. And when I was thinking about this, I wanted to know from you guys "When you think about Jesus on a hike with you, and the hike you're currently on, what does this verse teach you about Him?"
Ron Case 20:06
Wow, I mean, I've had so many experiences in my life where I knew the Lord went before me, and prepared the way in a way that I wasn't thinking would happen. And then when it was really a difficult part of the hike, or really hard, steep part of the hike, I felt like He was really behind me pushing me or even carrying me. There's no way I could have done it without Him. So I mean, there's so many times like that in my life.
Ron, do you have one specific time you'd be willing to share with our listeners?
Ron Case 20:47
I think of my oldest son, who, when he was in high school, got involved in a pretty rough group. They led him kind of down a really dark path. He came to me one day, and he was 16, you know, he'd blessed the sacrament a few times. He said, "Dad, I just want you to know that I don't believe in the Church anymore." That's a really, really hard thing as a parent to hear. It's just devastating. He's like, "I don't want to break your heart, Dad. I know this might break your heart. But I just got to tell you, I don't believe anymore." I didn't know what to do, you know, and all I could do is pray. Boy, your prayers get real, all of a sudden. And through a series of interesting events, he made some really poor decisions with this group. And all I would do is pray. He'd come home really late on a weekend, I'd be there waiting for him. But he kept himself away from Church, and he stopped going to seminary, and he didn't participate in our family devotional things, you know, family prayer, scripture study, and family home evening. And then one day, he showed up to family night, and you know, it was nice, we finished and then everybody left the room and he stayed. He's like, "Dad, I need to talk to you. Dad, will you give me a blessing?" Now you need to know that this boy had not wanted a blessing for years. But he came to me and he was like, "Dad, I need a blessing." I was like, "I'm happy to give you a blessing." And I laid my hands on his head and gave him blessing, and it was a blessing of pure love. After that blessing, he stood up and he gave me a hug, and he grabbed the scriptures. And the next Sunday was Fast Sunday, and he showed up to Church. And he went up to the pulpit, and he was like, "I went to my dad and I asked for a blessing, and as soon as he laid his hands on my head and started and said my name, I felt this incredible warmth just start at the top of my head and just envelop my whole body. I've never felt such peace, and love, and hope in my whole life." I didn't know that happened to him. But the Lord, He loves my son more than I do. You can take any situation and turn it into a positive, if you let him.
Wow. That was a great story, Ron. Very powerful. Thank you. What's he doing now?
Ron Case 23:19
For a while, for a couple of weeks, he kept coming to Church and he was participating. And then all of a sudden he stopped coming to Church. And I was like, "Hey, what's going on?" And he's like, "Well, Dad, I talked to my friends about this at school. And they just told me it was all in my head." He just kind of went even farther off the path. He ended up moving out when he was 19, and made some pretty poor decisions. And just over, you know, several years, he just really fell into a deep, dark place. And he took his own life in 2012. That's one of those other times where, you know, the Lord really, wow, He was in front of us, behind us, and in our midst. He lifted us up. He carried us through it. I don't know where I would be without my knowledge of the gospel.
Oh, I didn't know that.
Ron Case 24:23
Well, you know, it's not like I—it's hard to talk about, you know, like—
Ron Case 24:29
You know, suicide does not have the stigma that it used to have, thankfully. I love Elder Renlund's stuff that he said a couple years ago about "Hey, look, we used to say or believe in the church that this meant they weren't going to the celestial kingdom. That's not true. We're just gonna let the Lord judge them. We don't know. Let's just let the Lord do it and let's just not worry about it."
Yeah, amen. I mean, you are verse 27. You get it.
Ron Case 25:01
I totally get it. I totally understand it. You know, I know these verses are later in Section 50, but basically the Lord is saying in verse 42, "None of them that my father hath given me shall be lost." To me that verse is, that's my son. I read this cool thing a while back, a post this lady wrote where she was going through some rough times in her life. She was a temple organist in Mesa, Arizona, in the temple chapel. She heard a voice say, "Will you play a hymn for me?" And she's like, "What hymn? What?" "God Be with You Till We Meet Again." She's like, "Oh my gosh, why would I play that hymn?" and then she noticed this lady come in, this older lady came in, and sat down in the back of the chapel, and she looked really sad. And she knew that this lady had lost a loved one. And she thought, "Man, if I play that hymn right now, this lady's going to start crying." But the Spirit said, "No, play that hymn." So she started playing that hymn. And of course, this lady started crying. And then afterwards, the Spirit said, "Now, you go tell her why you played that hymn." And so she got off the stand, in her stocking feet, in her temple dress, and went down and sat by this lady and said, "Have you just lost a loved one, recently?" She's like, "Yeah, my daughter was killed by a drunk driver a year ago. And I'm here doing her temple work. And I've been praying and wanting to know if my daughter would accept this work that I've done for her because she was not active in the Church when she died. And when you played that hymn, I just knew that that was the answer." Okay, is this all being recorded? Oh, my gosh.
I know. Now I need tissues.
Ron Case 26:55
Well, I wasn't planning on saying all this. So...
I'm glad you did. I'm glad you did. It's exactly what we needed for this verse. And it makes me go back to how I started. No wonder I was so emotional about that. I did not know that story about your son. And I just keep thinking, Ron, no doubt that Jesus was the first to meet him. And He'll be the last to judge your son. No doubt.
Ron Case 27:19
There's no question in my mind that he, he's fine. He's okay. Everything's gonna be okay. We don't know how or why but the Atonement of Christ is so powerful, and so infinite that He can save anyone, as long as they want to be saved.
Yeah. And your son does.
Ron Case 27:38
For sure. Wow. Thank you. Thanks for sharing that and teaching that section in a way that I just didn't anticipate. That was incredible. Amen. Amen to everything you just said, because that is what we needed to hear and be reminded of. And I love how you just said that the Atonement is greater than anything we can imagine. It goes beyond any description or whatever, any book, you could read about it. Your story is proof that the Atonement works.
Ron Case 28:03
It's infinite. You know, our Savior's love for us is much more powerful than any influence that Lucifer could ever hope to have. In fact, he doesn't really have any power over us. Unless we give it to them through our fear, and perfect love casts out fear. So it's really the antidote to every problem that we have. If we just love our children, if we just teach them correct principles, you let them govern themselves. They'll figure it out over time, whether in this life or the next. Your job is just to love them and not judge them.
Diane Gerdy Iman 28:43
Ron, I think, I think that's it. It's his antidote for every problem. Oh, Ron, I needed to see you. Thank you.
Ron Case 28:55
Hey, I'm no expert on parenting, believe me.
Diane Gerdy Iman 28:59
Oh, but, you're saying what we need.
But you are.
Ron Case 29:03
Well, it's maybe because of all the mistakes I've made, and I think if I could go back and do it over I, I'd be a lot better.
Ron, one of my favorite things you just said was that Satan does not have more power on us at all. The Lord has all power over us. And Satan has none. And I think it's interesting that you said that because that is the premise of Section 50, more than I ever realized before. Like this discussion right now has made me go, "Oh my gosh, section 50! Of course!" Like it was so perfect, so I cannot wait to show everyone and have a discussion about section 50 and proof that God has way more power than we ever even imagined. And we will study that in the next segment.
So Ron, I'm just gonna turn the time over to you. I want you to just kind of give us the background for this section. Because when I was talking to you, you got excited. Because you're like, "Are you going to talk about all the crazy stuff that was going on and all the false spirits?" And I'm like, "Yeah, yeah, yeah." But then I'm like, maybe...
Diane Gerdy Iman 30:08
But then you're like, "No, but you are."
Ron Case 30:09
I don't know. I mean, I don't know how much you want to get into that.
Diane Gerdy Iman 30:13
Ron Case 30:14
So what's going on is obviously the missionaries went through there. They baptized about 100 people. And you got some really famous people that are baptized at that time, obviously, Sidney Rigdon. A lot of his congregation. You've got John Murdock, you've got Levi Hancock. You've got Edward Partridge, who's going to be the first bishop in Zion in Missouri. Frederick G. Williams is going to be in the First Presidency. Orson Hyde, I mean, you've got so many people. But the problem is, after these missionaries leave, you know, they, they've left some copies of the Book of Mormon. They haven't left any of Joseph's revelations. So they don't have—
If you weren't there, you didn't get to hear it.
Ron Case 30:54
Yeah. If you don't have section 20 of the Doctrine and Covenants, you don't know how to do church because missionaries are going on their mission to Zion, they're not going to be back for months. Joseph and the other Saints in New York aren't going to get here for months. So they're left to do church on their own. And they've just been in all these other different religions. And so they get together, and they're like, "How do we do church?" And they're bringing in some of these apostate, if you will, traditions and beliefs with them, along with—I'm just gonna say it—Lucifer is definitely trying to deceive them. In between section 50 and 52, there's a conference of the Church in June of 1831. It's the fourth General Conference of the Church. It's where the first high priests are ordained and Leman Copley's in the meeting, and Lyman White, who's going to be an apostle someday. All these men are ordained high priests. And something really crazy happens. After having, some of them having seen the Lord at this conference, and having these incredible spiritual experiences, then Joseph prophesizes that the son of, the "man of sin" will be revealed. It's a prophecy from Second Thessalonians. I think it's chapter 3 [actually chapter 2], where remember Paul's talking about the Second Coming and says that day will not happen until there's "a falling away first." The man a sin will be revealed, who basically "exalteth himself above . . . God," and "sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God." Now, unless you really understand what Paul is saying, that can be confusing, because there's no temple on the earth yet. But remember, Paul said that the body was a temple. So what happens in this meeting, I mean, we don't have General Conferences like this anymore, but in this meeting, thankfully, Lucifer takes possession of some of these elders. And Joseph has taught, Joseph shows them what to do. He casts an evil spirit out of Lyman White, this evil spirit goes into Harvey Green. Lyman is then told by Joseph: "Cast the evil spirit out." They're using the priesthood. And this evil spirit is going through all these men, and they keep casting him out. I mean, it's a, you know, on the one hand, it's a scary, terrible experience for these men. And as they walk home, Levi Hancock tells about how, how scared they were until they all decided to just kneel down and pray. And then this evil feeling left, and they felt, they felt great again. But I think what was happening was the Lord was letting them all experience kind of both sides of the spectrum. On the one hand, they felt this incredible power of the Holy Ghost. And on the other side, they felt the evil influence and it was like the Lord saying, "Look, I don't want you to be deceived anymore by Lucifer. You'll, you'll know the feelings when you feel it."
Ron, that is awesome. I am so glad that you came with all of this prepared. And for those of you who want to know, you can find this in History of the Church, volume 1, page 175. Well, Ron, I love what you said just a second ago, because it's the title for Section 50. The title is "False Spirits: Be Not Deceived." And we're just going to go right into section 50 then, and let's read kind of like the thesis statement for Section 50, which is in verses 2 and 3. So Diane, will you please read those verses for us?
Diane Gerdy Iman 34:12
"Behold, verily I say unto you, that there are many spirits which are false spirits, which have gone forth in the earth, deceiving the world. And also Satan hath sought to deceive you, that he might overthrow you."
Okay, so we have those verses right there. And he's introducing this idea that there are false spirits. I did think this was cool, though. I read this, and I just wanted to share it with you: Elder Parley P. Pratt, he gave a description of how Joseph Smith received Doctrine and Covenants, section 50. And this is so cool. Ron, I'm gonna have you read this. These are Elder Pratt's words about how specific section 50 is and how it was received.
Ron Case 34:52
I actually have it glued into my scriptures because I love this quote so much.
Well, I love that because it's going to be a glue-in! We do glue-ins, Ron, so people can copy them and print them out and glue them in.
Ron Case 35:01
I used to do that.
Look at me. Never leaves a seminary teacher. You can take the teacher out of the room, or teacher out of the seminary room, you can't take the seminary out of the teacher. Okay, so this will be a glue-in. It's really cool. Go ahead, Ron.
Ron Case 35:13
Parley described what he witnessed, quote, "Each sentence was uttered slowly and very distinctly, and with a pause between each, sufficiently long for it to be recorded, by an ordinary writer, in long hand. “… There was never any hesitation, reviewing, or reading back, in order to keep the run of the subject; … and I was present to witness the dictation of several communications of several pages each.” Can you imagine being in the room hearing this, you're hearing Joseph speak for the Lord. Literally, first-person voice for the Lord: "Blessed are you who are now hearing these words of mine from the mouth of my servant, for your sins are forgiven you." The only thing that would be better would to be in the presence of Jesus having Him say that to you.
Ron Case 36:00
It's pretty close to being the same thing.
Yes. That is awesome, Ron.
Diane Gerdy Iman 36:07
Actually, can I read verse 5?
Diane Gerdy Iman 36:10
"But blessed are they who are faithful and endure, whether in life or in death, for they shall inherit eternal life." You know, we are going to be blessed. And we just have to endure, we just have to keep going. We have to pick ourselves up. And just try again. Just keep going.
Well, and listen to these quotes, because this was interesting. And Ron, you did a great job talking about this. And Diane, you brought this up. We're being plagued right now with so many weird, crazy thoughts and misinformation and stuff. It's just everywhere, being bombarded and so are our kids. And I just really, really appreciated this quote. And it's by Harold B. Lee. Diane, will you read this quote for us? Speaking of these evil spirits, because I read verse 2 and 3, and I'm like, well, there's clearly no hope. I mean, they're everywhere. Well, now what do we do? And Diane, you read verse 5, but you'll be blessed if you're faithful and endure. But, wow, these spirits are real. And I want us to read this quote by Harold B. Lee.
Diane Gerdy Iman 37:13
"I want to bear you my solemn witness that I know there are such forces [Satan's] in the world today. . . . Latter-day Saints, the prince of darkness which is of this world cometh among us today. He is knocking without the door of every one of us, of you and me and all who bear the names within themselves of the gospel of Jesus Christ, of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and I pray God that he may find nothing in us, and will go away and let us alone. I bear you my testimony that I know these powers are in the world and I know the powers of the gospel of Jesus Christ are sufficient to thwart these powers of darkness." I love this quote. Because, for me, it shows me that we're going to have these trials. But we do have the saving powers of Jesus Christ, that we can be redeemed from the powers of darkness. And Jesus Christ is so much stronger than the adversary. And because of Him, we will be okay. And like Ron said before, when he was talking about our kids, that our job is to love them and not to judge them. And I think about that with myself, too. I can't get down on myself. I need to remember that the Lord loves me, and that He is there. In my back, He's there for me. He's there in front of me. And He's there right with me, carrying me.
Well, Diane, and I love, I love everything that you just said, because I like how the Lord says right out of the gates, "Here's what I want you to watch for, how are you going to know if something's not right or good?" And he teaches us a word that he uses in verse 6, 7, and 8. What is the word repeated in all three of those verses?
Diane Gerdy Iman 39:14
Is it "hypocrites"?
Yeah, a "hypocrite." Now highlight that word because he says, "I want you to be aware of deceivers and hypocrites." I love the Greek word for hypocrites. The meaning of it is "an actor, one who plays a role." And that's so unique when you consider, in light of the world and the information we're being fed, how it's being given to us by actors, people playing roles, that we really shouldn't believe. They're hypocrites. What's going through your minds right now? Share with me, Ron and Diane, when it comes to hypocrites and things we're sold.
Ron Case 39:46
Well, you're seeing people say one thing and do another. That's, to me, the absolute perfect definition of a hypocrite.
Diane Gerdy Iman 39:55
Yeah, I think about, even social media, and how, y ou know, you look on Instagram, even and you see that somebody posts things and they say, "Oh you know what this is. Here I am! And, you know, my hair, my makeup, my house."
Boy, they're playing a role, huh?
Diane Gerdy Iman 40:17
Right? And then you go over to their house and they're like, "Shut up!" you know, and like, their hair is all crazy and their house is a sty and you know, and they're real-life people, like we all are, but we tend to put on a different face.
Okay, now listen, it's not that social media itself is bad. My gosh, the Church uses it. Like there's so much good to it. There's a lot of good that can come from social media. It's how people use it to portray something different than what it really is. We all get that, we understand that. And that's what's happening in verse 7. Diane, will you read that for us, please?
Diane Gerdy Iman 40:56
"Behold, verily I say unto you, there are hypocrites among you, who have deceived some, which has given the adversary power; but behold such shall be reclaimed."
I mean, what you described is a perfect example. Because the minute my daughters get on Instagram and Facebook, you better believe Satan has power. Because they look at the lives their friends are living, they look at the ways they look on Instagram, and everything looks better. And we have to remind our kids, those are roles they're playing. Those are actors. That is the Greek word of "hypocrite." And it is destroying the self-esteem of our kids today.
Ron Case 41:35
Yes, it is. I love that the Prophet, a couple of years ago, in Conference challenged the sisters especially, in the Relief Society sessions, or the women's session, to take a 10-day fast from social media.
Diane Gerdy Iman 41:47
I was thinking the same thing, Ron.
Ron Case 41:49
And I know he's said that, even since.
Ron Case 41:51
And what's funny is, you know, I've challenged my college students to do that challenge and man, without fail, every single one of them who does it says, "Wow, I just felt happier. I felt, I had more peace and joy in my life."
It's so true.
Ron Case 42:08
It's just like, I don't know what it is about that, but, boy, it really makes you feel bad. Just looking at everyone else's perfect life on social media.
Diane Gerdy Iman 42:18
That's why I don't post my perfectness
Ron Case 42:21
Yeah, I don't post—
Diane Gerdy Iman 42:22
Tam, you can see. Mine's kind of all over the place, all the crazies.
I don't, yeah, I don't post anything either. I just can't go to that. But when it first came out, I was quick. I went down that rabbit hole so fast. Boy, I was all about "Can I post this? Should I post this? This will make, you know, maybe I'll—" My favorite one is the one from General Conference where he called it "the humble brag." It's really, um, it's like "You guys, not my best day ever, but I'm doing my best. And then I post that and everyone's like, "You look amazing!" And I'm like, "That's exactly what I wanted." I was such a hypocrite!
Diane Gerdy Iman 42:55
"I do look amazing, thanks."
It's so easy to become that and to buy into that world.
Ron Case 43:00
It is. That's the key: that we don't become hypocrites. You know, that's what I want to avoid.
Right? Absolutely. Well, and I think it's amazing, going back to this idea. I mean, look at this, Section 50 is given in 1831. Who would have ever imagined that it would be significant in 2021?
Ron Case 43:16
The Lord would've.
Right. Um, the Lord.
Diane Gerdy Iman 43:19
He went before us, remember?
What'd you say, Diane?
Diane Gerdy Iman 43:23
I said he went before us, remember?
Right. He's scouting it out. Yeah, yeah, yeah. He's scouting out our hike that we're on right now.
Diane Gerdy Iman 43:28
Here we go. Come on.
You're gonna need this. That's awesome. So good. So good. Okay. Did anything else stand out to you two?
Ron Case 43:38
That last part of that sentence I love" "but behold such shall be reclaimed."
Tell me why.
Ron Case 43:44
Don't worry, I'll reclaim them. You know, the world's trying to ruin them, Satan's trying to take them down. I'll fix it.
Diane Gerdy Iman 43:52
Ooh, I'm marking that: "I will fix that."
Yes. And look with the hypocrites, what will happen to them? They'll "be detected and shall be cut off, either in life or in death, even as I will." It's so powerful, those words. Like here's the first thing I want you to watch out for. So everyone listening right now, here's the first thing: Beware of the hypocrites, and get rid of them if you can. That's a huge challenge to any of us: get rid of the stuff on social media that doesn't make you feel good. Then the question goes, "Well, how do I know if it feels good? How do I know if it's from our Heavenly Father, or if it's not?" Because there might be some that want to know that. And so what's so cool is in the next segment, we're going to show you the verses that perfectly teach us.
Let's go into Section 50, then. Here's how the Lord teaches us when something is good or bad for us. And he does this using a teaching style that I think is so profound and really hard. It's called the Socratic method. So here's what the Socratic method is. It's a way of teaching that involves the teacher asking questions and almost letting the question hang and sit there for a while, while the students think. And then the students answer those questions. And it's so cool because it creates this kind of critical thinking among the students that leads them to learn new concepts and ideas. What do you guys think? Are you a fan? Have you used it?
Ron Case 45:15
Doug Christiansen, our colleague, he was the best at the Socratic method. That's the only way he teaches and I don't know how he does it. I can't do it. It's not my thing.
Ron Case 45:25
I mean, I get accused of teaching with Socratic method all the time. I don't know that it's a terrible accusation because I want my students to think and to use their brains and their minds to reason things through.
Oh, yeah. I mean, it takes such a level of preparation and knowledge of the topic of what you're studying to be able to teach this way, which is why I've never done it.
Ron Case 45:48
You have to know, it takes time to craft good questions.
Diane Gerdy Iman 45:53
And can I add something, Tammy?
Diane Gerdy Iman 45:56
I thought this was kind of neat. I had written by verse 12, where it says, "Now, when a man reasoneth he is understood of man, because he reasoneth as a man; even so will I, the Lord, reason with you that you may understand." And I wrote by it, that the Lord promises us that He will speak to us in a way that we will understand if we will let Him. So I think that that's really an interesting thing is that, if we'll let the Lord speak to us, then He will. And He'll speak to us in a way that we'll be able to understand Him. And I think that that's something that, that sometimes we struggle with. And we don't hold still and try to listen.
Well, Diane, I love that you started this out, because I think that is an excellent way to go into this discussion of the Socratic method, because the Lord will speak to us and He's going to do it in such a beautiful way that might make us stop for a minute. The question might hang in the air for a little bit, like Ron said, and then we'll have the answer come to us. So thank you for starting out the Socratic method with that verse. I think that is perfect. And it's so interesting to me, because that is exactly the style of teaching that the Lord uses in Section 50. So let's go to verse 10 because verses 10 through 25 is all about the Socratic method. So for those of you listening, grab a pen so you can mark "Q & A" next to these verses for the questions that the Lord asks, and then the answers He gives. Let's start with the first question in verse 13. And let's, let's just talk through these questions and answers. Hit it.
Ron Case 47:38
"Wherefore, I the Lord ask you this question—" It's pretty clear. "unto what were ye ordained?"
Yeah. Why's he asking that?
Ron Case 47:47
Let's go back to the basics. Let's remember what we should be doing. What were you asked to do?
What is significant about that? Asking it that way versus what you just said? "Now, listen, what did I ask you guys to do to begin with?"
Ron Case 48:03
It sounds like you're getting chided by a parent that way.
Ron Case 48:07
This is more, "Let's talk about it, person to person, and reason with it." And you don't feel the pressure. You can just think, "Okay, what was it? Let's go back and think in our minds, what was it that we were asked to do?"
Ron Case 48:21
And they know this phrase in verse 14: "Preach my gospel." The Lord has used this over 50 times in the Doctrine and Covenants. It's one of the most common phrases in there, you're supposed to preach my gospel by the Spirit. Now, we don't usually say that word today. We usually say we're teachers. But those of us that are teachers, no, we're not really the teacher. It's the Comforter is set forth to teach the truth. So "preach my gospel" means just tell the truth. Just simply lay out the true doctrine, let the Spirit convey it to their hearts, and let the Spirit convict them in their hearts, so they'll know it's true. Can I just share a story from what happened with the missionaries in Ohio?
Ron Case 49:11
So John Murdock is one of these early converts in Ohio. Remember the Murdoch twins that Joseph and Emma—
Yeah, I was just gonna say, let's make sure people know that this such cool story about them because his wife died in that childbirth.
Ron Case 49:24
And he's like, "I don't know what to do with these twins," and Joseph and Emma had already lost twins. And so they took them. Anyway, these missionaries show up at Isaac Morley's farm. There's a group of people kind of living there that's kind of almost like this communal style of living, and they're really receptive. And so this is what John Murdock says, "I was introduced to four men from New York who gave me a Book of Mormon. I said to myself, 'This will prove to me whether they be of God or not.' I felt that if their actions agreed with their speech..." See that? If their actions agree with their speech, they're not hypocrites, right? "... the Holy Ghost would be with them. And the Book of Mormon would contain the same gospel as the Bible." Then he says, "Nathan Goodwell, a Baptist preacher, came to argue with Elder Oliver Cowdery, and I watched the Spirit of each of them in their conversation. I found that Goodwell argued in anger." He says, "He bore down in warmth, but Cowdrey try to avoid contention. I felt the Spirit as I watched the ordinance of laying on of hands. The Book of Mormon testified that the work was of God. And on November 5, I told the servants of the Lord, I was ready to enter the waters of baptism. Elder Pratt baptized me in the Chagrin River and the Spirit of the Lord was there. I came out of the water, rejoicing and singing praises to God and the Lamb. This was the third time I'd been baptized in my life. But I never before felt the authority, the ordinances like I felt at this time. And I felt as though my sins were forgiven. On Sunday, they confirmed about 30 of us and I was also ordained an Elder. It was truly a time of the outpouring of the Spirit. I know the Spirit rested on me as it never did before" (John Murdock, Journal, BYU Archive and Manuscripts, Writings of Early Latter-day Saints 7). He was looking to see who would be true, who would be a hypocrite, and who would be authentic. And he just could tell the difference. And he was like, "Okay." And then he read that Book of Mormon. He's like, "Okay, I'm ready."
Ah, thank you, Ron, for sharing that incredible story. You know, what I like about it, is that it goes perfectly with verse 17, because that's exactly what he's trying to teach them here. Diane, read verse 17.
Diane Gerdy Iman 51:31
"Verily I say unto you, he that is ordained of me and sent forth to preach the word of truth by the Comforter, in the Spirit of truth, doth he preach it by the Spirit of truth or some other way?" And then I love what it says next. Can I keep going?
Oh, please, yes!
Diane Gerdy Iman 51:48
Okay. "And if it be by some other way it is not of God. And again, he that receiveth the word of truth, doth he receive it by the Spirit of truth or some other way? If it be some other way it is not of God."
Thank you, Diane. And you know what, I love how verse 17 ties into verse 21. So will you read that verse for us?
Diane Gerdy Iman 52:06
"Therefore, why is it that ye cannot understand and know, that he that receiveth the word by the Spirit of truth receiveth it as it is preached by the Spirit of truth?"
And then verse 22, Ron, is Murdock, it's the story you just shared. Will you read verse 22?
Ron Case 52:29
"Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together." I mean, that is such a clear, easy-to-understand definition. How you know, when you are teaching and or being taught by the Spirit. You're edified. Edifice, right, is a building. You are built up and lifted up, and you feel to rejoice. And we've all, as teachers, experienced that, right? We can leave a class and we're just like, "Oh, my gosh, that was so amazing!" And I love how the Lord says later, "By the way, don't take credit for your supposed great teaching because it wasn't you." Like in verse 34, he says, "He that receiveth of God, let him account it of God; and let him rejoice that he is accounted of God worthy to receive." In other words, say a prayer and just say, "Thank you for sending the Spirit because without it, I'm just bombing out here—"
Ron Case 53:32
"But with it, oh, my gosh, everybody is edified and uplifted." And students will say, "Oh, my gosh, Brother Case, what a great lesson." You're just like thinking in the back of your mind, "I don't take any credit for that. If you felt the spirit, wow. I'm just grateful he was there."
That is so cool.
Diane Gerdy Iman 53:49
I think by verse 22, I just circled, "understand," "edified," and "rejoice together." And then I just wrote "Great promises, blessings of the light of the gospel." And then I just connected all of those together.
You know, I just recently had an experience with one of my daughters. We were driving down the freeway, and one of my daughters, she goes, "Oh, my gosh! What does that mean?" And there was this big billboard, and on the billboard there was some link, and it had something to do with lie. The lies that you're being told or something.com. So she gets on her phone, and she puts the link in and she looks it up. And she starts to read all of this anti-Mormon literature. And she's like, "Mom! You got to hear this!" So she starts reading it to me, and I know I'm like, "Boy, this is Danger Bay. I'm like, you know, "How do I handle this one, Heavenly Father?" She got done reading it, and she's like, "Huh." And I said, "How do you feel when you read that? That's interesting." Like taking everything not to go full-blown Mom, seminary-teacher on her, and go, "Well, let me tell you why this is wrong." You know, I'm like, "Alright, I'm gonna try and guide this one" and I just said, "So I'm just curious. How did you feel when you read that?" And she's like, "I didn't feel good." And I'm like, "Oh, yeah, you know what, that is, I'm glad you could recognize that. Because that is not the Spirit." I said, "Well, do you feel like you want to rejoice and say 'Hallelujah, it's true!'" And she's like, "Not at all. In fact, I'm gonna delete it." And she got rid of the page. And I said, "That's just a great lesson. Like, I appreciate that you were curious and that you looked it up. But it's important to then ask yourself, how did it make you feel?" And so I think that's so important for all of us to remember and recognize, especially when we're on social media and all of that. It's very clear to us how many times we have that feeling a day, if you're on social media. That, Did it edify? Does it cause you to rejoice? Or you just, you feel worse about yourself and just blah? And so I love how this discussion naturally then takes us into verse 23 and 24, which I think are so beautiful. Ron, can you read those for us?
Ron Case 55:42
Yeah. "And that which doth not edify is not of God, and is darkness. That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day."
And then we have to look at 25. I'll read that. The reason why I want to read 25 is I never noticed it until preparing for this lesson, and I love it now. "And again, verily I say unto you, and I say it that you may know the truth, that you may chase darkness from among you." I mean, never have words been more prevalent than now in my life to chase darkness from myself, my family, my friends. And that is a big assignment in 2021: to chase darkness. And so in the next segment, we're going to talk about how to do that.
So Ron and Diane, I want to know, how do we chase away the darkness? Like, what's your advice for doing that?
Ron Case 56:49
When I've had students come to me and say, "Gosh, I just, I'm not feeling it. You know, I'm not feeling the love. I'm not feeling the Spirit. I felt on my mission. And now I'm home and I like ugh, I'm in this dark place." "Okay, well, what changed? You probably stopped serving, and you need to find a way to serve. And when you stop focusing on yourself, and get out of yourself and start to serve others the way the Savior did, I think you'll feel a lot more light." That's the kind of the recipe here. As you are trying to be obedient and righteous, you have more faith, hope, and charity. Don't forget that the way to really show that is to serve, because that's what Jesus did. As He did that, He grew grace for grace, He received more light, more truth, more spirit, more intelligence, more wisdom. He just grew brighter and brighter till the perfect day. And He's saying, "You can do that too. You might feel like you're appointed to be the greatest, but you're actually the least and the servant of all."
You know, Ron, I love that you just said that. Because people listening would have expected you to say, "Well, obviously the answers: read your scriptures, say your prayers, go to church. Let's just start with that." You know, and that I love that you didn't go there. That's not the answer. And that you said it was all about service. So I'm just curious to know for either one of you, Has there been a time where you've recognized "I need to be the least and the servant of all"?
Diane Gerdy Iman 58:18
I definitely had a time. Tam, as you know, my, my mom was very sick a few years ago, and she was in a care center for a little while and passed away. And when she was there, that was a really dark time for me. I was struggling healthwise, as well. I was diagnosed with cancer, as well. And it was just a really hard time for me. And I went to the care center every single day that my mom was there. I became best friends with all of the little 80- and 90-year-old people there. I played Bingo with them. I helped paint their nails. I would bring them candy bars and I would sit on their beds and visit with them. I would go to their funerals. And it really brought the light back into my life. I know that was because I let the Savior back into my life. Instead of just wallowing on how sad I was, and "Poor me. Why is this happening?" Even though it was really easy to do that and I had every right to be mad and upset. I knew that I did need to include the Lord and I was so much happier.
There is nothing like serving His children to be reminded of that. Nothing more powerful. I totally agree with what you just said. You want to remember who you are, serve God's children, and you will be quick to be reminded. It's awesome. That's powerful, Diane. Thank you for sharing that. It's been so cool throughout today, I don't know if those of you listening have noticed this, but the Spirit confirms over and over again the truth of these principles. And I have felt it as each one of you have shared stories that that is true. What was just spoken was true. So that's awesome. Thank you, Diane. What about you, Ron, do you have an experience?
Ron Case 1:00:18
I mean, after that, I don't know if I— Mine are all kind of generic. I'm kind of the handyman in the family. And so they call me all the time. They're just like, "Hey, Uncle Ron, will you come and help me with this project or whatever?" And my wife is so amazing, because she knows that I'll just take off, and I'll be gone for hours. And she won't bug me. She'll just be like, "Well, it's his way of serving." That's one of my things that I do.
And I love our guests a couple weeks ago, when he talked about serving people, he was like, there's different levels of service. There's tier one, tier two, but he was talking about how the best tier is when you don't go to someone and say, "What can I do for you?" Because it places a burden on that person. If like they're mourning, if somebody's passed away, and you say, "Okay, what can I do for you?" They're like, "Well, I'm missing my son right now. And now I got to come up with a job for you." And he's like, "Just think of the person, Heavenly Father will let you know what to do, and just go do it. And you can help take care of His children." And I just, I thought that was profound because there's a lot of times where you're like, "What do I do?" But even right now, as both of you were talking, I've had two people pop in my head, the Spirit said, "Just go do it for that person." All right, I can do that. That's so easy. In fact, I am. I'm taking my family this week, and we're gonna go do this one thing that's just popped into my head. That's cool.
Ron Case 1:01:39
And can I just had one other thing, too? I feel like sometimes—I'm just speaking for men, mostly—we're not very good at allowing other people to serve us. We're just like, "No, I got this. I can handle this," you know. And we need to be good receivers of service, not just good givers. When my son passed away, my gosh, our ward rallied around us. And they were not coming in and asking, "What can I do?" They were just doing stuff. Wow, we were knit together in love. I mean, I felt like it was Zion for a while in our ward.
Wow, I bet it was, Ron. And I love the way you described what it was like for you guys. You said it was like Zion. I love that. Well, and I just can't think of a better way to end this discussion or this section, than looking and reading at verses 40 through 44. If anyone's worried or concerned or whatever, I love that Heavenly Father's like, "And you know what, let me tell you this." So we're each going to take a verse and read verses 40 through 44, and then just kind of share our final thoughts and feelings about these verses or what stood out to you. So Diane, we'll start with you. We'll go Diane, Ron, and then me.
Diane Gerdy Iman 1:02:49
"Behold, ye are little children and ye cannot bear all things now; ye must grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth."
Ron Case 1:02:58
"Fear not, little children, for you are mine, and I have overcome the world, and you are of them that my Father hath given me;"
"And none of them that my Father hath given me shall be lost."
Diane Gerdy Iman 1:03:11
"And the Father and I are one. I am in the Father and the Father in me; and inasmuch as ye have received me, ye are in me and I in you."
Ron Case 1:03:25
"Wherefore, I am in your midst, and I am the good shepherd, and the stone of Israel. He that buildeth upon this rock shall never fall."
So going back to our hike analogy, I feel like all of us are on a hike right now. And some of us are on the part of the hike where it's just nice going through some beautiful flowers and it's flat. Some of us are about to hit the hike where it's totally uphill, some of us are coming downhill. I mean, it's, we're all in different phases of this hike. I want to know how these verses then apply to you. And for those of us who are on the different journeys or different parts on our hike, how do these verses help you get through that hike?
Ron Case 1:04:03
If you just trust in the Lord with all your heart, you're gonna make it. He's the Omnipotent One in the universe. He can make every problem and every situation that's a struggle for us, He can turn that into a positive and make it for our profit and learning. And, in the end, we'll be better for it.
Diane Gerdy Iman 1:04:26
So right now on the hike, I'm going through the rocks. And my bag is a little too heavy. So I'm sure grateful that the Lord is there to pick me back up as I've stumbled through the rocks, and He's helping me carry that bag, and I'm seeing some pretty flowers right now, and things are a lot smoother up ahead.
And I love how He's like, "You can't even bear all things right now. I know that. There's no way you're going to do this on your own. So guess what? I'm gonna let you grow in grace. I'm going to let you struggle on this hike. But it's going to be for your good because, in the end, you're not going to be lost. You got this."
Ron Case 1:05:08
You're going to grow in the knowledge of the truth. You know, for me as a parent, I'm such a better parent now than I was 30 years ago. And so when I'm a grandparent, wow, am I gonna be good.
You're going to knock it out of the park.
Diane Gerdy Iman 1:05:22
With every one of them.
Well, and for him to say, he's in our midst, and he's the Good Shepherd, we're his little flock, these cute little lambs. You're just as little of a lamb as your child is.
Diane Gerdy Iman 1:05:36
And that He knows us and holds us one by one.
Ron Case 1:05:42
You know, one of my Institute students, wrote these verses down on a sticky note and gave them to me.
Diane Gerdy Iman 1:05:51
Oh, he put the reference to it.
Ron Case 1:05:53
Yeah, he wrote this reference and he, this was not what we were discussing that day. But I stuck it here in my scriptures to remind me of what he did.
That's so cool, because it goes back to this idea that he was edified, but not by anything you taught.
Ron Case 1:06:09
Be he was being taught by the Spirit.
Ron Case 1:06:12
But it's like Elder Bednar says all the time lately. Don't tell me what I said, tell me what you've heard. The idea being, the Spirit will teach you. Let the Spirit teach you. I'm not the teacher.
Beautifully said. Wow.
Ron Case 1:06:32
If all our missionaries could understand that, wow.
And then it boils down to service.
Ron Case 1:06:39
Really does. If you want to know how to teach by the Spirit, start serving people.
Ron Case 1:06:43
Which is the other thing our missionaries know how to do.
Yeah, they're really good at it. Well, thank you, both of you. Thank you for being on this episode. That's the end. We're done. I can't believe how fast those hours went by. Oh my gosh, I say hours. For those of you listening, it takes two hours to record an episode because we chat and la la la, but that flew by for me. That was so much fun. So, both of you just take a minute or two and think about all the stuff we discussed, and if there's anything that you're going to take away from today's lesson, just share a quick takeaway.
Ron Case 1:07:14
Without the Lord, I'm really nothing. If I try to do this hike on my own, I'm gonna fall, I'm gonna fail, I'm not gonna make it. But if I'll follow Him and trust Him and let Him lead me, it's gonna be fine.
Diane Gerdy Iman 1:07:32
First of all, I took away how, how blessed I am to have such good friends. So thank you both. My couple takeaways are the things that Ron said, "Your job is just to love them, not to judge them." And also that the Lord is in front of us, He's behind us, and He's in our midst. And that the Lord is gonna fix everything.
Thank you, Diane. Mine was verse 26. When I asked how do we overcome the darkness, how do we chase it away? And it was that we are the least and we're the servants of all. And it just, it did, it made me think because the answer would be "Oh, read your scriptures, say our prayers, go to church." But I love that new take, that it's actually do service first, find people who need your help, then immediately popped in my mind for something I need to do. And that was cool, how it all came full circle for me. So thank you. That's it. That's the end of our discussion.
Diane Gerdy Iman 1:08:27
Great to see you.
Ron Case 1:08:27
My pleasure. Great to see you guys again.
That was super fun. Okay, well we, I'm just dying to hear what your big takeaways will be from this incredible episode. So if you've not already joined our discussion group on Facebook or Instagram, go and join it. It's just so fun. I really like having people belong to these groups, because it's been neat to have us ask questions and answer them. And I try to answer questions throughout the week. And then on Sunday, we always ask for what your big takeaway was. So comment on the post that relates to this lesson, and just let us know what you've learned. And I read all of them. And I mean, all of them. It's so awesome. You can get to both our Facebook and Instagram by going to the show notes for this episode on LDSLiving.com/SundayonMonday. It's also not a bad idea to go there anyway, because that's we're going to have the links to all the references that we used today, as well as a complete transcript of this whole discussion, as well as our glue-ins, so go check it out. 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 awesome, incredible study group participants were Diane Gerdy Iman and Ron Case and you can find more information about these friends at LDSLiving.com/SundayonMonday. Our podcast is produced by Katie Lambert and me. It is recorded and mixed by Mix at Six Studios and our executive producer is Erin Hallstrom. Thanks for being here. We'll see you next week. And please remember this, no matter where you are on your hike, you are God's favorite.
Title for Section 49: Shaking Quakers
Greek: Ponos = Pain, anguish, distress or suffering
New Era Article: "My Family: The Joy We've Found," by Kristin B. Gerdy
Background for Section 49:
"In early March of 1831, perhaps as early as 7 March, fifty-year-old Leman Copley went from his farm in Thompson, Ohio, about sixteen miles northeast of Kirtland, to see the Prophet Joseph Smith. Leman had recently been baptized, but he was afraid to accept ordination to preach and wanted to know the will of the Lord on the matter. He also wanted missionaries to be sent to the members of his former church, for whom he still had great affection and respect.
"Leman Copley had been a member of the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing, or the Millennial Church, more commonly known as Shaking Quakers or just Shakers. These people acquired the latter nicknames because they dressed like the Quakers, among whom they had their origins, and because of their habit of physically trembling and shaking in religious meetings. They also practiced a kind of ecstatic group dancing that could become quite frenzied and often led to shaking, twirling, shouting, and singing in tongues.
"The Shakers had begun in England in the mid-eighteenth century, in some degree of proximity with the Quaker movement. By 1774, a woman named Ann Lee (married name Ann Stanley) had assumed leadership of the Shakers. Because of her great piety and her great suffering—especially in childbearing, since all four of her children died as infants, and also on account of her sufferings as a wife, because her husband eventually deserted her—many around her began to believe that Ann Lee was the Messiah whose return they were awaiting. They believed that the Messiah's first appearance was in the form of Jesus Christ and the second appearance was in the form of Ann Lee. The little group of Shakers moved to America to avoid persecution in England.
"In the United States Ann Lee's movement adopted a communal form of living, with group ownership of possessions. The religion grew fairly rapidly, until by 1831 there were about eighteen Shaker communities in the U.S., all known and respected for their piety, order, and industry. "Mother Ann," as Ann Lee was known, taught that sex was the root of most evil; although Shakers did not formally forbid marriage, they believed that celibacy was the way of the Lord and would lead the faithful to a higher reward in the afterlife than would be received by those who were married. Shakers were pacifists; they looked on wealth or luxury as sins and they denied the doctrines of the trinity, vicarious atonement, and resurrection of the flesh. They also believed that the need for physical ordinances such as baptism had ceased with the ancient apostles, that the Millennium had begun with the ministry of Ann Lee, and that sickness and disease were sins. After Mother Lee's death some Shaker leaders also taught that their followers should avoid meats, especially pork1" (Stephen E. Robinson, H. Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, Vol. 2, "Doctrine and Covenants 49," Deseret Book).
More about Shaker beliefs:
1 Hearken unto my word, my servants Sidney, and Parley, and Leman; for behold, verily I say unto you, that I give unto you a commandment that you shall go and apreach my gospel which ye have received, even as ye have received it, unto the Shakers (Doctrine and Covenants 49:1).
- And: In Hebrew, and represents a comma or a vav
Other Shaker Beliefs
1. The Savior had appeared as Ann Lee:
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to Sidney Rigdon, Parley P. Pratt, and Leman Copley, at Kirtland, Ohio, May 7, 1831. Leman Copley had embraced the gospel but still held to some of the teachings of the Shakers (United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing), to which he had formerly belonged. Some of the beliefs of the Shakers were that Christ’s Second Coming had already occurred and that He had appeared in the form of a woman, Ann Lee. They did not consider baptism by water essential. They rejected marriage and believed in a life of total celibacy. Some Shakers also forbade the eating of meat. In prefacing this revelation, Joseph Smith’s history states, “In order to have [a] more perfect understanding on the subject, I inquired of the Lord, and received the following.” The revelation refutes some of the basic concepts of the Shaker group. The aforementioned brethren took a copy of the revelation to the Shaker community (near Cleveland, Ohio) and read it to them in its entirety, but it was rejected.
2. There is no need for baptism:
- Before = In front; Midst = Middle; Rearward = Back
- Confounded = disordered or perplexed
Video: Elder Renlund, "Understanding Suicide"
Quote: “I teach them correct principles and they govern themselves” (Messages of the First Presidency, comp. James R. Clark, 6 vols., Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965–75, 3:54.) We should not, according to the scriptures, need to be commanded in all things. (See D&C 58:26)
Title for Section 50: False Spirits—Be Not Deceived
- Man of sin = Satan
Conference on June 3, 1831:
"On the 3rd 1 of June, the Elders from the various parts of the country where they were laboring, came in; and the conference before appointed, convened in Kirtland; and the Lord displayed His power to the most perfect satisfaction of the Saints. The man of sin was revealed, 2 and the authority of the Melchizedek [Page 176] Priesthood was manifested and conferred for the first time upon several of the Elders. 3 It was clearly evident that the Lord gave us power in proportion to the work to be done, and strength according to the race set before us, and grace and help as our needs required. 4 Great harmony prevailed; several were ordained; faith was strengthened; and humility, so necessary for the [Page 177] blessing of God to follow prayer, characterized the Saints" (History of the Church 1:75).
Quote: "While the Lord poured out his spirit, upon his servants, the Devil took occation, to make known his power, he bound Harvy Whitlock and John Murdock so that he could not speak and others were affected but the Lord showed to Joseph the Seer, the design of this thing, he commanded the devil in the name of Christ and he departed to our Joy and comfort" ("John Whitmer, History, 1831–circa 1847," p. 29, The Joseph Smith Papers).
Thesis Statement for Section 50:
Parley P. Pratt about witnessing the revelation of section 50:
Quote: “Each sentence was uttered slowly and very distinctly, and with a pause between each, sufficiently long for it to be recorded, by an ordinary writer, in long hand.
“… There was never any hesitation, reviewing, or reading back, in order to keep the run of the subject; … and I was present to witness the dictation of several communications of several pages each” (Parley P. Pratt, Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, ed. Parley P. Pratt Jr. , 62).
Quote: "I want to bear you my solemn witness that I know there are such forces [Satan's] in the world today. . . . Latter-day Saints, the prince of darkness which is of this world cometh among us today. He is knocking without the door of every one of us, of you and me and all who bear the names within themselves of the gospel of Jesus Christ, of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and I pray God that he may find nothing in us, and will go away and let us alone.
"I bear you my testimony that I know these powers are in the world and I know the powers of the gospel of Jesus Christ are sufficient to thwart these powers of darkness." (Harold B. Lee, CR, September 1949, pp. 58-59.)
- Greek: Hypocrites = Actors
8 But the ahypocrites shall be detected and shall be bcut off, either in life or in death, even as I will; and wo unto them who are cut off from my church, for the same are overcome of the world (Doctrine and Covenants 50:6–8).
Quote: "I was introduced to four men from New York who gave me a Book of Mormon. I said to myself, 'This will prove to me whether they be of God or not.' I felt that if their actions agreed with their speech . . .the Holy Ghost would be with them. And the Book of Mormon would contain the same gospel as the Bible.
"Nathan Goodwell, a Baptist preacher, came to argue with Elder Oliver Cowdery, and I watched the Spirit of each of them in their conversation. I found that Goodwell argued in anger. . . . He bore down in warmth, but Cowdrey try to avoid contention. I felt the Spirit as I watched the ordinance of laying on of hands. The Book of Mormon testified that the work was of God. And on November 5, I told the servants of the Lord, I was ready to enter the waters of baptism. Elder Pratt baptized me in the Chagrin River and the Spirit of the Lord was there. I came out of the water, rejoicing and singing praises to God and the Lamb. This was the third time I'd been baptized in my life. But I never before felt the authority, the ordinances like I felt at this time. And I felt as though my sins were forgiven. On Sunday, they confirmed about 30 of us and I was also ordained an Elder. It was truly a time of the outpouring of the Spirit. I know the Spirit rested on me as it never did before" (John Murdock, Journal, BYU Archive and Manuscripts, Writings of Early Latter-day Saints 7).
Quote: "First, I invite you to participate in a 10-day fast from social media and from any other media that bring negative and impure thoughts to your mind. Pray to know which influences to remove during your fast. The effect of your 10-day fast may surprise you. What do you notice after taking a break from perspectives of the world that have been wounding your spirit? Is there a change in where you now want to spend your time and energy? Have any of your priorities shifted—even just a little? I urge you to record and follow through with each impression" (President Russell M. Nelson, "Sisters' Participation in the Gathering Israel," October 2018 general conference).
Socratic Method: "The method of inquiry and instruction employed by Socrates especially as represented in the dialogues of Plato and consisting of a series of questionings the object of which is to elicit a clear and consistent expression of something supposed to be implicitly known by all rational beings" (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).
Questions and Answers:
Q: 17 Verily I say unto you, he that is ordained of me and sent forth to apreach the word of truth by the Comforter, in the Spirit of truth, doth he bpreach it by the Spirit of truth or some other way?
A: 18 And if it be by some other way it is not of God.
Q: 19 And again, he that receiveth the word of truth, doth he receive it by the Spirit of truth or some other way?
A: 20 If it be some other way it is not of God.
Growing in grace to chase away the darkness:
11 And I, John, abear record that I beheld his bglory, as the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, even the Spirit of truth, which came and dwelt in the flesh, and dwelt among us.
The reference in Ron's scriptures: