20: “What Lack I Yet?” (Matthew 19–20; Mark 10; Luke 18)
What if you had the chance to ask Jesus anything? Not in the next life, or someday in the future, but today? What would your question be? Would His answer resolve a concern or confirm a truth—or both? Matthew 19–20, Mark 10, and Luke 18 contain stories of people who had the opportunity to ask Jesus questions. In this week's study, we'll examine those questions, and apply Jesus's answers, to our own lives.
Glue-Ins (free printables for your scriptures)
Love Your Lineage with Michelle Franzoni Thorley and Miyamoto Loretta Jensen
Matthew 19:3-9 (Laws marriage)
Matthew 19:12 (He that can receive, let him receive)
“put away” = divorce
“every cause” = for any reason
“cleave” = be united
“twain” = two
“put asunder” = separate
“writing of divorcement” = certificate of divorce see Deuteronomy 24:1-4
“suffered” = permitted
“fornication” = sexual immorality
Mark 10:17-22, Luke 18:18-30 (The rich young ruler)
Matthew 19:23-24 (The eye of the needle)
Soften her eye of the needle thing..
Matthew 19:26 (With God all things are possible)
Matthew 20:1-16 (Parable of the laborers in the vineyard)
Words of the Prophets:
In the time of the Savior, an average man and his family could not do much more than live on what they made that day. If you didn’t work or farm or fish or sell, you likely didn’t eat.
Why should you be jealous because I choose to be kind?
This is a story about God’s goodness, His patience and forgiveness, and the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a story about generosity and compassion. It is a story about grace. It underscores the thought I heard many years ago that surely the thing God enjoys most about being God is the thrill of being merciful, especially to those who don’t expect it and often feel they don’t deserve it. (Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Laborers in the Vineyard”, April 2012 General Conference)
Luke 18:10-14 (What prayer does God hear?)
Words of the Prophets:
Those vertical pronouns are usually accompanied by unbending knees, because the proud, as in Jesus’ parable, trust “in themselves that they [are] righteous, and [despise] others” (Neal A. Maxwell, “Yet Thou Art There”, October 1987 General Conference)
Matthew 20:30-34, Luke 18:38-43 (Jesus heals the blind men)
Matthew 19:30 (The first shall be last, and the last shall be first)
What if you have the chance to ask Jesus anything? Now listen, I'm not talking about in the next life, but right now, today. What would your question be? And would His answer resolve a concern or confirm a truth? Or maybe both? This week's study of Matthew 19-20, and Mark 10, and Luke 18, contains stories of people who got to ask Jesus a specific question in real time, and we will examine their questions and apply the answers to our own lives.
Welcome to the Sunday and Monday Study Group, a Deseret Bookshelf Plus original brought to you by LDS Living, where we take the Come, Follow Me lesson for the week and we really dig into the scriptures together. I'm your host, Tammy Uzelac Hall. Now, if you're new to our study group, we want to make sure you know how to use this podcast, so 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, Angela Fisher. And you know, Angela, we're going to Israel some day, I promise; we will be there together.
Now another awesome thing about our study group is each week we're joined by two of my friends, so it's always a little bit different. And today I'm super excited to introduce you to these two women who I just adore. And they don't even know how much I adore 'em, but I've been following 'em on Instagram for quite a while. They have awesome Instagram pages. They're gonna give you the names so you can go follow 'em too. The first person we have is Michelle Franzoni Thorley. Hello, Michelle.
Michelle has been on before, she was on last year - Old Testament, and she is also the co-host of the podcast "Love Your Lineage", which I highly recommend. You're gonna want to take a listen to that. And there's some other really cool things about Michelle that I want you to know, but I'm gonna let her introduce herself. So Michelle, tell us about yourself.
Well, um, Tammy, my name is Michelle Franzoni Thorley. I am a Mexican-American artist, visual artist, so mostly like oil painting. I do, I've been tempted lately to get into sculpting. So I don't know, I haven't really done that yet. But I'm also considered like a Family History and Diversity, Equity Inclusion consultant. I love cats. And I am borderlining on a "plant lady hoarder" issue. Yeah, I don't think it's a problem. Loved one's say, Hey, maybe you have a problem. And I'm like, I don't see it. I don't see the problem. And what else about me? I don't know. I just, happy to be here.
Oh, I'm so excited. And you and Jalynne are friends, which is awesome.
They're very good friends. So this is going to be fun. Jalynne. Tell us about yourself.
Well, my name is Jalynne Geddes. And so I was gonna spend my time talking about Michelle, because I feel like you should, you should try sculpting. I am so excited for you to try sculpting. But I'm from Beardy's & Okemasis Creean Nation. And that is in, that's a reservation in Saskatchewan, Canada. I was born and raised there. So I am a Cree woman and that is the English form of the word. In our community we refer to ourselves as Nehiyaw. So that would be the tribe that I belong to. I'm a Nehiyaw woman, I'm a beadwork artist, and I love expressing myself in that way.
Oh, you forgot to give us your Instagram handle. Michelle, where can people find you on Instagram?
So my Instagram is Flora Familiar. And there you can see my art and my museums or, and/or rants about life and love and all things.
Excellent. And what about you Jalynne?
So my instagram handle is 'Nehiyanahk creations'. And that's spelled N E H I Y .... Wait, how do you spell it?
I just type in Jalynne Geddes and then it will pop up.
Oh, that's a good idea.
If I can't spell it, I don't know how other people are expected to spell it.
Maybe you should just change your name to Bead Lady. That's a little bit quicker and faster.
And then Michelle can change hers to Plant lady.
Yeah, exactly. Bead lady and Plant lady.
Flora familiar. It's in the name, Jalynne, it's already there.
Well, what we'll do is we're going to put them, if you want to know more about my guests, go to our show notes, which are found at LDS living.com/sunday On Monday, and you can find BIOS about these two women. And in those bios, we will actually have links to their Instagram page. So you can go and check them out and follow them, which I highly recommend. I have. I've loved following you both because as I have throughout the last year or so, I've learned a lot from you. And I, your posts have made me more aware of - as they say - unconscious bias, I guess. And I have had a lot of questions about things. So I'm grateful.
It's very nice of you Tammy to be asking these questions, because I think that's where it starts. Like, is this, you know, why am I doing this? Is this hurtful or helpful? Or, you know, when you start to ask those questions, and, and I think that's great.
Yep. You want to get it right. All right. Well, everybody, you can tell just from our opening how much fun these two are going to be. We're gonna have a great discussion about these chapters in Matthew and Mark and Luke. It's a lot today. So grab your scriptures, your scripture journal and something to mark your Scriptures with. And let's dig in. Okay, seriously, have you guys ever thought about asking Jesus a question? Like if He were here right now?
All the time.
I have so many questions.
Okay, I want to know, what would your one question if you could like, throw out? I know you have more than one. What would your question be? Give us one idea.
You know, I feel like there are so many times where my first impulse is to ask Him, Why this? Why this? Why this? But honestly, I feel like for right now, the most urgent question I have in my life is how? Like, how do I really, really love the way You do? Because there are times like, if you look around in society, it's it's hard for us to really love each other that way. And it's hard for me, even though I like, I like to try and be a loving person and try to be open, but there are people who, who've hurt me. There are people who I don't understand. But Christ has that expansive love for everybody. And He asks us to love that way. And the scriptures are full of answers.
But I want like, specific to me, how do I get past all of these things in my life so I can really truly love the way He does. Because it's hard to sometimes carry that knowledge about yourself that some people are hard to love. And you can treat them loving, and not necessarily like trust them or understand them. But I want to really love the way Christ says, and I want Him, I want concrete answers. Like do this, do this, do this, do this. And then you'll love like I do.
Right? I know that it's an eternal, an eternal process. And I, I'm working on patience.
And there's your question, How do I be patient?
And I think that patience is a form of love, I think too. But I agree with Jalynne. How is at the top of my list. I think, you know, as a minority, someone, I did not grow up seeing a lot of people that looked like me or grew up in my situation. And so like modeling how to do something, I just didn't see it. And then times when I have seen it someone in my situation or looked like me, modeled something for me and I could like visually see how maybe how to do it or that it was possible was so helpful. And a lot of times with Jesus, it's like, how did You do that? Or how would You, how would You handle this situation?
Like the thing that came to the top of my list, like I, how do You set boundaries with love? Like that's, Jalynne and I have talked a lot about boundaries and she's actually taught me like boundaries is actually a loving thing. That's how you, that's how you tell somebody I'm gonna be around for a long time. Like I'm, I care about you, we have to set healthy boundaries, which is so foreign to the way I have thought about boundaries and relationships and Christ-like love is just, like Christ-like love is so expansive and big. And it's just, you know, there is no boundary. But that's not, it's not healthy to be that way.
And so with Jesus, and you can see examples of Him doing that, right where He, you know, He's like, I love you guys, but I need to go take some time for myself. I need to set about, you know boundary here, because I need to, you know, work on different things. And so my question would be like, how do You set boundaries with love? Do You go into the forest? That's what You do? You run away into the forest? Okay.
Those are such good questions. For those of you listening, I want you to just to take a minute and think about what your questions would be, and start writing them down on a piece of paper or in your journal, write questions. And it'll be interesting to see if maybe we get some type of answer to our questions as we discuss these today, and as we look at what questions people had to ask. This will be a really interesting sort of scientific study if studying the Scriptures does give us some answers. And I really appreciated how deep you thought about the questions that you would ask, because as I was thinking about this yesterday in preparation for today, I have deep questions, for sure.
And in the next segment, I'm going to share what my deep question would be. But I was getting dinner ready and part of the recipe called for egg whites to be beaten until they were stiff. And as I'm sitting there with the thing going around and around whipping them really fast, this is the question I had: Who, who did this? Like who was it that decided what might happen if I whisk egg whites really fast for a long time? Those are my questions I want to know - who created egg whites? Like all this cooking stuff. Like how did someone decide if you put butter and milk and flour, it's gonna make a roux? What? Who invented a roux?
I have thought this. So then I actually, because I'm such a history nerd, have delved into it. And there's like a 90% chance it was either a nun or a monk. They were in the monastery hanging out. They're the ones that developed a lot of the cool like Italian and European-like pastries, you know, the layering of the butter and the dough to make the flakiness. It was like nuns and monks that figured that stuff out.
That is so fascinating,
'cause they got time.
They got time.
and resources. So they're like, Okay,
The things I could invent if I didn't have kids or a husband or work. That's so cool.
It's not a bad life devoting your life to God and study and making pastries. Like it's not a bad life!
Sign me up. And it is divine. That makes so much sense, now. Of course, a croissant would be made by someone holy. Oh my gosh. Well, look, we haven't even started studying the Scriptures and my question was just answered. So thank you, Michelle. Fantastic. Okay. So everyone take your question. We're gonna have so much fun with this today. So in the next segment, we're gonna get started with the first question we have - not ever, but in this study - the first question that someone got to ask Jesus. And it actually prompted one of the very few recorded instances that Jesus ever talked about this specific topic. How intriguing is that? We'll do that next.
Segment 2 13:11
Alright, everybody, let's find out what this topic is. Turn to Matthew chapter 19. And we're just going to look at the section heading. So Matthew chapter 19 Section heading. Right out of the gate the first thing. Michelle, what is the topic we're going to discuss right now?
So, Tammy. I was like, Okay. What, you know when you asked me you're like, You want to come on the show? I was like, Yeah, sure, yay. What are we gonna talk about? And it's like, Well, it's divorce and spousal estrangement. Okay. Thanks, Tammy. This is super fun, basically. So, but I'm like, Okay, let's do it. Let's talk about divorce and spousal estrangement.
Yep. Isn't this perfect? - marriage and divorce, here we go,
Perfectl It's the perfect topic, Tammy.
Okay. I think you're gonna be great for this. I was, I was, after I put your names on the list, and then went and read about it, I was like, Oh, I'm sure they'll have things to say. Okay. So here's what we want to do. We want to know what certain words mean in Matthew 19:2-9, because there's some phrases that are not common to us today. But once we put them into our verbiage, then you go, Oh, okay. This is going to make a little more sense. So let's do this. We're going to start.
Let's go into verse 2. We have in verse 2 "....great multitudes followed him and he healed them there." So all these multitudes are around and then we have verse 3: "The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him." Highlight that. We've learned over this past year what this means: they're always tempting or trying or trying to catch Him in a snare. So the question they're going to ask Him, they think they have the answer too, and they're trying to trick Jesus into what He's going to say. So they come "tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?"
So a couple of words we're going to mark. First of all, in verse 3, we're going to mark "put away". And what that means is divorce. In that verse, also, we have "every cause". Underline that. And what that really is meaning is 'for any reason'. There was a belief at this time that you could actually put your wife away for any reason - if she burned your food, if she did something you didn't like. It was like if she is displeasing to you, as the husband, you're like, Yeah, I'm done with you, and you can take her back to her parents' house. Okay, then we have another word that we're gonna want to know. Go to verse 5. In verse 5, look for the word "cleave". Cleave. Mark that. The word "cleave" means 'be united.' Then in that verse, also, mark the word "twain". And that means 'twice or 2'.
Then in verse 6, find the word that says, "put asunder". Find "put asunder", and what that means is to separate. Okay, then we have verse 7, mark "writing of divorcement". Now what this writing of divorcement, it is a certificate of divorce. And you can cross reference that with Deuteronomy, chapter 24, verses 1-4, because in Deuteronomy, the law of Moses - that's where it says that a man when he takes a wife and marries her - if he doesn't find favor in his eyes - then he can then take her back to her parents' house and rip up that certificate.
Okay, then we have verse 8, the word "suffered". This is important to know. The word "suffered" means 'permitted'. Then in verse 9, we have the word "fornication". And what this actually means is 'sexual immorality'. So you're gonna want to know that. Okay, now, this is going to help us understand this a little bit more. So let's go back in and we're going to start in verse 3, and we'll take turns reading these. So Michelle, will you start reading for us, and just read verses 3, 4, & 5.
"The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? 4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?"
So right out of the gates, how would you answer that? Is it okay for a man to divorce his wife for any reason?
Well, it's interesting because, you know, He's talking about the man's perspective of the partnership and what he should do. And being a woman, like you, the beginning you said, If you had one question to ask Jesus, you know, this Pharisee asked Jesus this question. But as a woman, my one question will be like, Well, what is, you know, the wife's perspective on this? What is the the woman's perspective, especially during that time when there are very specific laws for men and women? Like, this is very much focused on what the man should do. And I'm like, I don't really like, that doesn't resonate with me. I don't really care as much. But um, how I would answer it? So you're asking me what, how I would answer it like, this question
Well, I just liked your perspective right there. What you just shared is perfect going into this because you're right, it is from a male perspective. And the Savior is so smart by do, He is responding to a Pharisee. A Pharisee would never see a female perspective. So He's meeting him where this man is, like, we're just going to talk about the law as you know it. Because we know that Christ is a big supporter of women. Like He loves women, but He can't come in with a female perspective because the Pharisee, Oh, they'd have a heyday with that. Because according to the law, unfortunately, women did not have rights. But how much do we love then, knowing you could divorce a woman for any reason at this time? Isn't that ridiculous? I was shocked to learn if she burns your food, if you don't like the way she folds the towels, whatever. That is crazy to me. And I think that the Savior was so smart because He lays down the law in verse 9. So Jalynne, will
Well wait, wait, wait. Can I go back to 5, though? I feel like in 5 He's like, and He said for this cause shall a man leave his mother and father and cleave to his wife and they shall be one flesh. So even though under the law, the laws are very different. In number 5 He makes them equal. He's like, they are, they are one flesh.
So the way that they treat each other is important and that, you know, it doesn't matter. When I read "leave thy father and mother", it's not so much like leaving them personally, but maybe leaving whatever like family reputation. Or if you're, you know, privileged or you have like come from a really great family. All of that doesn't matter because when you're with the person, you're equal in this relationship.
Well, oh my gosh, I'm so grateful you pointed that out, because right there, He's using Genesis narrative. He's using wording that the Pharisee would fully understand. He's going clear back to creation time. And so not even using the Law of Moses, He's starting out with creation wording right there. So smart.
Cool, very cool.
Yeah. Okay, so Jalynne, let's read these verses, then. Will you please read for us verses 7, 8, & 9, because He does take a female perspective somewhat. Which, in conjunction with what we just talked about in 5, look at what He says. Go ahead.
Verses 7, 8, & 9?
Alright. 7 "They said unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement and to put her away. 8: He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning, it was not so. 9: And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery."
Thank you. Now right there we have in verse 9, this one took me a while to read and reread. So here's what it's saying:
"I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife,". Now, the part where it says "except it be for fornication," almost put that in parentheses. He's saying, 'I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for sexual immorality,' meaning, okay, if that's the issue, you can divorce her. Then He says, "nd shall marry another, committeth adultery." He's laying down the law on this. He's like, Listen, I think we could also include battery on there also. But He's saying, Listen, if she's committing sexual fornication, you can divorce her. But if you divorce her for any other reason, like burning your food, or you're just not pleased with her, then in His eyes, you're just committing adultery. You shouldn't have divorced. Like, work it out, figure it out, right? That's part of the law.
If I existed back then I would have been divorced immediately, because I'm always burning dinner.
Me, too! I am the worst. Oh, my gosh.
You can see how trivial some of the reasons are, they really were at this time. And this Pharisee is trying to trick Jesus by saying, Well, what do you think about this? And how much do we love the Savior by saying, Let's just start with creation stuff. That's how God created it to be: stay together, cleave to each other, be one. And then He gives us a little bit more information because then in verse 10, His Disciples say, Well then what's the point of even, maybe we shouldn't even get married. If this is going to be how it is, everyone should just stay single. If we
You can't be a jerk and be mad for you burning my food, then fine. I'm just not gonna get married.
Exactly. Wow. Yeah, that kind of like, it kind of sounds like it's not worth the hassle, right? So then the Savior teaches verse 12. Michelle read that for us.
"For there are some eunichs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunichs, which were made eunichs of men: and there be eunichs, which have made themselves eunichs for the kingdom of heaven's sakes. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it."
Now, that is interesting wording right there. At the end of verse 12, I want you to circle the word "it", "He that is able to receive it, let him receive it." The "it" is marriage. So they're like, what's the point even getting married? And the Savior's like, Oh, no, no. You should definitely, 'he that is able to receive marriage, let him receive marriage.' But He's teaching in verse 12 there are some now eunichs - isn't this interesting: He brings this idea in, Listen, there are some people who are going to be born unable to keep this law. Some are born eunichs. That's what they understood, that a eunich at the time was someone who had been castrated. And as a result, they lost their sexual desire. And therefore they could work with the, in the king's palace with all of the women in the king's harem, and the man would not be a threat. This is very Old Testament. But the people knew what they were talking about.
So He's like, Now listen. There are some who are born that way. They can't be married, and I understand that. But there are some people who make themselves eunichs. So He's talking about then people who take on this oath of celibacy. He's saying that's probably not right. I don't want you to force yourself not to be able to do that. But anyone who can receive it, let him receive it. Are there people who are not going to be married in our culture? Absolutely. So He's just saying, if you can, please do it, it's worth it, it's important. So, as you
I would love to go back up to talking about verse 8, "the hardness of your heart." So I really studied that and it's like, He gave us the reason why people get divorced. Like He gave us a reason why people have these attitudes about such little things like burning the food or making a mistake. It's hard hearts. And so that's like doubt, hate pride, rebellion, stiff-neckedness, stubbornness, wickedness. So, like, and those are legitimate reasons to dissolve a relationship. If you are being abusive, if you are being prideful, if you are doubting and not trusting each other in this, this relationship. Yeah, those are, those are reasons why, that, those are the reasons that divorce is caused.
And I think it's so interesting, because in the relationship of marriage, and especially if you're talking about a marriage where there is, you know, equalness, you're looking at this relationship of how to treat each other. And when, and then that can be expanded out to other people in the community. Like, how do you, how do you treat other people in your community? And if you are carrying around doubt, hate, pride, stiff-neckedness, stubbornness, wickedness, you know, you're not going to have a good relationship with them. And then especially in an intimate marriage, if you have those things. And so nitpicking about the crispiness of the food or nitpicking about, you know, things you don't like, or, that's just, that's just not okay to treat people that way.
You know, when I was reading this, and I think because like, because my own world experiences have taught me that not many people can necessarily - or at least in my life - there have been people who haven't been able to put themselves into my shoes. So as I read this, I couldn't help but read it in a way of like, as if someone was not married, because I'm married. I enjoy the blessings of marriage and I take a really common box in the church. It's like, it's a really family-oriented church. And, and so I couldn't help but read this from the perspective of somebody who wasn't married. And so as I, as I read it, I know at the time that family structures, like this collects a collective attitude of marriage, they, it was something that was insisted upon, and essential for survival. Like family units, marriage, it was essential for that society. And, and right now, our society might look different, but I still think family is essential.
But like I said, not everybody is, for whatever reason, is able to get married. So how am I honoring that family unit with people who do not have marriages? And so that, that puts the responsibility on me to understand that we're, like we're a collective family, we're all God's children. And if I'm not using my marriage to understand that I have a responsibility to other people, to care for them, to understand them, to love them even if it's a struggle for me, I don't feel like I'm honoring the marriage as a, as a unit if I'm not bringing that love to other people. Because family is still essential for survival for many kinds of survival. And, and I think that's like a really important covenant we make in the church is that we see children, like we see everybody as children of God. And okay, so that's what I was thinking of when I, when I saw this. Like, yes, marriage was essential for survival back then and it's still essential right now.
Do you know what that makes me think Jalynne is like, what if we like, just the wording of the scriptures? Like instead of 'husband', we just like, say 'ourselves'? And then instead of 'wife' we put in like the word community? And it's like, how do we treat people in our community? Are we getting mad at them for small little things and being hard-hearted? I mean, obviously, if they do something very, like adultery, which is like betraying a commitment or, but like, other than that, like, how, how are we treating the people in our community? I don't know. Just after you said that I was like, hmm.
Yeah. I really like that. Because as you were saying that it made me go to verse 7, talking about writing a bill of divorcement. I mean, how many times do we want to just rip up our writing of divorcement with people? Like when we're driving? You're dead to me. Rip. Like if someone offends you - Rip. I mean, this idea of family I think is so beautiful, because I am willing to rip up my writing of divorcement all the time. And if we, if we just slow down and think is this really a cause for this writing of divorcement? Probably not.
And that's why I love how Michelle, you had us go back to verse 8, because at the end it says, "but from the beginning it was not so." And if we think about that, From the beginning, Adam and Eve, those are our parents. And so it connects to you, Jalynne, we are one big family. And we, because we have an Adam and Eve who are the ultimate parents, we are family, we've got to take care of each other. And we've got to stop doing writings of divorcement for each other.
And you know, I think about like, how, like strong and, and important a marriage covenant is. And also at the same time how strong and important our baptismal covenant is - to mourn with those that mourn.
And then so if I look at, if you look at verse 6 it says, "Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder." And so He's talking about marriage here. But if I apply it to my baptismal covenant, and there's so many temptations to like, I'm done with this person, or, or I, it's enforcing an unhealthy boundary. There's healthy boundaries, and there's unhealthy boundaries. And if you're just going around, like cutting people off for no reason, for little reasons, then we are I feel like,not honoring our baptismal covenants the right way. And it can be hard to love people, it can be hard to learn that love. But I want to remember that like, "What therefore God hath joined, let no man put asunder."
Beautiful Jalynne. Thank you. Oh, my gosh, you two. How awesome was that discussion just with saying about marriage and divorce. That was incredible. Okay, well, so that was just one question. So in the next segment, we're going to look at the next question that was asked, and we're going to find out what the answer was and how we can apply it to our lives. We'll do that next.
Segment 3 31:46
Alright. So some friends and I were together a little while ago, and we actually discussed this question: How rich is rich? Like when do you know you finally made it? And we were laughing because we're like, you don't have to be a bazillionaire. Because clearly, that's not reality for a lot of us. And we decided, here's our definition when you know, you've made it: when you can buy butter at the grocery store and you don't have to look for the cheapest box of butter. Like you can just grab anything of butter and go, Ahhh, I can spare it. Because butter is so expensive right now. And we were just laughing about what would that be like to buy the expensive butter?
The Irish butter. Oh
The Keri Gold.
I look, I look at the Irish butter. And I was like, ahhhh.
I never buy it.
It's so beautiful, but I never buy it.
I look at it.
Who can afford that? That's a pretty penny. So, for you two, how rich is rich? What is your, do you have a litmus test of wealth?
Man. That's a hard question. I am someone who grew up under resource. So that means under the poverty level. And so, having $20 pretty much most of my life was pretty rich. If you could, if you could have $20, if you could continually buy things that were in the $20 range, that in my mind growing up meant you were very wealthy.
Oh, for sure. You know how much you could get at the 7-11 for $20? So rich! What about you, Jalynne?
I feel like, like I really liked Michelle's answer, because I know there are so, like I have so many memories of like struggling, with my parents struggling, like living paycheck to paycheck and then have, knowing that my parents were wondering when are we going to get groceries this time? And, and that was when I was young and like, you know, they, they, they always they always found a way. And my, my grandparents were always there to help and like, and they didn't have a lot but what they did have we shared.
And so that memory of like that, that sticks with you, right? Like when you grew up, when you grew up having seen that struggle and being part of that struggle. Like I will never get out of that mindset. Like I think about everything I spend and I worry, Is this gonna break me? And then my husband has to like, sometimes even just show us our bank account and like, Jalynne, we're okay right now. Because I remember what it's like not to have anything. So I feel like when you grow up without a lot, you always feel like you don't have a lot.
But you know what's interesting about what you said, Jalynne, just now, like as a kid, this, from what I, this is what I got from what you said, so you can correct me if I'm wrong. But like the richness for you came having your grandparents. That made you, that made you feel rich is like no matter what our family was happening, like we had almost community backup. And I, that, that's what made you feel rich and like stable, is that great
And you know that, that's something that like when, when we did have lean times, that's something that my mom always said, which is one of the quotes that my mosom Joe - and nimosom is, um, is Cree for grandpa. But my mosom Joe, he always said, I'm a rich man. And he didn't have any money. But he always said, I'm a rich man, whenever he was surrounded by his family. And so my mom always said, like when, when times are lean, and even we as kids could feel it, she said, "We are rich, because we have family."
Oh my gosh. Okay, so this whole discussion, just for the listeners, just so you all know, we did not plan this discussion. And it couldn't have been a more perfect setup for this next story and question that gets asked, because, oh my gosh, the definition of rich is perfect. Okay, so here's what you want to know. Let's go to Mark 10:17. And we're also going to go to Luke 18:18. So go to both places, because this, this whole story is between Jesus Christ and a man. And Luke 18:23 tells us that this man was very rich. That's what you need to know about him, he is very rich. But let's go to Mark 10:17, and Luke 18:18, and we're going to find out a little bit more about this man. So we're gonna go to Mark 10:17, and Michelle, will you please read that for us. And then Jalynne, will you please read Luke 18:18. And in these verses we're going to find out a little bit more about this man.
All right, so Mark 10:17. "And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?"
Okay, what did we just learn about this man in that verse?
He is, I guess you'd consider God-fearing, like he recognizes who Jesus is, that He's a good person and a leader, someone He should follow, that He's good. Um, he kneeled down, so he's very respectful. And he is very interested in eternal life and what's to come next, I guess.
Yeah. What about the way he approached the Savior, how he came? What does that maybe tell us about him?
He ran straight to Him. So that's, those are awesome qualities. I guess we can see that this guy has a lot of really good qualities.
Excellent. Okay, Jalynne, read Luke 18:18, for us.
All right. "And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"
K. What did we just learn about him, now, in that reference?
He was a ruler?
Yes. So in your scriptures you could mark kind of off to the side, They believe he was a ruler of a synagogue. So he would have been a religious leader and a man of importance and authority. So this, the story is in Mark 10 and in Luke 18. We're going to spend the rest of our time in the story of Mark chapter 10. So let's go there. And Michelle read verse 17 for us. We're going to continue on in this story. And as we do, underline the question that he had; they both, you both read it beautifully. In verse 17 it says, "What shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?" Okay. Now the Savior goes through a list and we talked about that earlier. Like Jalynne, you said, "I just want to list of all the things I need to do to love like Jesus loved." The Savior gives a list to this man. Here's all the things you need to do to inherit eternal life. And so, Michelle, will you read verse 19 for us?
Mark 10:19 "Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honor thy father and mother."
Perfect. And then Jalynne, read Hhis answer in verse 20, the man's answer.
20: "And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth."
So he's thinking he's doing pretty good, right? Oh, yeah, I have no problem with all of those. I will get eternal life. And then we have verse 21. So grab something to mark your Scriptures with - we're going to underline the beginning of verse 21. It says,
"Then Jesus beholding him loved him." Before we even go on to find out what Jesus said, talk to me a little bit about this when it says "Then Jesus beholding him loved him." I want you to know that Mark is the only one of the three gospels to include this in the story of this young ruler. Yet why is this an important aspect to our story? Like, what does this teach us about how the Savior might respond to us when we have questions?
I think He's acknowledged that he's, he's really trying. Like, he's really trying. He's, he's seeking, he's doing to the best of his ability. And Jesus loves when we try.
Oh, oh. Hold please. I like that. What about you, Jalynne?
I love that. Well, I feel like let's, let's pretend we just without knowing any context, pulled out verse 21. And all we know is "Then Jesus beholding him loved him." I feel like that is Jesus in a nutshell. Like, He loves us where we are. It doesn't matter where we come from, what we're doing. I feel like we could put ourselves there and know that Jesus, when He beholds us, loves us too.
Wow, it makes me go back to that first question you asked. Like, maybe that's how we love like He loved. Like just to see him for who he is, to love him the way he is. I think that's beautiful, yeah. "Beholding him loved him" before He even answered the question. And it's almost like He, the Savior, knows. He does. The Savior knows what He's going to say next. And so He's loving him almost in preparation for this answer that He's going to give this young man. So let's continue on in verse 21 and find out what the Savior said to him. Jalynne, will you read verse 21 for us then from the beginning.
Sure. 21 "Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me."
And then verse 22. Michelle, will you read that for us?
22 "And he was sad at that saying, and he went away grieved: for he had great possessions."
That's a bummer.
Yeah, talk to me about that. So what do you think about that answer and experience?
Ahhhgh! Okay. Well, there's some complex feelings here. Like I said, I grew up under the poverty level. And I grew up actually being bused into a wealthier school. So a lot of my peers came from multimillionaire families. And I was the daughter of a single mom living under the poverty level. And so it was, I could definitely see there was this difference - people who had money, and didn't. And also the people who were willing to share what they had with others versus people who were not. And seeing him with all these good things going on, like he honors his commitment to his family, to his spouse, his parents. But the question I have is like, What is the point of eternal life if you don't have community to share it with, if other people aren't coming with you?
Eternal life is about having good relationships in this life with the people you love, the people you live, with the people around you. And for him to just be like, 'Yeah, I take care of my family, I take care of myself, I take care of my commitments. But I feel sadness and maybe even resentment about sharing with the larger community.' And that hurts. That's painful to me, because I've experienced that sentiment from others who have a lot, financially, and don't want to share it with me, a member of their community.
And that's painful.
It takes me back to what Jalynne said at the beginning, because now I'm looking at this from a completely different perspective. But was this man really rich? Like, he might have been rich in coins, but was he rich in your experience, Jalynne? Was he rich in family and in community?
You know, I don't know. But I can tell you that when I, I, like I want to also validate every thing that Michelle was saying, because I when I read this, I always felt like what a bummer of an ending. Like that, that, that isn't what I I want to, you know, that's not what I want to see in here. I want to know, I want to know that when people see Christ and Christ is actually in there in the flesh, people recognize it and they do, they follow Him, you know? But for me, I feel like this was also 1) like a testimony of how, you know, people - Christ could be standing there - and still people will choose not to follow Him. And that's important to, that's important to, to understand, I think. But also because maybe it's because I feel that he walked away grieved. That makes me so sad that I, that's not good enough for me.
I, I don't, we really don't know the end of his story. We're assuming an end of this story. We're assuming he walked away sad. And then, you know, stayed in a sad little world that he had created. But I've kept feeling, thinking about the way, so Christ gave him when he asked, and that was such a, like, like a great question for him to ask the Savior. Christ gave him the basic answers. And, and He gave them that first. And that was for me, I think, satisfactory for Christ, for Him to give him those basic answers. But because we grow line upon line, he was like, I'm ready for more, and Christ gave him more. And I feel like there's so many times God gives me more, and I understand more, and I grow more, and I'm required to do more. My first reaction isn't always, Alright, I'm ready. My first reaction at times is, Ooh, am I strong enough to really do this?
And, and so I, and so when I see this, I hope, I hope he walked away gathering, ready to gather the strength. Like I hope he walked away, like, I hope he processed and I hope he still followed. Because I feel like we do need some time to process. Anyway, so I feel like that this is, I actually really love this parable, because I, for a long time, didn't want to see myself in that person until I reframed the ending. And I do see myself in the person who walked away grieved. Because so many times I don't have a good attitude, and I just need time. I just need an adjustment time so that I can get my attitude in place.
I like what you just said about this idea of getting your attitude in place. And going back to your idea of saying doing more, what is my more? That was what made me think like, what will my more be? Because many scholars agree. And there are great talks about this, that when the Savior said give all that you have to the poor. That answer wasn't necessarily for all of us. It was specific to him. It was the one thing that the Lord knew that he needed to work on. And it made me think like, what would my more be? What would the Savior say that I needed to work on? Because many of us probably don't have a problem with 21, but we have a problem with other things.
And I just want those of you listening to take a second. In fact, I'm going to give both of you 30 seconds right now to think about what would the answer be for you? What is the more that the Savior would need you to do more of or change in your life? So I'm going to really give you 30 seconds to write this on a piece of paper. How would the Savior respond to you if you said, What do I need to do to inherit eternal life? Because he didn't ask what do we all need to do? It was specific, what do I need to do? Here we go, 30 seconds. Ready? Go............
I know it's super personal. But can either one of you share maybe what came to your mind?
So, in, I don't think it's in, it's in Mark what we just read. It might have been in the Luke or the Matthew account, I'm not sure. But I do, I do know that one of the, one of the basic answers that Christ gave this, this man was Love thy neighbor as thyself. And I feel like out of all the things that He told them, you know, you know, all of the commandments He gave them like Honor thy father and mother. Love thy neighbor as thyself is always like the hardest one, for me anyway. And I feel like that goes back to the very first question I had at the beginning. Like sometimes I really, like I really hold on to without realizing it, I hold on to the things that might prevent me from really forgiving, or loving, or, and I know, and I know I keep reminding myself I know boundaries are important because they are. They save you, boundaries literally save you.
But then it's like if I can really tap into a Christ-like love then I will be able to see better, the healthiest boundaries, and I'll be able to see people better and like in a way, that the love can surpass the boundary, the boundary can still be there, but I can still reach them with love. If that makes sense. And so I feel like for me that that whole, the whole, love is simple, love can be really simple. But I think when you get into the complexity of the, the how to enact it in our lives that has, that can have a lot of hiccups. And for me, that is something that I, that is just always something I think as human nature we need to work on, but me too.
Yeah. Oh, I like that answer a lot. Thank you, Jalynne. What about you, Michelle?
Well first of all, one of the things I really love and respect about Jalynne is how she models so beautifully that willingness to be introspective and self-reflective. And she is someone who has definitely modeled for me to go to God and be like, Lord, is it I? Is it me? Search my heart. And, you know, tell me if there's something I need to work on. And then she does it. And anyway, I just I love you so much for that, Jalynne. Thank you for modeling that for me. I think for me the thing that I need to work on as the more that I study about Jesus, and how willing He was to go and be bold and say, This isn't right. You can't treat people this way, especially people who are wounded, who are hurting. And He always did it in a very diplomatic, wonderful way. But He wasn't silent about those things.
And it makes me think of, you know, President Nelson's call for us to lead out against racial biases, and to lead out. And leading out requires a sense of boldness, a sense of courage. And I am often afraid, I am often afraid to say, Hey, that's not kind - stop. We don't talk about people in our community that way. And I know God has asked, He's given me the next line. And sometimes I'm afraid to step up to it.
Wow. Thank you, both of you. I really appreciate that you're willing to share the thing you thought. That was, that took courage. So thank you so much. So that was this young man's question. And we just learned so much about the experience that he had with the Savior. And His apostles were listening. They were part of this conversation. And after it happened and the young man walked away, they had a follow-up question for the Savior. And we'll find out what that is in the next segment.
Segment 4 52:40
All right, you two. I have something to show you for this segment, and we'll see if you have used one. In fact, I already know Jalynne for sure has. I'm assuming maybe Michelle has. Alright, here you go. Can you see what that is?
Oh, a nice needle.
Oh, a needle.
Yay. A needle with some thread. Very good. Okay, Jalynne, you're very familiar with this because of your - do you use a lot of needles in your creations?
I do. I get stabbed with them in my fingers all the time.
I just used this yesterday to sew something, I still have the string in it and I'm very proud of myself. My mother would be, too. Mom, I'm still sewing. You taught me how to sew well. Okay, so we have this needle right here and the hole. Jalynne tell us, the hole at the top. What is that called?
Ooh, very good. It is the eye of a needle. Alright, turn with me to Matthew 19:23-24. And we're going to read what the Savior teaches about the eye of a needle. This is coming off the heels of the young man who walked away. And then Jesus teaches all of us something very important right here. So Matthew 19:23 and 24. And Jalynne, will you please read that for us?
Verses 23 and 24?
Okay. 23: "Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. 24: And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."
Okay. Now, you're going to get a lot of people who are going to tell you the eye of the needle is actually the entrance of the gate into the city and there have all these different reasons, like the Savior didn't really mean a needle. Guess what, everybody. He did, 100%. This is, this is absolute truth, it really is the eye of a needle. And I have read scholar after scholar and they all confirm: He really did say what He meant right there. So let me ask you this then. Can a rich man really not get into heaven? Like what is He, what do you think the Savior is trying to teach us with this metaphor?
I think He's trying to teach us that it is really easy to set our hearts and our desires on the wrong thing. There are so many distractions, there are so many enticing things. And they're, they can be good and they can have value, but it's easy for them to overtake the things that we should be focusing on.
Yeah, cuz are rich people goin' to heaven? For sure, rich people can go there.
But yeah, it depends on what, there are some rich people who have, like you said, the intent. Michelle, your thoughts. You look very pensive.
Hmmm. Yeah, I mean just based on my personal experiences, a lot of what it means to be rich is connected to withholding aid and help and love from your community. So if I may share just a little story from my childhood. Just growing up I was around a lot of wealthy people. And for my child experience, I would see the way that mothers would look at me differently from their kids. And let me explain that a little bit better. Growing up, like I said, there was a lot of really, really wealthy people, the kids I went to school with, you know, and their, their demand of how you should dress and how your hair should be and what you should look like was a very high bar. And I just, socially I could never reach that bar, like I just couldn't. And so that meant I wasn't included.
And I would see these mothers who would, they realized that their kids needed fresh, healthy food. They realized that their kids needed these extra-curricular programs of music and sports. And they, you know, the love in their eyes that they would look at these other children. And then when their focus would shift to me, I would see their facial expressions change. I would see their eyes change. And as a child, I just didn't understand why they didn't look at me the way that they looked even at their own children, or the other children in our community. I was usually one of the only people of color in my schools, in my classes, in my community. And I just as a kid, I remember not, I didn't understand what racism was, I didn't know anything about that. I just didn't, I knew their faces and their body language. Aand their eyes changed when they came to look at me.
And I realized like one of the things about being an indigenous person that's really important to me is community. Because that's an indigenous teaching that these children aren't your children or my children, all the children in our community are all of our children. And I see so much of Christ in that thought, in that way of thinking is that my biological children deserve all these good things. And maybe I can give a little around Christmas time to these other children like my community. And the way that indigenous communities work is that all of these children are our children. And they all deserve fresh, healthy food. They all deserve opportunities for music and art and sports. How can we make it so that all of these children have access to that? And so that story, just like I said, is really painful to me, because I see that, that lack of not wanting to to share.
Wow. I can sense the pain. I appreciate you sharing that. It is hard. Thank you. Well, for what both of you shared, this has really struck me because now I'm looking at this and, and it makes me just ask, If I do become really rich someday - and I don't have to look at the price of butter - I really hope, like what type of eyes will I see with? I mean, Michelle, that really touched me. I hope that I look at people the way those mothers looked at their daughters, like making sure they had food and clothing and warmth. I mean, that was such a great story. And then going to what you said Jalynne, all of this connects so beautifully, like yes, rich people will make it, but what are we doing with our riches? And that is how we'll get through that eye of the needle. So thank you to both of you.
So at the end of the Savior teaching this, look at Verse 25. The disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed and they said, Well, then who can be saved? Like this is their question to the Savior. That's a big question, going back to what question would you ask Jesus. Now they're like, Alright, but who can be saved? Verse 26 says, and "Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible." But look down below at the footnote. 26 A has a Joseph Smith translation of this verse. Michelle, will you read what the Joseph Smith translation has?
Sure, it says, "But Jesus beheld their thoughts, and said into them, With men this is impossible; but if they will forsake all things for my sake, with God whatsoever things I speak are possible."
Thank you. And then the Savior goes into this really great parable to really hit at home and to teach us about who's really going to make it. So we're gonna go into Matthew chapter 20. Now grab your scripture markers, we're gonna mark some words, you're going to need to know some of these things, again, in order for this parable to make sense. Bracket off verses 1, all the way through verse 17, and label this "The Parable of the Laborers." What you want to know is in verse 1, chapter 20:1. Underline "early in the morning", and put 6am. In verse 3, when it says "the third hour", put 9 am. In verse 5, when it says, "the sixth hour", that is noon. In verse five, the "ninth hour" is 3pm. And then verse 6, the "11th hour" is approximately 5pm.
So you want to know the times for this story to really fully make sense. Okay, now that we have those times in here, this is a little bit of a setup. So I'm gonna have Michelle read this so that we understand the idea of how important work was to the people during New Testament times. So Michelle, will you read this quote,. It's by Elder Holland, and he's talking, it's a talk called "The Laborers in the Vineyard".
"In the time of the Savior, an average man and his family could not do much more than live on what they made that day. If you didn't work on a farm or fish or sell, you likely didn't eat."
So Michelle, tell me how important work was for someone in that New Testament time.
I mean, it was the difference between life and death. So if you work, and not just, not just your life and death, everyone that's counting on you, which, as you know, a daughter of immigrants, that's a, that's a big thing. A lot of people labor and do what they do, immigrate, and find work. It is not so much for their own survival, but for not just their immediate biological family, but for the larger family - parents, siblings, and also community. Money gets sent back home.
Thank you for setting that up perfectly. So here's what we've got. We have this group of laborers, people who want to get hired. And in this story in Matthew chapter 20, we're going to go into verse 1. And we're just going to read verses 1 and 2. Jalynne, will you read those for us.
Sure. 1: "For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. 2: And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard."
Highlight "penny a day". And what you want to know, because that seems so small to us. But at New Testament time that was the price of an entire day's labor. It was, I thought it was interesting, it is also the common wage of a Roman soldier. So it was enough for the day to buy what you needed for your family. So let me just ask you right out of the gates, if, how would you have felt towards the Lord of the vineyard if you were the first person hired in that grouping, and you were being paid a day's wage. How you feel about the Lord?
I would feel grateful that I am able to earn what I need to care for the people that I love. Right?
Grateful for work.
For me, when I remember reading this, I was really mad. And it seemed really like the whole parable,
Actually, Michelle, I would love it if you just want to sum it up for us so we don't have to read every verse. Like tell us what you think and then go into the hours. Yeah, that'd be great.
So basically, he goes to these laborers at different times of the day and offers them work. And so there's people who have been working since like, you know, the beginning of the day - 9am, is that the first time, right?
Oh, at 6am they're out there working and there's people that like, later in the afternoon or even the evening he is inviting to work. And he basically pays them all the same.
And I remember as a kid being like, well, that's not fair. Like obviously, one person did a lot more work than the other. But what I have now realized as an adult that has really helped me with this parable specifically, and now I love this parable, is the difference between equality versus equity. And knowing the difference between the two makes all the difference with this parable. And then it makes me so excited that Jesus would teach us this, that He would want us to know the difference between equality versus equity.
Well tell us the difference.
Okay, so when you look, Jesus is like saying, Hey, look at this bigger picture. Everyone in life starts off with different advantages or even disadvantages. And we know that. Like everyone is different and unique in their family history, in their income level, where they were raised. There's just different advantages and disadvantages. And Jesus is teaching us that these advantages, they do matter when it comes to caring for people. Because the master is caring for these laborers, he's giving them an opportunity for life. And so this parable is just brilliant the way that it teaches. Jesus is like these things do matter. Because some people are like, nah, they don't matter. People's advantages or disadvantages, they do not matter and how we care for them. It needs to be all equal, it needs to be all the same. And Jesus is like, No, equity is important. And equity, let me just say.
So equality is giving everyone the same thing. Let's say we gave everyone size 6 shoes; size 6 shoes are going to fit for some people, and they're going to be great and they're love, and they love wearing these shoes. But there's going to be a whole group of people that don't fit into size 6 shoes - me. I am NOT a size 6 shoe. It is not, it could be helpful a little bit, but in the end, it's going to make things really difficult. And that's where equity comes in, where it's like, we're gonna give shoes specifically to each person the size that they need. And so the quality may seem like balance, but the Savior is teaching us that equity is actually what brings balance and harmony to a community.
This is why I love the way Michelle teaches, because like that is such a perfect analogy that goes, that ties exactly in with the visual that this parable was giving us. And I feel like and what I love about this discussion, like this whole discussion is I keep thinking back to the man and how I reframed it, like the man who asked God, you know, what - or Christ - what he needed to do. And I keep reframing that, like for the ending I've reframed the way he walked away, grieved, and I took away my assumptions. And now I'm hopeful when he walks away, I'm really hopeful for him. And so in this situation, if you take away assumptions, like it's so easy to think, to assume that like what Michelle had just explained to us, that we are all have the same able-bodied, we're all in the same boat. When those people who are hired at the end of the day, we don't know their whole story.
We don't know why it was necessary for them to join at the, what was it, like the 12pm hour or the 5pm hour. We don't know their whole story, so it's good that we take away our assumptions. And it's, and it's also like reframing our own life. Like, am I helping or am I harming? Because in this situation, the vineyard, I just want to help. I want to help. I want to do my job. I want to provide for my family. But if I start to impose negative assumptions on the people around me, then it would harm them because I don't know, I don't know their whole story. And so if we focus on the helping, then we can really minimize the harm that we might be inadvertently doing.
Oh, absolutely. You know, I really in this story, I really liked verse 7, because again, I said I was such a jerk, because when I was younger I didn't like this one either. So I was like, You're telling me if I go to work at 6am, like you said, Michelle, everyone's getting the same pay even if they work late at night. But what struck me this time was in verse 7. As he goes and he hires the people in the 11th hour, so at 5pm, they have one more hour of work left. And he goes and he hires those people. Let's just read verse 6 and 7.
6: "And about the 11th hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? " (so about 5pm) They only have one hour left of work time. And 7: " They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive."
They didn't even ask how much they're getting paid. He didn't even tell them. They were just so grateful for the chance to even be hired. Because he said, I'm just going to make it right and they trusted him. Okay, great. And they go and they work and he made it right. And I appreciated Elder Holland. He says this about the labor of the vineyard. He says, "Why would you be jealous because I choose to be kind?" And that really struck me because I had felt jealous about this story, when really, why am I jealous because the Savior is choosing to be kind to all of them? And it goes back to what you taught us Michelle: equality versus equity. It is equity in this whole story. It's just sopping wet with equity and I like that a lot.
I love that equity is balancing, because we think of equality being balanced, two things being equal and it balances this. But in life as human beings, we're not, you know, on a perfect scale of balance. And it's equity that gives us that balance. And there's just, there's so much of the essence of who Jesus is in meeting people in their unique life challenges. And there's so much of Him, instead of just what we think people need, is just goes back to this whole discussion of understanding. There's so much to their life and their unique individual. And we've got to just take down those biases that we have about people and just see them for who they are, and that's how we love. And that's how we create balance in a community,
Yeah, and that He'll make it right. He just does. In fact, Michelle read this quote for us. It's from Jeffrey R. Holland in his talk, "Laborers in the Vineyard" because it's exactly what you just said.
"This is a story about God's goodness, His patience and forgiveness and the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a story about generosity and compassion, and it is a story about grace. It underscores the thought I heard many years ago that surely the thing God enjoys the most about being God is the thrill of being merciful, especially to those who don't expect it and often feel they don't deserve it." Wow. That's a quote.
That's a quote. So good.
I want to put that on a bumper sticker so people can read THAT.
Share it on your Instagram page.
Absolutely. So, wow, thank you, both of you for that discussion on those verses. I knew you would come with some great insightS. And I've written that in my scriptures, 'equality versus equity.' And, and just to like hit that home run, Jalynne with the way you summed up everything and supported what Michelle said. So I think it's awesome to think that yeah, I went from not liking this, now to having probably be one of my favorite parables. That it's truly about the Lord being kind. And that's what He'll do. So thank you, thank you, thank you. So in the next segment, then, we get to talk about another aspect that will help us all to appreciate this discussion, specifically about the laborers and what we need to do to inherit eternal life. And we'll do that next.
Segment 5 1:12:24
Okay, I've really been looking forward to asking you guys this question. I put it in the show notes, I asked you to think about it, I can't wait to hear what you say. So this is my question to them: In your cultures, talk to me about prayer. What does prayer look like? Is it significant to each of you in your cultures? So Jalynne, hit it. Tell us about prayer for you.
Okay, so it is very, I come from a really, a community where it's just inherent that connection to the Creator is just something that is, it permeates our whole community. And so prayer is a big part of that. And we do have specific cultural prayers, like smudging - where you, where we pray with medicines from the earth that we burn. And that's something that our ancestors practiced and stuff. And I'm not going to go into that too much. What I'm said I'm gonna go to is how like that, that culture of prayer and a culture of being connected to the Creator has like affected my family. Because in my family there's like Mike's larger extended family, we all have different faiths. And, and some of us practice - are really close to our traditional Cree indigenous spirituality.
Some of us are Christian. Some of us are members of the Church, like my family is. And we all have different ways that that connection to prayer manifests itself in our lives. And the common thing, though, is that we all believe in each other's prayers. And so when one cousin, something's going on in one cousin's life, immediately all the aunties get everybody involved and they start a prayer chain. And when something is going on, I know, I just have to tell my mom, and she'll call all the aunties, and a family prayer chain will have started. And then my mom, and then we, in our family, we utilize the Temple prayer role. And then my mom tells all the auntie's, who are having or are of other faiths and have other spiritual practices, that we put your name in the Temple. And we all honor each other's ways of praying, and we all rely on each other and each other's prayers.
And so when I'm going through something and I hear my mom saying, "We started a prayer chain in the family for you", I know it's gonna be okay. Like, I just know. Because I know I have not only my prayers and the faith that I have to rely on, but I have the faith of so many people. And so that is something that I want to teach my kids is to pray for people, to be part of a prayer chain, even if they don't even know it. Still pray for people.
Oh my gosh, Jalynne. Can people be part of that prayer chain if they're not a member of your family? I'd Like to get in on that.
Right, well then you are in.
Okay. I'm not kidding. I wrote that down. It's one of the most beautiful things I've ever heard - a prayer chain.
Well, and just the thing that's resonating with me about what Jalynne said is we all believe in each other's prayers.
Yes, I wrote that down.
And I I remember that, you know, after September 11th. I remember there were so many different faiths, like us coming together as a country, that we were believing in each other's prayer and goodwill. And there was a lot of xenophobia against, you know, people from the Islamic faith, but the people that I knew of the Islamic faith, it wasn't the same thing as what those terrorists did, that they were completely different. And they were also praying that, you know, peace and healing and for good things to happen. And I just, I, Jalynne, that that what you said just changed so much of like, I think that's what I'm gonna pray for is that we can all believe in each other's prayers, no matter who we are, or where we're at.
The act of having a prayer or a plea to whatever God or power that you think, you know, can help you, is so sacred. And to believe that for somebody else is so beautiful. And also, once again, I know, I think if you count how many times I say community, and in this podcast episode, but that brings me back to that is how you create a beautiful community, even with differences.
This whole discussion about prayer and what both of you shared about prayer is powerful. I mean, this idea of a prayer chain, and then joining as a community in prayer. It is such a stark contrast from the parable of prayer that the Savior teaches in Luke chapter 18. Turn there with me. And let's just look at how different it is from what you both explained. Luke chapter 18. And we're going to start in verse 10. In verse 9, the Savior teaches, He's like, I have a parable. And I'm going to teach you this about people and about prayer.
And I'm gonna go ahead and read this. I'm going to read verse 10, 11, and 12. And as I do, here's what I want you to to do. And everyone listening, circle the pronouns in these verses, okay? Just circle every time we read, I read a pronoun. Here we go. In verse 10: "Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican." Now, just a reminder, a Pharisee is a ruler, he is very important, and he's a strict believer in the law. A publican would have been a tax collector, not many people liked publicans, here we go.
11: "The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as the publican. I12: I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13: And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes into heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner." Now, right there. Tell me about the pronouns. What does that teach us about these two prayers? What's the difference?
Well, I feel like the first man, he had descriptions for other people. And the second man had only a description for himself. It was much more humble. He's, he called himself a sinner. And I think that that is a huge difference between like, the first man is like other men or other men are sinners. The second man was like, That's me. And that is so much more humble.
In fact, read verse 14 for us, Jalynne, finish out that story.
14: "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."
Yeah. Very good. What about you, Michelle? What were your thoughts about this prayer and those pronouns?
Well, I think it goes all back to, we're talking about wealth, we're talking about marriage. And I, and we're talking about like, equity versus, you know. But I, I think a lot of it involves self- reflection, self-awareness, emotional intelligence. Those three things you need for a good marriage; those three things, you need to have good, healthy communities and boundaries. Those three things are the things that you need to have when you have riches in order to follow after Jesus Christ. You need self-reflection, you need self-awareness, and you need emotional intelligence. And wow, Jesus is just brilliant. And I mean, He's giving us so much in these verses. And yet they are kind of simple. But the practice of them every day is hard.
Oh, it is. It's very hard.
You know what? I, when I read these scriptures I kept thinking about, like how the first man, he was talking about other people. And it was, he was lifting himself up, where the second man was just being very humble. And I keep thinking about how in conversations that I see and I've heard from other people, about being like a member of the church. And then seeing other people who don't have the gospel. And it's almost like, and I know that I think it comes from a place of gratitude. Like, they're acknowledging the blessing that they received, you know, being a member of the church. But the way it kind of came - the delivery, it was like, Oh, look at how blessed we are, compared to everybody else. Like, and I even heard somebody say, 'Why won't they just look at how good I'm doing and see the difference is the church membership', you know what I mean? And I feel like that's a really prideful way to look at ourselves when we have the gospel.
Like, instead, like a better way that is not to like compare ourselves to other people. Because God causes the sun to shine on the just and the unjust and the rain to fall on the just and the unjust. And I think a much, like a much better perspective to have is: 'Because of the gospel, how can I love this person?' If that's what we're asking, then I think we're utilizing the gospel. But if we're using it to say, like, 'I'm doing so good', then I think we're kind of like twisting the real true essence of the gospel. If we're like how am I using the love of Christ that I have to love this person better?, the world would change.
Oh, my gosh. You have to read this quote by Neal A Maxwell because it's exactly what you described. But you know, in this, in the scriptures that we just read, you can see that there are five I's and one me. And I love how Neal A Maxwell says, You can see the ego dripping from these three lines. And then here's what he has to say about this. And it's the quote in pink.
Okay. "Those vertical pronouns are usually accompanied by unbending knees, because the proud as in Jesus's parable trust in themselves that they are righteous and despise others."
I mean, the vertical pronouns, so it's the I's. Like it just, he's so brilliant with that. And they are
Neal's, Elder Maxwell is one of my favorites. Like, I feel like, just as an aside, the way he interprets and explains the scriptures and the gospel has been transformative for me.
Oh, I agree. I've never looked at this the same when I looked at all those I's. The vertical pronouns are accompanied by unbending knees. And that's exactly what you just explained. Jalen. That was brilliant. Michelle.
I agree with everything, and I think it's, but it's important. You know, as someone who grew up has grown up in the church. I also see like extremism in the other way, where it's just like, self doubt, like beating yourself up. And that's not what Jesus is saying here. And that's where I think the idea of emotional intelligence comes in. And self awareness. It's not that we need to be constantly, like belittling ourselves and our self talk is really negative. And that's not what He's saying at all. It's to be self reflective. That's where the growth comes is we understand.
Like as an artist, one of the things you do in school is you make art and then you sit around with your classmates and you critique each other's art. And sometimes it's brutal, but it always comes from growth. And depending on who your classmates are, sometimes they're really mean or sometimes it's better really helpful. And I think it's the same thing here, like, between you and God, that self critique, that self awareness to be like, Hey, here's some things that I'm lacking. Doesn't mean I'm a terrible person or that I constantly need to be belittling myself. But it just means like, here are the things I need to work on and finding that middle space and not going to the extremes of this parable. But like, I think people might be like, Okay, I want to avoid that extreme. So I'm gonna go all the way to this extreme. And that's not beneficial either.
You know, that's something that I feel like I have struggled with is like, like, it's because of like self esteem issues, like you always just don't feel good enough. And like,that the racial experience, racist experiences of I in my life have, like, colored a lot of my self-perceptions that I had to get over. And so I had a lot of like, inner work to do to feel good. And I was in a moment of just being really down on myself and I was talking to my brother. And he said to me, this crucial, crucial moment in my life, that the iron rod is there to stabilize us, it's not a stick for us to beat ourselves up with. And that changed, like everything for me.
Ah, brilliant. Wow. Well, thank you, both of you for your insights and all of your comments about this idea. And I just go back to the beginning about our discussion about prayer and that that prayer, the prayer chain. And it just kind of makes us think, like, how are our prayers? How are we doing? And are they pronouns-infused prayers or are they outward prayers? And I think that that's a great question for us to think about, and, and maybe a challenge for everybody to start your prayer, start a prayer chain, and to really, truly believe, like Michelle said. And she loved what Jalynne said, and I wrote it down - "We all believe in each other's prayers." And they are prayers for good. And so Jesus is awesome. This is such a great parable, just to remind us about our prayers. And so what we're gonna do is in the last segment, we're going to talk about another question, but this time, it's a question that Jesus asked, and we'll show you what that is next.
Segment 6 1:27:10
Let's go to Matthew chapter 20. Everybody turn there, and we are going to start in verse 32. And this is such a short story, very short. It begins in verse 30 with two blind men sitting by the wayside, and they heard that Jesus is passing by. And as they hear it, they cry out to Jesus. And this is in verse 30. "Have mercy on us, O, Lord, thou son of David." So they're just saying, "Have mercy". They're not asking a question, they're asking a favor. And the multitude rebuked them, because they, they're like hold your peace. You shouldn't be speaking to Jesus, He can't be bothered with this. And then I love the question the Savior asks in verse 32. Michelle, will you please read that for us. Matthew 20:32.
32: "And Jesus stood stil,l and called them, and said, What will ye that I should do unto you?"
Now, I want you to take a minute. And just think about that. Because I said at the very beginning of this podcast, if you could ask Jesus one question, what would it be? But what if Jesus were to come to you today and ask you, "What will ye that I shall do unto you?" I want you just kind of think, and maybe write down in your journals. What would you ask the Savior to do for you today? He asks these blind men, what do you want Me to do? He knows what they need. Everyone knows they're blind, it's not hard to decipher that. Why do you think the Savior's asking them specifically, What do you want Me to do?
I think a lot of times Jesus, and I think even now with God, you know, with our Heavenly parents, they really do care about the desires of our hearts - the small things, the big things, the things that, you know, maybe no one else would care about. And for me, maybe He wanted to know the desires of their hearts, and He wanted them to get a chance to speak and tell what they need. Because a lot of times we have a hard time vocalizing what we need, especially as women. And I think women in the church, speaking about our needs and what we need and not even just want, but we really do need, it's hard to vocalize that. And maybe there's a sense of healing for them to say it out loud. And to be heard.
To be heard.
I really, what I really like about these scriptures is like Christ is just saying, like, What do you want Me to do? And I feel like for me, that is like, He's allowing me to have faith in prayer. Because I think, when I think I think in pictures, and like I just see Heavenly Father and Christ waiting to answer our prayers. And that's what I see when I think of Them, that They're waiting to answer our prayers. And that's what those, that's what this Scripture makes me visualize.
I agree. And I like this because in verse 33, they said "that our eyes may be opened." Now remember, there's a multitude around that's hearing this. Now visualize that, Jalynne. There's all these people around who get to witness this miracle. And the Savior says, What do you want me to do? And they're seeing and hearing these people say, these two people, "that our eyes may be opened." And then we have the result. Jalynne, will you read verse 34.
34: "So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him."
Now, that's not the full end. What we want is the end found in Luke 18:43. So let's turn there. And in Luke 18:43, it gives us a little more insight to what these blind men did. Jalynne, will you please read that for us.
Sure. 43: "And immediately he received his sight, and follow him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God."
Now how's that for an ending?
I love it.
I asked you two to read this story and to ponder it. And this is the question I wanted you to think about. And so I'm, I'm looking forward to your answer. I said, Do either of you have an experience you'd be willing to share that resulted in you glorifying God? Or giving praise unto him? Did you either one of you have something that came to mind with that?
Umm, if I'm giving my honest answer, like I don't, I don't know how well it will be received. But this is exactly what came to my mind. Reading that reading that story when, it made me think of, you know, 2020 and the Black Lives Matter movement, and people saying, Please help, we have a problem. We need help, we need to change things. This is not okay what's happening to, you know, people in the black community. And there were a lot of people that reprimanded them and saying 'Stop this, it's not gonna help, talking about this won't help.' And I saw Jesus in the people who listened and said, What can we do to help? How can we change things to be better for you? And that's exactly what this parable made me think of, you know.
Like,here in Utah with the housing boom, there became a housing shortage. And so many people who are unhoused are saying, Please, we need homes, we need care, we need help. And a lot of people were like, Oh, what are we, what are we going to do about it? This is so frustrating, and I you know, and yet I see Jesus in the people who are fighting for those people to have safe - and especially in the winter - warm places to sleep, and access to health care, medical care, mental health care. And I know it's hard to look at that stuff. But that is exactly what I thought of when I read these scriptures.
Thank you, Michelle. Because it made me think, how often have I been part of the multitude that was trying to just shush the blind men, like, don't bother Him. Don't Don't worry, like, go away, be quiet. Wow, that was powerful.
When people ask you for help, show them compassion.
Yeah. Cuz boy, that's powerful. Help looks different for everyone when they need help.
And the Savior had compassion. Isn't that interesting? You said compassion. That's exactly what the Savior had for these blind men, compassion. And then everybody ended up glorifying, not just the blind men, but the whole multitude praised God because of the positive outcome. So good.
When we focus on the underprivileged in our societies and our communities - there, I said it again, - community - when we focus on the least of these, everyone is blessed. And I know that doesn't make a lot of sense.,Like, you know, all lives matter and all things should matter. And I think, in my opinion, Jesus teaches us the first will be last and last will be first. When we focus on the last, the least of these,somehow through Jesus Christ, everyone is glorified. Everyone is blessed and taken care of. And it almost seems like magic, but it's Jesus.
It is magic.
and it's so beautiful.
Well and I'm grateful you brought up that scripture. What she quoted was Matthew 19:30, that's in our reading for this whole episode, that the the first shall be last and the last shall be first. So thank you, Michelle. What about you, Jalynne?
I don't have an answer quite as profound as Michelle, but I feel like a lot of it is just my age. Like I, the older I get, the more like, the less I feel like I know. And the more I feel like, wow, like my perspectives when I was younger, were about this this much. And the older you get, you realize, oh, no, it's the world isn't this size, it's this size. And you're just this little thing. And I feel like that there are things that like, that propel us forward in that growth, in that learning and that understanding,. And for me, one of the biggest things that propelled me forward was becoming a parent and when I had my son. And I was like, I realized I cannot do this on my own. Like I had, like I have a wonderful support system. Like I have my family, I have my, my husband is like equal in everything in our home. Like, I have everything I need here on Earth.
But I know that we cannot do this without the Creator, like I've, like without somebody who knows my children. Like, I feel like my children - they're 3, my daughter's 3, my son is 7. And I'm still getting to know them, right? Like, like, their personalities are still developing, I'm still getting to know them. But I feel so much better knowing that there's somebody up there who knows them even better than I do and that person is guiding me. And I feel like that knowledge kind of helps inform my actions elsewhere too, like with, like Michelle had mentioned, like larger community movements, larger worlds. Instances like that where we can look at those and see how would Heavenly Father do that? How would our Heavenly Parents do this? What things would they understand about the people asking for help? Because He knows and loves them in a, such an intimate way. And so I feel like becoming a parent really blew my mind, and it still blows my mind every single day.
Does definitely, wow. And it makes me think, as a parent, how many times do you have to say to your kids, Use your words, tell me what you need. I don't know what you need. And I think that's what the Father does. And the Savior, just tell me what you need. Use your words, and let the community know, going now I'm using your word, Michelle. But the multitude was there to hear the Savior say, tell me what you need. Let me do them a miracle so that you can praise My name. And I think that's what this whole discussion about today is, is the ability to just praise His name and do the things that He's asking us specifically to do in our own sphere of influence. So thank you, ladies. That was a beautiful discussion. We're done. That's it.
I think with this whole discussion, I am walking away from this conversation feeling like the young ruler, where God just gave me this, the, you know, line up from where I'm at. And I feel very inadequate and scared to walk up to it, to take care of people that way, to take care of myself that way. And it's not, it's not going to be easy. Just like I think that's what that young ruler was like, Oh, man.
That's gonna be really hard, Jesus. How am I gonna do that?
Yeah, for sure. Well, I mean, I know I normally say at this point, what is your takeaway? But Michelle, that was it. That was such a great takeaway. So Jalynne, what's your takeaway from today's episode?
The theme for me was trusting in Christ, like trusting the messages in the Scriptures, trusting. Like I love what Michelle had taught us about the parable about equality and equity, trusting in His designs. Like, and I feel like no matter how much faith I have, I'm always going to be learning trust. And that's just my human nature. And I'm always going to be learning trust in other people and trust in my, my own ability to feel the spirit sometimes. I feel like that's something that I kept seeing in every single story is trusting in Christ. And if you trust in Christ, He's the sure foundation. And He is where we can be confident in the next step forward.
Absolutely. Both of you, thank you. My take away from both of you was Michelle's equity versus equality. I loved that. And then Jalynne, we all believe in each other's prayers. And then to start a prayer chain. I think you just started a movement. I want to be part of your, I want to be part of your prayer chain. And anybody out there listening, if you want us to pray for you, put it on Facebook. We'll do a little Sunday on Monday prayer chain, because we can trust in the prayers of each other. So thank you, ladies. Wow, that was a good discussion. Thank you for coming prepared. I really appreciate how much thought you gave to these questions, and I love you both. Thank you. Thank you.
K, you're done. Bye, bye.
Oh, well, of course, I can't wait to find out what you guys learned. So if you haven't already joined our discussion group on Facebook or Instagram, go do it. It is such a great place to share what you've learned, and even to talk about things that we've studied throughout this week or even ask questions. And I try to answer those questions throughout the week. But what I love about this community is each other answers each other's questions, if that makes sense. And we can pray for each other, but a beautiful lesson today. And then on Saturday, we post a question from this episode. So watch out for that and then comment on that post that relates to this lesson and share your answers and thoughts.
You can get to both our Facebook and Instagram by going to the show notes for this episode on LDS living.com/sunday On Monday, and it's not a bad idea to go there because you're going to have the links to all of our references, as well as a transcript of this whole discussion. And we're going to have a glue in for this episode. 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 incredible study group participants were Jalynne Geddes and Michelle Franzoni Thorley, and you can find more information about these friends at LDS living.com/sunday on Monday. Our podcast is produced by Cole Wisssinger and me. It is edited by Hailey Higham and recorded and mixed by Mix At Six Studios. And our executive producer is Erin Hallstrom. Thanks for being here.
We'll see you next week, and please remember, ogh, all of you, that you are God's favorite.
right. Is that what it's called - parentheses - these little things?
like my brain today
the side of the smiley face, you know you have the, yes yes
Transcribed by https://otter.ai