22: “The Son of Man Shall Come” (Joseph Smith—Matthew 1; Matthew 24–25; Mark 12–13; Luke 21)
When thinking about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ it’s easy to think of the Primary song “When He Comes Again.” There are a lot of thought provoking questions from the children’s song like, will Earth be white with drifted snow, or will the world know spring? Will one star shine far brighter than the rest; will daylight stay the whole night through? And we can add, will I be alive when that day comes? These musings and visualizations on the future are what this week’s lesson is all about in Joseph Smith Matthew 1, Matthew 24-25, Mark 12-13, and Luke 21. The stories found in these gospels will have us all wondering about when He comes again.
Glue-Ins (free printables for your scriptures)
Find more of Kate’s art at Deseret Book!
JS-Matthew 1:4 (Christ’s instruction from the Mount of Olives)
JS-Matthew 1:23 (The elect according to the covenant)
JS-Matthew 1:28-36 (Prophecy of the last days)
Words of the Prophets:
The very elect according to President Harold B. Lee (1899–1973) are defined as “members of this Church” (Stand Ye in Holy Places , 384).
President Marion G. Romney (1897–1988) of the First Presidency said: “Now, those ‘who are the elect according to the covenant’ are members of the Church, so we ourselves are on notice to beware” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1956, 70; see also D&C 29:7-9)
JS-Matthew 1:22 (False prophets)
JS-Matthew 1:37 (Treasure the word)
Words of the Prophets:
True, there may be those deranged persons who suppose they are God, or Christ, or the Holy Ghost, or almost anything. None but the lunatic fringe among men, however, will give them a second serious thought. The promise of false Christs who will deceive, if it were possible, even the very elect, who will lead astray those who have made eternal covenant with the Lord, is a far more subtle and insidious evil.
“A false Christ is not a person. It is a false system of worship, a false church, a false cult that says: ‘Lo, here is salvation; here is the doctrine of Christ. Come and believe thus and so, and ye shall be saved.’ It is any concept or philosophy that says that redemption, salvation, sanctification, justification, and all of the promised rewards can be gained in any way except that set forth by the apostles and prophets” (Bruce R. McConkie, The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man , 47–48).
Matthew 25:1-13 (Parable of the ten virgins)
Words of the Prophets:
A grand objective of mortality is not merely learning about the Only Begotten of the Father but also striving to know Him…We come to know the Savior as we do our best to go where He wants us to go, as we strive to say what He wants us to say, and as we become what He wants us to become. (David A. Bednar, “If Ye Had Known Me”, October 2016 General Conference)
Mark 12:41-44 (Parable of the widow’s mite)
From Talmage’s Jesus the Christ:
Within that space were thirteen chests, each provided with a trumpet-shaped receptacle; and into these the people dropped their contributions for the several purposes indicated by inscriptions on the boxes. Looking up, Jesus observed the lines of donors, of all ranks and degrees of affluence and poverty, Some depositing their gifts with evident devoutness and sincerity of purpose, others ostentatiously casting in great sums of silver and gold, primarily to be seen of men. Among the many was a poor widow, who with probable effort to escape observation dropped into one of the treasure-chests two small bronze coins known as mites; her contribution amounted to less than half a cent in American money.
In the accounts kept by the recording angels, figured out according to the arithmetic of heaven, entries are made in terms of quality rather than of quantity, and values are determined on the basis of capability and intent…On the books of the heavenly accountants that widow’s contribution was entered as a munificent gift, surpassing in worth the largess of kings. (James E. Talmage, “Jesus the Christ,” Chapter 31: The Close of Our Lord’s Public Ministry)
Matthew 25:14-30 (Parable of the talents)
Matthew 25:31-46 (Parable of the sheep and the goats)
Matthew 25:40 (Do it unto the least of these)
I wonder, when he comes again,
Will I be ready there
To look upon his loving face
And join with him in prayer?
Each day I’ll try to do his will
And let my light so shine
That others seeing me may seek
For greater light divine.
Then, when that blessed day is here,
He’ll love me and he’ll say,
“You’ve served me well, my little child;
Come unto my arms to stay.”
(“When He Comes Again”, Children’s Songbook)
I continue to return to these stories, because they are at the heart of my own Judaism. They challenge, they provoke, they convict, and at the same time they amuse. At each reading, when I think I’ve got all the details explained, something remains left over, and I have to start again. The parables…are pearls of Jewish wisdom. If we hear them in their original context…they gleam with a shine that cannot be hidden
(Amy-Jill Levine, “Short Stories by Jesus”)
One of my absolute favorite primary songs when I was a little kid was the song. "I Wonder When He Comes Again." Because here's the reality. I really did wonder about that. And the lyrics are what my little eight year-old mind wondered. Listen to this, "I wonder when He comes again, Will herald angels sing? Will (the) earth be white with drifted snow, Or will the world know spring? I wonder if one star will shine far brighter than the rest; Will (the) daylight stay the whole night through? Will songbirds leave their nests?" But I would also add, "I wonder if I'll be alive or resurrected when He comes?" Because I wonder how that's all gonna work out. What do you visualize when you think about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ? What feelings do you have when thinking about the Savior's coming? Today's lesson is based solely on these two questions. This week we get to study Joseph Smith, Matthew 1, Matthew 24-25, Mark 12-13, and Luke 21. That's a lot. But the stories found in these gospels will really have us wondering about when He comes again.
Welcome to the Sunday on Monday Study Group, a Deseret Bookshelf Plus original brought to you by LDS Living, where we take the Come, Follow Me lesson for the week, and we really dig into the scriptures together. I'm your host, Tammy Uzelac Hall. And if you're new to our study group, Hi, welcome. We're so glad you're here and we want to make sure that you know how to use this podcast. So follow the link in our description, and it's going to explain how you can best use this podcast to enhance your Come, Follow Me study just like my friend that I met. Oh my gosh, I met her in Draper at the greatest Ice Cream Shop ever, Vicki Morrow Lambert and cute Trinity Rose. Hi, friends. Thanks for coming up and saying Hi to me. It was Leatherby's, Sharon. How much do we love Leatherbys!
Oh, it's okay, it's okay.
Whatever. Those cheese fries? Yes, please. When I die, bury them with me. Okay, this is my guest, and I just said Sharon. So you all know, Sharon's here. Every week I get to invite two friends. And so it's a little bit different each week. So today we have Sharon Staples. Hello, Sharon.
Shalom habarot. How are everybody out there?
Shalom. So good. And we are excited to introduce a new guest, first-timer. She's a little bit nervous, but I don't know why cuz she is such an old hat at this. It is artist Kate Lee. Hello, Kate
Kate Lee 2:13
Hey, I am nervous, but I'm actually more excited than nervous. So yay.
I almost wish we could send the video in of this so you guys could just see Kate's face because it is so happy. You have the happiest eyes.
She does, yes.
Kate Lee 2:25
You guys are sweet.
They smile. Okay, so I said the artist Kate Lee, and many of you probably listening, have pictures in your home that she has painted. She's beautiful at watercolors. That's your, is that your favorite medium, Kate?
Kate Lee 2:38
It is my favorite medium. It is something that I just cannot ever give up. I am addicted.
Don't, don't ever give it up.
We love it. How did you get started?
Kate Lee 2:48
With watercolor or just like drawing in general?
Drawing in general.
Kate Lee 2:51
So I started drawing when I was about four years old. And I just like drew a kitty. And I was like, Oh my gosh, I love this. And so I started to draw more. And in high school is when I was introduced to watercolors. And every week was a different mediums and there was a week of watercolors. And I was just like, I love this. Like where has this been my whole life, you know? Because you do it in elementary school, but it wasn't the same thing. And I was like this, I'm hooked. And so ever since high school I've just been like, this is my thing. I love it so much.
Oh, Wow. Well, and you have some exciting news, because you're doing something with your watercolors. Tell us about it.
Kate Lee 3:28
I have a book coming out in July, which is crazy to me, just because I never thought that would ever be anything that I could do ever in my whole life. But yeah, I'm way excited about it. It's ten chapters long, and they're short chapters, but each one is has a painting at the beginning. And then it tells like a backstory of it and an experience I had. And then it has questions, and then journal pages at the end. So it's like a really involved book. So it's not just one you read, like you like connect with the book. And it's called "Connecting with Christ." I'm very excited.
Congratulations! That's wonderful.
Yes. Oh, I'm so happy for you.
Good for you. Great.
Kate Lee 4:11
Oh, thank you so much. I'm very excited. It'll be cool.
And as I was talking to Kate earlier, I happen to have one of her paintings in my home, not knowing that she was going to be a guest on the podcast. But when I found out, I was so excited because I love your work, Kate. It's, it's just lovely. And I'm glad you're having a book because I'll be one of the first ones to purchase it.
Kate Lee 4:33
Okay, I won't stop you.
Yeah, it's great.
Kate Lee 4:37
Thank you so much. That means a lot, you guys. Thank you.
I'm wondering is, will one of your paintings in the book be the one of the Savior in Gethsemane?
Kate Lee 4:46
Yes, the Atonement. Yes,
That's my favorite one. And for those of you who have the chance to go to the Deseret Bookstore in downtown Salt Lake City, ask to see the life-sized floor to ceiling painting that she did of that.
Oh my gosh,
Kate Lee 5:01
It is, when they showed me that one, when they approached me about it, I was like, Oh. Because the original, you guys is about an 8 X 10, just a really small original. And then they blew it up to this amazing size and it just blew my mind. So it's
It took my breath away. Oh. It's amazing. And the timing of that is perfect, because that's kind of what we're leading up to today with our discussion.
Kate Lee 5:24
Right, right, it's true.
Okay, well, anybody who wants to know more about my guests, and you want to see pictures of them and we'll have links connecting to everything they're involved with, go to our show notes, which are at LDS living.com/sunday On Monday, and you can find their bios there. Okay, so we are continuing with our study of the Savior's final week. And this week's Scripture block covers Jesus's teaching, which would have been on a Tuesday, three days before He is crucified. So grab your scriptures, and let's dig in.
Okay, so I just have a general question for both of you, and I want to know what your answer is. What are your feelings when you think about the Second Coming? How's it make you feel?
Kate Lee 6:03
I think for me, it's two ways. Like, I'm really, really excited because I cannot wait to like, hug Christ, like I want to run to Him. And like, Thank you, you know. And just hug Him. But then I'm also afraid, like, not afraid that He's coming, but you know, it's just like, I want to make sure that I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing so that I can run up to Him and hug Him. And I think that fear is just, I just need to look past it. But I do feel it if I'm being real.
Boy, no, absolutely. I appreciate that, great answers. What about you, Sharon?
Mine is split as well, Kate. But mine is joyfulness that we have as a people, gathered Israel enough that He will come so that we will have done our part. So I'm excited about that. Secondly, I don't want to be here because my gosh. I mean, terrible, awful, ugly, ooh, wretches things are going to happen. I mean, stars falling from the sky. I mean, that's just one of, you know, two dozen things that are gonna go off. They're going to be tragic. So yes, I want Him to come. But I want to be in the heavens or the either place, depending, so that I don't have to see loved ones, members of my family, who will not appreciate what's going to happen when He does come. So it's a mixed bag. I just, I pray everyday that He will come because of what's going on in the world today. But I think we're only halfway there. We have so much more suffering to go through. And more gathering to do before we are ready for Him to come. So.
What about you, Tammy?
Oh, gosh, I mean, yeah, I think the same thing, like I'm super-duper excited for that when that happens. But when I was a little kid, for whatever reason, it's interesting, Kate, because you said when you were little, when you were four you were doing art. I don't know what went on in my world, or in my home, because when I was little, younger than most kids, I already was thinking about the Second Coming, when Jesus was coming, what that was going to be like, and I was terrified. I remember crying in Sunday school, I don't want to live. You know, I don't want to die. I mean, just everything, because I visualized mayhem and just horribleness. But the older that I've gotten, I've also come, like you said, two-fold, to realize how beautiful that day will be. And Sharon, it really struck me when you say 'I pray that He will come.' I've never prayed for Him to come. That's gonna change my prayers. I just assume He'll come when He's ready to come and that really, like, Okay, well, just, hey, thanks for coming. But now I'm like, I'm gonna pray like, Please come.
Yes. And you know, the quicker the better. But
I would be okay if it was tomorrow.
Right, but we have a lot to do.
And then I'll go get some cheese fries and ice cream at Leatherby's with Sharon, and then Christ will come.
Kate Lee 8:57
Kate Lee 8:58
And we'll share the cheese fries with Him.
Exactly. It'll be great.
It'll be great.
Well the reason I asked this question and why I wanted us to be thinking about this is because in a privaqte conversation on the Mount of Olives, Jesus Christ answered his disciples' questions about the Second Coming. They had questions, they wanted to know more. So the Savior taught about the signs of His coming, and we're going to study those. And we're going to study what the Savior said from Joseph Smith-Matthew. Now, if you're wondering what in the world is Joseph Smith-Matthew, and where is that? That is fine. Everybody wonders. So here's what I want you to do. Go in your scriptures. If you have the Scripture app, go to Scriptures. If you have your physical scriptures, you're going to want to go to the Pearl of Great Price. Once you're in the Pearl of Great Price, at the end of it, you're going to see what's called Joseph Smith-Matthew. And if some of you are like, I didn't even know that was there, you're in really good company.
So, we have the Pearl of Great Price, and then after that Joseph Smith-Matthew. Do you guys have that?
Okay. It's not very long, a couple of pages. And also, as always, in our show notes we will have a link that will connect you right to Joseph Smith-Matthew. So if you don't want to try and look for it, just go there and click on the link. Okay, so here's what you need to know about the Joseph Smith-Matthew. It is Joseph Smith's translation or revision of Matthew chapter 23:39, all the way through Matthew 24. So we're gonna just dive into a little bit of this right now. We're gonna go to Joseph Smith-Matthew 1:4. And Kate, can you please read verse 4 for us?
Kate Lee 10:29
Course, Yes. Okay. 4: "And Jesus left them, and went upon the Mount of Olives. And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying: Tell us when shall these things be which thou hast said concerning the destruction of the temple, and the Jews; and what is the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world, or the destruction of the wicked, which is the end of the world?"
So there's their question, and they want to know: tell us about all of this stuff. And so Jesus does. Now I asked you ahead of time to look at a couple specific verses, and I wanted you to tell me what stands out to you about the signs that Jesus gave the apostles. So the first one we're going to go to is in verse 23. Joseph Smith - Matthew 1:23 says, "Behold, I speak these things unto you for the elect's sake; and you also shall hear of wars, and rumors of wars; see, that ye be not troubled, for all I have told you must come to pass; but the end is not yet." Okay. Then we have verses 28-36. And then also Mark, verse 48. Now, both of you what stood out to you in these verses?
Kate Lee 11:37
Okay, first of all, what I loved right there at the beginning of verse 23, where it says, "Behold, I speak these things unto you for the elect's sake." I loved that so much, just because I feel like, you know, Christ is not like hiding these things from us, right? He's not like, Oh, you just kind of have to guess, you know. He's being really clear and open andjust like, He's like it's here for you to see and to find. And I love that He's just like, You are the elect, and this is for your sake, so that you can continue to like, be mindful and aware. And, you know, so you can look for these things. So that's something that stood out to me. I just really love that.
Yeah, I like I just circled the word sake. It's for our sake. Excellent, Kate. Very good.
When I read 23, I wanted to know for the elect's sake, and who the elect are? So I went to 22. And it said, "....who are the elect according to the covenant." Which means me.
I mean, I have made covenants, and there is a possibility that bad things could happen to me if I don't pay attention. If I'm part of the elect's sake, because I have made covenants, then, well, I don't have to worry, even though all those wars and rumors of wars and all those things are happening. because He says the end is not yet. And it's that 'yet'. Being a covenant person I need to endure to the end of the 'yet'. I just, it was a little bit scary that yeah, you know, I'm not exempt from being tempted with false Christs. In fact, I'm probably more in the limelight because I have made covenants.
So that was kind of a warning sign to me.
Kate Lee 13:33
And can we like, I was wondering about the word elect anyway. Because when I, growing, I think I'm just now starting to understand what the word elect means and who it involves. Because I used to think when I read the word elect, I'm like, Oh, that doesn't include me. Like, I'm not an apostle or prophet or like, one of the general leaders, right. I'm not that so I'm not an elect, you know, so maybe that doesn't, I don't qualify. Anyway. And as I've just recently, really, I would say in the last year, I've started to understand that that and helped me understand it as well is what I'm asking you guys too. It does include all of the covenant makers and keepers, right? But also, those that have heard the gospel of Christ is what I'm learning, is what I'm kind of understanding. So like the is not, He's not excluding anybody, like this is all of us. Right? Am I understanding that right?
Oooh, great question. So I have in our show notes, two references. One from Harold B. Lee and one from Marion G. Romney about who the elect are.
Kate Lee 14:35
President Harold B. Lee defined the elected members as "members of this church." And then Marion G. Romney said, "Now, those who are elect according to the covenant, are members of the church. So we ourselves are on notice to be where I live that was, to me, yeah. A warning to members of this church. And when we say covenant keepers or covenant makers the first covenant we make is at 8. Baptism. It's that basic, that's, well, it's not a basic covenant, it"s very hard to keep. But that's the first covenant, so 8-year old kids. Isn't that cool?
Kate Lee 15:14
It is cool because even, as like the trust that Heavenly Father is giving to us at such a young age is like you've got this, like I believe in you at age 8. And before, He believes in us as well. But, you know, that He's like, You can start making these covenants so young. And it's a beautiful gift. You know,
I like that interpretation. Kate, thank you for asking that question, fantastic.
Kate Lee 15:35
Thank you for helping me understand it better.
Okay, what else stood out to you, anything else in those verses that you read before you came?
Kate Lee 15:43
Well, and I love like, right there, because Sharon, you were talking about earlier how it's like a scary thing, right? You think of the Second Coming and all these crazy things that are gonna happen. And they really, it is crazy. It is scary. But I love right there at the end of verse 23, when it says, or in the middle of 23 it says, "See that ye be not troubled." You know, and I think that, yeah, those things you hear about 'em, you're like, those are so frightening. Like, I definitely don't want to be a part of the chaos, you know.
Kate Lee 16:10
But at the same time, like we go back to talking about covenants and keeping our covenants, like, if, and maybe that sounds simple, but like if you are keeping your covenants and you're doing the best that you know how to do, right? Then I feel like that that worry or that fear or whatever, it can be calmed or hushed or comforted because, you know, we are keeping our covenants and I love that He's saying, please don't worry. Like, be not troubled, ii's going to be okay, you know, and that and we can hold on to that, to Christ's words there. Like to be not troubled, like, you're really, what's the word? Cleave unto those words.
Yes. Oh, for sure. cleave unto them indeed. And, and what we've learned, which I appreciate from our Prophet recently, is that covenant keepers, what we're given is the power of the priesthood. And women have that power - not ordained, that's separate. But every one of us men and women alike as covenant keepers are given priesthood power. And I think that's the power that helps us to not be troubled, to just know that like we can pray for Christ to come.
Kate Lee 17:15
I'm gonna do that tonight.
Kate Lee 17:16
It's true, right?
And not be troubled. Yeah, definitely. So great discussion on these verses. Awesome.
For those of you who want to learn more about the calamities, check out Luke 21.
Luke chapter 21 in the New Testament.
In fact, at the top of your page of Joseph Smith-Matthew 1, go ahead and write, cross-reference, Luke 21. They go hand in hand as they talk about all of the things and signs that will come before the second coming. Anything else, either one of you want to add?
I just wrote down some of the things that are going to happen. And it's like I said, scary.
Okay. It's the Joseph Smith 1:28.-36. So nation against nation, kingdom against kingdom famines and pestilences. Earthquakes in divers places, iniquity shall abound, love of man shall wax cold, he that shall not be overcome the same shall be saved. There's abomination of desolation, The sun shall be darkened. Stars shall fall from heaven. And the powers of heaven shall be shaken.' And I think, Whoa, whoa, big time. Not good.
That's heavy stuff.
Yeah, big time. Not good. And some of those things have come to pass. I mean, you know, like the earthquakes and you know, men's hearts will wax cold, meaning we don't love our neighbor, you know. We don't care for those. But it's those big stuff. That the sun shall be darkened? Oh. And stars from Heaven will fall, I don't, its's just. But like it says at the end of verse 23, 'not yet. Don't worry. I got you covered, I got your back.'
Kate Lee 19:00
And it's so true. And I think reading all that for me, don't you feel like it's like this beautiful invitation to just hold tighter to your scriptures and your testimony and prayer? And like, the whisperings of the Spirit and all that. Like as I read those scriptures, like, because it is scary, but I'm like, Okay, this just motivates me to just hold tighter to, you know, to all of that. I know we talked about that earlier, but yeah, just to like, okay, how can I hold tighter to my testimony of Christ?
Oh, and we are gonna, we're going to talk about that throughout this whole episode is holding tighter and what that looks like. So, awesome job, both of you. Okay, so here's what we'll do in the next segment, then we're going to talk about another sign and have a great discussion about that, because there is so much. And I think it might be safe for us to say we're not necessarily looking for these to start; they're already happening. We are living in the signs. And so we're going to talk about a very prevalent one in the next segment.
Segment 2 19:58
We're still in Joseph Smith-Matthew, we're going to look at verse 22. And it kind of already led into verse 23, which we had such a great discussion on. But I feel like 22 is really important for us today, because I feel like it's so prevalent. So Sharon, will you read verse 22 for us.
22: "For in those days there shall also arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch, that, if possible, they shall deceive the very elect, who are the elect according to the covenant."
Okay. Look back at verse 22. How are we seeing that today? False Christs, false prophets?
Kate Lee 20:54
We see that all over, I feel like.
And my under.... the false Christ don't have to be a person.
Kate Lee 21:00
They can be media, entertainment, music. It's, it's well, the abominable church for me, would be the false Christ. And the abominable church is what's going on. It's becoming more prevalent throughout the world. So it's not just necessarily a person who says, Look at me, I am Jehovah. It's, it's all the promotional items of bad stuff. And that's why our prophets suggest that we, as a family, pray together and watch out for bad music, bad books, bad friends, you know. So I think, to minimize it to a person, misinforms all of us about the false Christs of the world today.
Kate Lee 21:55
Well, and that I feel like that like minimizing it to one person, I feel like that is exactly what the adversary wants us to do is that it's like, Oh, I'm only distracted in this one place, but I'm not distracted over here or pulled away over here, you know? And he wants us to just be solely focused. But like, if we are aware of, Oh, this is actually pulling my testimony in a way that I don't want to go or you know, like, if we're aware of the surroundings are affecting us in a negative way, then it is easier for us to like tell satan to get lost and like, focus on what really matters., you know?
It doesn't take much.
Kate Lee 22:30
I found this awesome quote, which just supports what both of you are saying. It's by Bruce R. McConkie, and this is what he had to say about this specific verse and false Christs. Kate, will you please read this quote.
Kate Lee 22:41
"It's true. There may be those deranged persons who suppose they are God, or Christ, or the Holy Ghost, or almost anything. None but the lunatic fringe among men, however, will give them a second serious thought. The promise of false Christs who will deceive, if it were possible, even the very elect who will lead astray those who have made eternal covenant with the Lord is a far more subtle and insidious evil. A false Christ is not a person. It is a false system of worship, a false church, a false cult that says, Lo, here is salvation. Here's the doctrine of Christ. Come and believe thus and ye shall be saved. It is any concept or philosophy that says that redemption, salvation, sanctification, justification, and all of the promised rewards can be gained in any way except that set forth by the apostles and prophets.
Kate Lee 23:41
Tell me why, what stood out to you there?
Kate Lee 23:45
Well, I love that because it really, I mean, I love that it points, it makes it so clear that it's not - where does it say right there "a false Christ is not a person."
Kate Lee 23:55
Yeah, it's a false system of worship, you know, that whole thing, a false churc, a false cult, all of that. Because, I mean, we see that in just within our own individual lives. Like, I know, Mike and I were talking about certain people that we know and we love so much, but that have approached us with like, think about this theory, you know? Think about this theory. And, and it's something that like, they approach us with this and, and present it to us. And then Mike and I will go away, and we'll just have to pray about it. Because it's like, well, I just, you know, it can be so easy to be like, yeah, and follow it, you know. You find what you seek. We did have a very particular experience a few years ago, and we had to go away and pray about it and really, really take it to the Lord. Because we're like, We've heard this, you know, but please teach us because we don't know. And it, the answer came back so clear that it was just to stay on the path that we were on, and to not give into that. Love the person, you know, but stay on the path that you are on and it, but it seemed so easy, and like, oh, that makes so much sense.
Kate, I really appreciate your personal experience with this, because what stood out to me was when he calls it this "subtle and insidious deception".
Kate Lee 25:06
And my mind has been reeling with that. Like, how can we avoid this? And, cuz when I hear 'insidious', it seems obvious to me. Something that's insidious is dark and evil, but it's, He combines it with the word subtle. So it's crafty. And, and I really appreciate in Joseph Smith-Matthew that the Savior actually points out how we can avoid it. Let's look at verse 37.
Kate Lee 25:29
Oh, I love that verse.
And Sharon, will you read 37. Oh, you do love that verse?
Kate Lee 25:32
I do. It's so great.
Okay, then you can read it.
Kate Lee 25:34
Okay. All right. Are you okay with that, Sharon? I don't mean to take it from you.
Kate Lee 25:36
Please do. Yes, please do.
Kate Lee 25:39
K. And it just says, "And whoso treasureth up my word, shall not be deceived, for the Son of Man shall come, and he shall send his angels before him with the great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together the remainder of his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." Oh, I just love that!
Tell me why.
Kate Lee 25:39
I just, I mean, "and whoso treasureth up my Word shall not be deceived." I feel like that. It just is. I mean, I don't know, like I wrote down on my notes here is this invitation. Like, I feel like it's both a warning and an invitation, right? to like, be mindful and aware of where and how we're spending our time nourish, nourishing our testimonies. That makes sense. Like, I guess some of the questions I wrote down for myself is, Are you feeding your testimony with light and truth? Or are you feeding it with noise? Or are you approaching your testimony with the all as well mentality? Or are you ignoring it altogether? And that's just kind of the things that came to my mind. As I was thinking about that scripture. I just like, I really want to feed my testimony with light and truth. Right, I want to treasure up his word, like the gospel that we have, because it's beautiful, and it makes you feel good, right? Like it, it gives you peace and confidence and, and hope and when things seem hopeless, you know.
You know, because I really, Kate, I love that you said "How am I feeding my testimony?" Like that really struck me and, and Sharon, I'd love to know, how are you feeding your testimony? Like, what's it, what is an example you would give to someone if they asked How can I feed my testimony? Or how can I treasure up His word?
Well read the scriptures, of course, that's the number one thing. Secondly is, I actually listen to General Conference., ya know. And I actually pay attention to their words as well. And even in stake conference and in sacrament meeting. I listen to see how what they're saying is in line with my testimony, and if it strengthens it. So the sources are legion, we, I mean they're everywhere, they're sources that we have. I mean, we have revelation, we have inspiration, we have the priesthood, we have so much to interpret as the words coming from our Savior.
I like when you said, the sources are legion. There're so many ways to strengthen.
Absolutely, and temple. The words in the temple, the covenants we make in initiatory, and sealing, and baptism. Yeah, it's just, we are actually, we are flooded with the words of the gospel, if we'll look in the right places.
Yeah. Well, and you know Kate, I appreciate that you gave an example of how not to be deceived by you and your husband praying; you took it to the Lord and asked. And I know there's another experience you have. Would you mind sharing that with us?
Kate Lee 28:40
Course. It was, it just this past Sunday a brother in our ward show shared in his talk. I just, it was so profound. And I was so excited because it went perfectly with what we're talking about today. And he talked about how he took some survival classes in college. And he learned how to use a bow drill, and to like to start a fire. And he talked about how it's a lot of work. And you really have to, you know, stay steady on the bow drill to get one little ember. But once that one little ember is there and lit, he says you have to like, it's so tender. And you have to pick it up gently and nurture it and blow on it and make it, you know, you want it to last so that you can transfer it over to where your fire is. And then you have to nurture the fire and keep it going. You don't want to lose the ember, because if you lose the ember, then you lose the fire, you know. And the fire brings peace and comfort and relief from the cold you know.
Kate Lee 29:36
And I just thought it was like, and then he turned it into your testimony. And that your your testimony is a tender ember, and you have to constantly be there to nurture it and feed it and make it big like a fire you know, so that it stays big and keeps you you know, it guides you or keeps you warm or whatever. It helps to just be safe you know. And I just thought that was so beautiful. And I was just like, How can I like, nurture my ember? And I wrote in my scriptures when he was talking, I wrote "Remember the Ember", you know. Because I'm like, I want to remember the ember, especially when those moments come when you don't know. Like there's deception or there's, you know, all kinds of things that surround us. And when those moments come and you are like, I'm not quite sure, you know, you can turn to your testimony and remember the ember and remember to nurture it. And I just, I just loved that he shared that. I just like, Tom, you got to get on this podcast with me. It was so beautiful.
Oh, Kate. I really appreciate that story so much because I love camping and I always try to teach my kids how to make fires and so I, it will never be the same for me. That is a perfect example of this. So I think what we're gonna do is in the, this is awesome, because in the next segment, we're actually going to look at a parable that teaches us how to remember the ember AND the long term benefits of remembering the ember and treasuring up His word. And we'll do that next.
Segment 3 31:05
Okay, that was an awesome discussion: "remember the ember and treasuring up His word." So there is a really great parable about the long-term effects of treasuring up His word and remembering the ember. And it's actually found in Matthew chapter 25. So we're done with Joseph Smith-Matthew, go ahead and close that. And now let's turn to Matthew chapter 25. He just got done teaching the apostles about the Second Coming, answering all of their questions. And so naturally, He's gonna give us a parable and it's something for us to think about. And this is probably one of the most familiar parables, I think. I love it. And Kate, I want to know, are you gonna plan on painting this?
Kate Lee 31:57
Oh, I have. I have it out there.
Wait! I didn't know that.
Kate Lee 32:01
Yeah, it's called "Five Are Wise".
Oh, my gosh, okay, everyone, I feel so dumb. I'm gonna go get it.
Kate Lee 32:07
No, no, no, you don't
I didn't even know that. Okay, she's painted this. This is awesome! Okay, so here's what we're gonna do. We are in Matthew chapter 25. Sharon, will you please read verse 1 for us in Matthew chapter 25.
"Then shall the Kingdom of Heaven be likened unto 10 virgins, which took their lamps and went forth to meet the bridegroom."
Okay. Now, Sharon, will you look down below and read for us the Joseph Smith Translation of what that verse really should start out with.
"And then, at that day, before the Son of Man comes, the kingdom of....".
Okay. So before Jesus Christ comes, the kingdom of heaven is likened unto 10 virgins, who took their lamps and went forth to meet the bridegroom." All right. This is the parable of the five that were wise - Kate, I think that's awesome. So what we want to do is we kind of want to go through here and understand who is who in the story. And Sharon, you've got some really great insights into this parable; can you teach us a little bit about it?
Well, I don't know if they're great insights, but
Kate Lee 33:12
I'm sure they're amazing.
I talked to her last night. They're great.
The bride is never mentioned, it's all about the bridegroom and the 10 virgins. Secondly, it seems to me that it could be a parable about selfishness and sharing. The five who didn't share. And sent them on their way, like to the local 7/11 to get some oil. It doesn't happen, you know, it doesn't happen that way. But it, well, anyway. And they are all asleep. I mean, the bridegroom was sleeping, the 10 virgins were sleeping, and you think, Wait a minute. This happens more often than once in the Scriptures is just stay awake, like Peter, James, and John staying awake with the Savior when He was in the garden. Or staying awake when you're one of the 10 virgins.
And so, for me, I'm, and then I don't know if this is a good place to say this or not, but there's a Jewish authoress who talks about "the stories BY Jesus, not OF Jesus, but the stories BY Jesus. "And she says there there's more than one interpretation to a given parable. And she, and she does her perspective of the 10 Virgins from a Jewish perspective. So for me, the, the way it's told - and we're taught that the bridegroom is the Savior - and we, the 10, are members of the church, the 10 virgins. We, it's an allegory, so we're the members of the church. But it's being prepared. And it goes back to what President Nelson says over and over and over again: 'we have to gather Israel, we have to be prepared. We have to be, you know, on the alert to what's happening now and what's going to happen. But be prepared?'
Which I think is a major message, in addition to looking at some, everything else that's going on in that parable.
Yeah. Well, thank you, Sharon, for pointing that out. And I can remember when I first read this, and taught it. My take away was the same as yours like, Well, why didn't they share? What a bunch of rude women; those five foolish needed help. And then the more I learned about it, the more I realized, Oh, okay, wait a minute. I think, I don't know if I'm really fully understanding this. Because then I finally learned what everything meant. Like you said, the bridegroom is Jesus. And the 10 virgins are all members of the church. And in verse 2 where it says five are wise, and five are foolish, let's be clear. It's not saying five are righteous and five are wicked.
Kate Lee 35:48
That's not the message.
Yes, Kate, you're shaking your head. Tell me about this and how it led you to paint.
Kate Lee 35:56
Well, well, first of all, let me just say, I love that you said that the 'foolish' and not 'wicked'. Because what I thought of was, and actually Mike pointed this out, but that they had the opportunity to be prepared, but they didn't. Like they were there just as the wise were ,right. And they were waiting with Christ, just as the wise were, but they just weren't prepared for that, right? And that's something I was like, Wow, Mike, I never thought of it like that. It was so insightful. But to like coming to that painting, it was actually a friend of mine who said, I love this story so much. And I really would love to see your interpretation of it. And it's just funny how this painting came together because it's, it took me about two and a half years to get it to feel just right. And I initially had drawn and painted all 10 of these virgins. And, and I just was like, Yeah, I want to represent all of it. And like the need for, like being prepared. And but then the hunger that they weren't prepared, you know, they were kind of like, shoot, Christ is right there, you know.
Kate Lee 37:00
And I wanted to paint all of that. And I did. And I was like, this isn't the right feel. Like I didn't include the foolish, because I just, like bu, I wish I had a picture right here so I could describe it to you perfectly. But you can see that they're leading each other along. And they're, they're reaching to Christ but they're all connected. Like all of their, their hands and the way that they're walking towards Christ. They're like, we're doing this together, you know.
Oh I like that.
Kate Lee 37:29
And so I wanted it to represent that, you know, even though I feel like we fluctuate between the wise and the foolish as we go through our lives anyway.
Kate Lee 37:39
But, but we're in it together. And so we're walking to Christ together with our testimonies and the things that we know. and we're reaching back. Like one of them, if I'm remembering it right, because they, they're just, she's well, got her hand right on one of their backs. And she's just like, we've got this, let's have faith, and let's do it together. And it just, when I decided to do The Five Wise, that is when I felt like, that's what we need to focus on is because if we, there's a lot of time that we can get stuck in thinking, Well, I'm foolish, and there's no point in trying to do more, because I'm just foolish, you know. But I wanted the focus to be like, God understands where we are in our path. And He knows that the intents of our heart and all that. And so I wanted it to focus on that He accepts where our efforts are.
Absolutely. Okay, Kate. That was a perfect setup for all of this, because let's go through this parable really quick. Everything you said is so profound and perfect. In verse 3 & 4 it says that there were foolish ones who had lamps, but no oil with them. But the wise had oil in their lamps and with them. So they all had oil, and they all were waiting for Christ to come, all 10 of them. And the reality is is that when the bridegroom tarried, in verse 5, they slumbered and slept. And then verse 6 says, "At midnight, there was a cry made." Now in Greek, this doesn't actually mean midnight, 12 o'clock. It just means in the middle of the night. And that was traditionally when the bridegroom would come through the town to gather the bridal party so they can all meet at his house, where he would then be with the bride. So when he came through and they called out "The bridegroom cometh, he's here", everybody jumped up. And the reality is, is that just five of them just didn't have enough oil to make the trip. Now those lamps are not that big.
I once had a woman come up to me and say I just don't feel like - and you said this Kate - I don't feel like I'm doing enough. I feel like I am the foolish one because I don't have enough oil. And I reminded her those lamps are tiny. And I like that because I don't know that the Lord is asking a lot of us. And then Kate to even take your, the way you paint this, the interpretation is, we can - this is it, Sharon - where we can just help each other out then. We can help each other on that path, filling our lamps with oil. And that's really what it's going to take, it is a group effort. Because I think sometimes we think it's individual. And it is, it can be. It's us going to the temple and building that ember, right, nurturing that ember.
Kate Lee 40:14
But it's also a group thing. Sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt you. But yeah
No, go ahead.
Kate Lee 40:18
It is. It's an effort that we, we're sisters and brothers together, experiencing this together. So yeah, it is an individual thing. But it is also a together thing.
Because anybody who's ever tried to build a fire and saw somebody with fire already raging, you're gonna go over and put your stick in there so fast and get some of those embers. Right?
Kate Lee 40:38
Like let this be sort of a group thing. Let's help each other out, let's share our ember, let's share our warmth, let's encourage each other to stay on the covenant path. And maybe, I'm just now considering this, Sharon, because you said every parable has a different interpretation. And I think that might be mine, in light of what Kate has said, is we can encourage each other to stay on the covenant path. For those women that we know and love who just need help getting oil, that's what ministering is about, right?
Kate Lee 41:05
I think so. I think so. But like this, this whole parable is I was reading it, it may, it gave me this like image yesterday when I was like going over everything again. And it made me think of like the five unwise, it made me think of like someone going into battle, right? But they didn't have any protection or any weapons. They're just like, Oh, there's a battle, I'm gonna go run into it. And then they're like, in the very moment that they're like, Oh, no. I might need some kind of protection and a weapon to like keep myself safe, you know. It just made me think of the same thing. Like in that moment, when Christ comes and they're like, He's here. Shoot, I am not ready, you know?
Kate Lee 41:45
And I thought how many times do I do that in my own life? Like, really? How many times in whatever situation is, how many times have I done that where I'm like, I'm ready to go. Like, I'm gonna go run a marathon. Shoot, I didn't train for the marathon, you know. But with the gospel, you know, I want to be like, bringing it back to the second coming of Christ. I definitely want to be there. But I just, I have to be ready for it. I can't just be like, Oh, He's here. Shoot, I need to repent, and read my scriptures. And, you know, I just thought for me, it was very motivating to write down like, just a small like, what can you do daily, Kate, before you start your day? And it's just a simple act. And that is going into my war with the right tools, you know?
Absolutely. Yes. You know, there's a great quote from Elder Bednar, because you just said, What can I be doing? And I really like this quote from him, because it applies to us personally, and then it can apply to those who are in our lives. Sharon, will you read this quote from Elder Bednar.
Certainly. "A grand objective of mortality is not merely learning about the only begotten of the Father, but also striving to know Him. We come to know the Savior as we do our best to go where He wants us to go.,Aa we strive to say what He wants us to say, and as we become what He wants us to become."
There it is: three grand instructions. GO where He wants us to go. Strive to Say what He wants us to say, Become what He wants us to become.
Sounds like a hymn to me.
Kate Lee 43:25
Like, I'll go where you want me to go, dear your Lord, I'll say what you want me to say. It is a hymn.
And, and Sharon, you know, I just - and you said this earlier, you said - "I'm older and it doesn't mean I'm immune from doing any of these things." And so when you read this, do you feel overwhelmed? Or do you feel invigorated?
I feel challenged.
Well, I need to step up.
You always say, I love that you always say that.
I mean, you just, you just have to, it's just like getting hit upside the head. You say, Well duh. What are you doing? How are you being prepared? How are you repenting? How are you helping your neighbor? How are you sharing? How are you, you know, doing what the Lord would have you do? And you're saying what He'd have you say, you know, so it's, it's, Hello, pay attention.
For sure. And when we do these things, when we're going where He wants us to go? We're striving to say what He wants us to say, becoming what He wants. I like the word strive. You don't have to be perfectly 'say what He wants you to say.' You're just striving to do your best. In my mind I'm imagining drop, drop, right? Just simple drops that you need in your lamp, so that when the Savior comes, He will - and then here's the answer. Go to Matthew 25:12. Everybody arrived at the marriage party except for the five unwise, the five foolish. And they knocked on the door and they cried "Lord, Lord, open to us." Like let us in. We finally made it, we're here. And oh, verse 12 is so sad. Let's read verse 12. And then we're gonna go down to the footnote and read ithe Joseph Smith Translation. Sharon, will you please read Matthew 25:12.
Certainly. "But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not." However, in, and of quote, however, in the Joseph Smith Translation, it is "ye knew me not."
So it's the virgins who haven't paid attention to the Savior. So they knew Him not instead. Of course He knows them. He knows everyone. I mean, that's duh. So I really appreciate that.Joseph Smith translation. Ye knew me not.
Yeah. And going back to Elder Bednar's talk, you knew me not because you didn't go where I wanted you to go. You didn't say what I needed you to say, you didn't become what I sent you here to become. And that's the message of the Parable of the 10 Virgins. So thank you, both of you. Oh, my gosh, great discussion. And Kate, I can't wait to get your picture now. Oh, that is awesome. Wow,
Kate Lee 45:58
Thank you, I hope you like it.
Okay, this is so good, such a good discussion. All right. So what we'll do is in the next segment, we are going to discover some more examples of drops, and how we can treasure up this word.
Segment 4 46:09
Alright, so I have something to show you guys. I brought some coins with me. And for those of you who are listening out of the United States, I'm using U S coins. Okay, so here is our first one right here. It's very beautiful and gold and big. It's a gold dollar. We used to have silver dollars, but this one's gold.
Kate Lee 46:43
Fancy. So that's worth $1, that coin. Okay, here's another coin. Can you tell what this coin is?
Kate Lee 46:50
It's our quarter. Okay, here's the next coin, in size. So I'm going biggest to smallest. What's that one?
Nickel, 5 cents.
Very good. Okay, then here's our next coin.
A penny. What's that worth?
Kate Lee 47:03
One cent. Here's our smallest coin. What's that called?
It's a dime.
Very good. What's a dime worth?
10 cents. Then I have one more coin to show you, the smallest of coins that I own. teeny, teeny, teeny.
Is it the widow's mite?
lt is. Look how itty-bitty that mite is. Oh, it's so tiny. Okay, I wanted us to look at size of coins because the widow's mite is less than all of those. Turn with me to Mark chapter 12 and we're gonna read 41-44. Okay, so again, we're continuing on with our discussion of the Second Coming, treasuring up His word, dropping drops of oil, being prepared for when He comes again. And the Savior sets this up perfectly, because He gives a parable of the wicked husbandman. And He speaks of paying taxes and all sorts of things. But then He gives this example of a person, of a woman who really her drop of oil was gigantic in comparison. And we talk about little drops, but this one was heavy. So let's go ahead and read the story in Mark 12:41-44. And Sharon, we'll have you start and we'll each take a verse. We'll go Sharon, then Kate then me. Here we go.
41 St. Mark, chapter 12: " And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.
Kate Lee 48:35
42: "And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.
43: "And he called unto him His disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:
44: "For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living."
Oh my goodness. Now, underline that where it says "even all her living,."Just so you know, the widow's mite is worth half of a penny in American money, half of a cent. And so two would make one cent. That is all she had left to give, one cent. That blows my mind, all of her living equated to one penny.
Kate Lee 49:27
Well, and to give it requires like so much faith. Like she knew that that was it. And she's just like, 'I got to do it.' And it just, I love the faith that she demonstrates in this, this, these scriptures because I want to acquire the same type of faith that she she has.
Right, absolutely. Now I really like the way "Jesus the Christ" set this up. James E. Talmage wrote what this moment would have been like. I didn't realize this and so we put this in our show notes. and I think this is pretty fascinating, for me, anyway. Cuz I thought, What do you mean she dropped it in a box? Or how did this look when she paid her tithing? You know, did she put it in tithings envelope during Sacrament Meeting and fill out the form? What does this look like?
So here's what James E. Talmage says. He said, "Within that space were 13 chests, each provided with a trumpet- shaped receptacle. And into these the people dropped their contributions for the several purposes indicated by the inscriptions on the boxes. Looking up, Jesus observed the lines of donors of all ranks and degrees of affluence and poverty, some depositing their gifts with evident devoutness and sincerity of purpose. Others ostentatiously casting in great sums of silver and gold, primarily to be seen of men. Among the many was a poor widow, who, with probable effort to escape observation, dropped into one of the treasure chests two small bronze coins known as mites. Her contribution amounted to less than half a cent in American money." Now, doesn't that set it up better?
Right? Oh, my gosh.
The crowd. And maybe not wanting to be seen? Why would you not want to be seen? Why do you think she was trying not to be seen?
Kate Lee 51:10
Well, and I just think like, if you're, if you're watching the people around you give these great sums of money or whatever, these grand things. And then you're like, I only have these little mites. Like it, I mean, you could be embarrassed, or like, maybe I'm not contributing enough. I'm not enough in this situation. And I mean, that's how I would feel. Like, oh, my gosh, I'm not enough. I just got to do it secretly and hurry and get out of here because I'm really embarrassed, you know?
Well, and the treasures of men versus the treasures of God.
She was paying attention to all that money. And I think we do that in the church today. I think wealthy men and women who can wear, you know, expensive suits, and have diamonds and pearls and jewels, and all that kind of stuff. And for those of us who don't, I think all of us have to look beyond the treasury, look beyond, you know, the financial thing and just say, You know, I'm contributing what I can and they're contributing what they can. We have to look past, all of us, both the rich and the poor have to look past the richness and the poorness, and look to the spirit of the gospel in all things.
Kate Lee 52:21
Well, and just to go along with that, Sharon, I wrote down in my notes that, you know, if, if our 'all' seems small, right, it can seem small compared to others. But if it is our all, right, if that's all we can give, then our Heavenly Father, He is more than pleased, right? He is so happy, and He blesses the efforts that we give Him, even if it is as small as two mites. Right? It's beautiful to Him.
Well, you know, and going back to what you said earlier, Sharon, that many times parables can mean more than one thing. Because at face value, I read it and think, Oh, it's talking about tithing and fast offerings. But as the two of you were talking, I had this thought that sometimes when we give our all it's not necessarily about tithing, but it could be about other aspects of the gospel. For instance, attending the temple. Like when I was in the thick of little kids, I didn't go to the temple. I just didn't know how to find the time. And when I did, maybe it was once a year. And I really felt like that was my all at that moment. And I've had so much guilt and shame about not going every week like I had when I was single. I mean, I achieved that goal beautifully. And then I just couldn't. And I, then I think of her like right there, me, and I was embarrassed to admit it. I didn't want anyone to know that I hadn't gone to the temple in a long time because I just couldn't get there. I felt like her, trying to hide. I just sneak into the temple, do my work and go. But now I feel a little bit like, oh, you know what? I was, that was my mite. Like I gave all I could in those crazy years of my life. Could I interpret the parable to be that?
To me, there's a difference between the two words 'generous' and 'giving'.
What do you mean?
Well, the rich people were very generous. They gave what, but she was giving. She gave what she had. And so many people will do without in order to help someone else. Maybe it's, I don't know, cleaning the chapel or you know, whatever that, rather than buying five dozen doughnuts for the young men's program or something, I don't know. What I'm saying is, when you're giving, you inconvenience yourself; when you're generous you give money. You give things, you give items, you give whatever, so that you, and to me, to me there's a difference. And some people are both generous and giving. But to me when I look at that "she gave her two mites", I'm like what a giving person. And the other guys or women or whoever they were threw money in there I thought, Boy, he'w sure generous. Those are the terms I would use to distinguish those two people. I don't know, maybe it's just me.
Oh, I like that.
That, that's my, that's my interpretation of the parable.
No, I like it. I'm writing it in my scriptures: "giving versus generous." There have been times in my life where I could afford to be very generous. Absolutely. And then there were times when I just, was just giving. Oh, and it took everything in me.
Ooh, I like that.
I think there's a difference.
Kate Lee 55:34
And I think that going with the giving, you know, it just, it's the purity of your heart, you know. Like, if it's, if all you can give is once a year to the temple, but that's what you could do, and it's like, you yearn to be there, you want to be in the temple, you know. It's like the purity of your heart. And the same with this lady, the widow's mite, you know, that she is giving it from the purity of her heart. And it's such a beautiful thing, because, because it is like we talked about earlier with the, with the quote, "to be seen by man." You know, that's just....What are the scriptures in Alma that talk about your, your reward is given to you that like to be seen by man. Your reward is given in that moment, you know. And, but if you are, you know, not trying to do it for show or any of that stuff, it's just from the purity of your heart, that reward is so much greater and grander. And maybe it doesn't come in the moment, but it comes. And it's, it's a beautiful gift when it does come.
Yeah. Well, and just when you were saying "to be seen of men", this just struck me in verse 43, that it's only, it's, it was just between her and the Lord. And that's all it is with any of us. Like, nobody called her out in these verses. It was the Savior who saw her and then said to His disciples, Let me tell you about this woman. So I think that's important for us to recognize, that whatever you give, it is between you and the Lord only. And He sees you. And He recognizes that many of you out there are giving all your living. I'm sorry, boy that really strikes me because there was a time in my life where to give all my living was a huge sacrifice. And I'm not talking about money. I mean, it was, when I was single there was a time when I just, I had given all I could possibly give and didn't seem like a lot. And I questioned that, so
Kate Lee 57:25
Well, and isn't that a tool of the adversary too that he, of course, like he's always at us. And, you know, he just wants to distract us or grab our focus, you know. And it's, he can say you're not doing enough and he keeps us there, then we're missing that beautiful opportunity to strengthen that relationship with Christ in those moments and our Heavenly Father in those moments that are the widow mites moments, you know.
Oh my gosh. Okay, Kate, you have to read this quote then
Kate Lee 57:53
because of what you said. This is again, another quote from James E. Talmage. It's in Jesus the Christ, chapter 31 if you want to go read it. Here's what he says about her offering.
Kate Lee 58:03
Yes, it says, "In the accounts kept by the recording angels figured out according to the arithmetic of heaven, entries are made in terms of quality rather than quantity. And values are determined on the basis of capability and intent. On the books of the heavenly accountants, the widow's contribution was entered as a munificent gift, surpassing in worth the largesse of kings."
Okay, thank you. I love that because I'm just imagining angels recording. The accountants? of, I mean.
Kate Lee 58:37
A little intimidating.
All you accountants out there, you got a job in heaven. I mean, you're just keeping track of people's, you know, I love that. "Quality versus quantity." Then of course, there are those words you have to look up when you're studying James E Talmage. Munificent means generosity or bountiful. And largesse means a liberal gift. So it was entered as a very generous, there it goes, generous and bountiful gifts surpassing in worth the largesse of kings, or the most liberal gift of kings. Now that shapes the whole parable.
And in a good example of this is years ago, before either of you were born, we were asked to contribute to the building of the Jordan River Temple. In fact, we were asked to build, you know, help build all the temples. And we would meet with the biship. And he would say, "How much can you contribute?" Not 'We're taxing you $400, or We're taxing you 300.' "Tell me what you can contribute and that will suffice." And, and I just thought that was so great. Because before I went in, before they told us very much about it, they said you're gonna be, you know, you have to contribute to the building of the temple. And I thought, I don't have 1000s of dollars. I don't have that kind of money. But it was a gift to me that the bishop would say, Give what you're capable of giving, and that will suffice. And so that's the same principle - she gave. The widow gave what she was capable of giving. And I think that's what matters. So
Amen. Amen, Sharon.
Now we don't have to do that. I mean, we do it through
in other ways. Yeah. Thank you, both of you. That was a good discussion. Wow. Never look at that the same. Okay. Ha, ha, that was so good. All right. Well, then we have more examples of drops coming, and we'll look at those in the next segment.
Segment 5 1:00:31
Let's go to Matthew chapter 25. We're gonna go back now, Matthew chapter 25, and I want you to label and bracket off verses 14-30. I'm not going to tell you what it is yet, Kate's gonna do that. But what I asked my guests to do is because we've just been studying so many parables throughout this year. But I wanted to sort of take a different approach to studying the two parables in this segment. And then in the next segment. So this is what I asked my guests to do. I asked them to read the specific parable. And then I asked them to look for four things and write down what they found. And here are the four things I asked them to look for: important details. Then number two, make spiritual comparisons. Number three, discover valuable lessons. And number four, determine the personal application. So I'm going to turn this over to Kate. Kate, go ahead and tell us what we should label those verses as and tell me what you found.
Kate Lee 1:01:40
Okay, well, I hope this is what you want them to label it as, you correct me. Okay. So this is the Parable of the Talents.
Kate Lee 1:01:48
which I love, I love so much. I just relate to it. But it just talks about, there's the three servants and one is given five talents. One is given two talents, and one is given one. And two of them go out and build on their talents. And you know, the five now has 10. And the two now has four. And then the third servant goes and he buries his talent so that when the master comes back, he only has the one talent to present. Right? And that is what I relate to it so much.
Kate Lee 1:02:23
Because that, I mean, I think I look at that servant, and I know in these verses it talks about the end there is that wicked and slothful servant. And I think, I'm not sure if there's a different interpretation, there probably is somewhere, but I for me, I'm like, I don't think that the Lord is saying, 'Oh, you're so naughty. Now you're, you know, get outta my presence', in that He doesn't want to see us again.' But that I look at that and I think it's fear. Like he's been given this talent, right? And he's like, Okay, I'm gonna like, well, there's two, actually there's two interpretations, I'm gonna go both ways too, is that, okay?
Kate Lee 1:03:04
Okay. The one is, I don't want it to get lost and so I'm just going to protect it, you know, and so he buries it. And he just kind of protects it, you know, but not really doing anything with it. Right? But the other one is like, 'Oh, my gosh, I'm so afraid. I don't know what to do with this. Why did he give me this talent? I just, I'm not good at this. I can't do what the other servants are doing. I'm just gonna bury it and forget about it almost.' And that's more of what I relate to, is because I've done that with painting and drawing for a long time, you know. And I did, I buried it and didn't really share. I mean, like, I had been drawing cartoons, like I wanted to be a cartoonist for since, for as long as I can remember. And that was really easy for me to share, cartoons and my comic strips, and all of that was really easy for me to share.
Kate Lee 1:03:54
But, where my real where my heart really lied was with painting Christ-centered paintings and anything that was Christ-centered, I really wanted to do that. I remember Greg Olsen and stuff in Primary, and they'd bring his paintings in. And I was like, I want to do that, you know, and, but I was so afraid of what others would think. And so I never shared that part of me with anybody ever. And I would just hide it. And it wasn't until, gosh, 2015 when I feel like the Lord came and rebuked me in a very gentle way, but He rebuked me for hiding that talent and just said, 'Listen, you have this gift that I've given to you, and you are not using it.' And he's like, you've got to start using this talent. And so He gave me this opportunity to, I could either reject it and continue to bury it, or I could use it, you know. And, so I dug it out and I started to build on that talent, and it was really scary,and I felt very rebuked.
Can I ask a question about that? I'm curious to know, will you share that part of your, if you're comfortable, will you share that part of your story about being rebuked? Like what, what was that like? What did that feel like? How would you describe it?
Kate Lee 1:05:16
Did you have a moment, an experience?
Kate Lee 1:05:20
Oh, yeah. I've shared, I think I've shared this experience on a different podcast, too. But it was, it was when I was meeting with my stake president. And it was when he, he brought this scripture reference that, he asked me to paint this Scripture reference. And I told him, No. I said I'm not good enough. I can't do that. I'm the wrong artists for this. Like, you need to find yourself a different artists, you know. And my state president, he's, he said to me, he's like, No, you are, you're good enough. I'm excited to see what you come up with. And I was like, I don't want - I didn't say this but in my head. I was like, I could say No again, and I could walk away from this. But I also in that same moment, when I had that same, that, that thought, No, I want to walk away, it was like the spirit came in and said, You are going to miss out on an opportunity. This is a chance to change, this is a chance to grow. So take it and grow. And I was like, okay, you know. Like I was really scared. And so then I, it took me a minute, but I was like, you're right. Like I am being, I'm being, I'm allowing my fears to win is what I'm doing.
Kate Lee 1:06:32
And so I took that scripture reference home and I painted my very first ginormous, because my president, my stake president picked out the canvas, which was almost - I'm six feet tall - it was basically as tall as me. And, and just as tall and as wide. Like it just was this massive canvas and, but the Lord was like, you need to do this, you know. And I painted this, my very first Christ-centered painting that multiple people would see. And but by doing that, it gave me courage and hope and direction. And it just, it really, it taught me that I could trust myself, that I could trust Heavenly Father, that it just helped me to build a relationship with my savior and the Spirit. And, and you know, like, it just was such a beautiful, scary, amazing moment.
Oh, my gosh, well, I want to know, where did your fears come from, though? What was that about?
Kate Lee 1:07:26
It just, I feel like it was from, I grew up not really believing in myself, you know. Like I really felt like I was a, just kind of a waste of time to everybody. And so I didn't really, I didn't believe in myself at all. And so I tell people, when, with my art, I didn't share it, because I already felt like a failure in every other part of my life. That if I had shared my art and people didn't like it, then that meant to me, that meant that I was a complete failure, you know. And so I just didn't, I just learned to be afraid to be who I am, which is a bummer that it took me so long to figure it out. But it just came from that self doubt. And, and, yeah, I'm learning to overcome that self doubt.
How are you doing that?
Kate Lee 1:08:20
Through art, through painting. I feel like, I mean, there's lots of it, like through my scriptures, and prayers and family and lots of good things. But it really is this painting pictures of Christ and spending that time in my studio with the Spirit like that. It really, it's teaching me - I don't want to get too emotional. But it really, I feel like Heavenly Father is in there with me, and He's teaching me, sorry, that I am good, and that He loves me and that He's proud of what I can give Him, you know. And that's, those moments in my studio with my paintings are really tender, spiritual, sacred moments because it is, it's a learning process for me to trust Heavenly Father that He loves me for me as I am, you know, which I love.
And you are good. You are so, so good. I mean, I am, I am amazed at how in your stories you've just been talking, and the thing that keeps coming to me is your drop of oil was just the willingness to trust.
Kate Lee 1:09:23
You didn't, all you did was trust. 'Okay, well, I hope this works out. '
Kate Lee 1:09:29
Put a drop of oil, and look at all the good that has come from that. And as a result, your art is what's pushing many of us - your wisdom and what you're sharing. But that's what's so cool about this parable is that many of you who are listening, you're like, 'Well, I don't have any talents', or maybe, 'Okay, I probably only have one.' I know, you know, Suzy Soho, whatever, or as Sharon likes to say, "Carmelita Roughgut" here has about 25 talents and why don't I have any?' And I think the message is, and what I've learned from you, Kate, is it doesn't matter how many you have,
Kate Lee 1:10:05
Oh, it doesn't
it's what you do with them. And I think your story also inspires us to get on our knees and ask the Lord, What is my talent and how can I use it? Because every one of you has one. You, everyone has a spiritual gift, we do know that. So ask the Lord, What is my spiritual gift? How can I use it? Read your patriarchal blessing, read and study the Scriptures. Drops of oil, right there will leave you to know what your gift is, what your talent is, and how you can best use it for the Lord.
Kate Lee 1:10:37
And can I just add to that like, you just need to know that those talents that you are given, those spiritual gifts that you have, those are uniquely yours. So like when we bury our who we are, or our talents or whatever, that I feel like is, again, like born out of fear or comparison. We cannot compare ourselves to the person next to us because we're not that person. Right? And we're us. And we're us for a reason. And so those talents, just remember, those are uniquely yours. They're a gift from your Heavenly Father, for you and you alone.
Kate Lee 1:11:12
And I always think this, that these talents, these spiritual gifts, they are opportunities for us to come and turn to our Heavenly Father and turn to our Savior, right? Because like I was saying, in my studio, that is like that time that I spend one on one time with my Heavenly Father, right? And when we are practicing or exercising our talents, our spiritual gifts, right, that is building our relationship with our Heavenly Father and our Savior. So it's these beautiful opportunities to just become who we're meant to become, to know our Savior better and to know our Heavenly Father better. So my advice, take the comparison out, and don't trust the fear. Just walk forward. Right?
Wow, absolutely. Kate, so perfectly taught. That was fabulous. Thank you for coming so well-prepared.
It was great.
Oh I felt the Spirit so strong as we talked about the Parable of the Talents, fantastic. It's so good. It is a good one. Okay, so in the next segment, we're going to talk about another parable and Sharon gets to teach us about it. We'll do that next.
Segment 6 1:12:16
Okay, we are still in Matthew chapter 25. And now I want you to mark and bracket off verses 31-46. And Sharon is going to tell us what to label these verses as and she's going to teach us important details, spiritual comparisons. valuable lessons or personal application. Whatever you got, Sharon. We're ready for it.
Now, come on.
Yeah, okay. Sharon, first of all, what should we label these verses? What's this the parable of?
Of the sheep and the goats.
There it is, right. Parable of the Sheep and Goats. Hold on. I'm doing that cuz I haven't done it. I got new scriptures. So let me add that. Okay, Sharon, teach us about the Parable of the Sheep and Goats.
Well, the scriptures, I'll give you a brief background on what the Scriptures are saying, and it says, "Son of man came glory," this is 31, I'm starting, "And before him shall be gathered all the nations.:"da-da-da-da. And the end of verse 32. ".......and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from his goats." So He's talking about dividing nations. Then it says, (34) "And then shall the king say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you and from the foundation of the world:" It (35) says, "For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 "Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me." And then it goes on to talk about all of that.
So I think we can have a tendency to feel guilty if we don't do all that, if we don't go and actually go to a prison, or we actually invite a homeless person to lunch. Or we probably have never held a shivering baby with AIDS. Or we've sat by the bed of a childless widow with stage 4 cancer. We haven't done all that. But they did it in those days. That's what He's suggesting, that that's what you should do during Christ's time on the earth. He was talking about three or 400 people at the time. We have 17 million in the church today. And I think maybe our way of helping to do, of doing that is paying our tithes and offerings, is giving the church money to do humanitarian work. We have stakes in our area who have Branches in prisons where you can go and serve, you know that way. Or you can contribute money in any other way. So, we have ways, I think, of helping the homeless, helping those in prison, helping those who are hungry, helping those who are thirsty. And we don't have to get out there every day on the freeway and say, "Who's hungry, who's thirsty, who needs my help?" We don't have to go to the homeless shelter.
But we also have the opportunity to do that when we have service projects in our wards and our, in our branches. We can serve soup, you know. We can provide clothing, we can we can do all the things that this scripture is talking about on a service project basis, or individually. But it's not required of us to give up our livelihood, our home, our families, or whatever, to do this. And for those of us who can't, either because of age or infirmity or disability or closeness to a prison or whatever, we can do that. We can have that spirit of giving by contributing in our humanitarian funds, and contributing, you know. You didn't feed me. Well, missionaries feed, it's an allegory, but they feed the people so you can contribute to the missionary fund or you can send your kids on missions.
I like that.
There are so, so many ways that we can fulfill what the sheep and the goats are talking about by being part of the gospel community and, and sharing with one another and sharing with those in need. So we don't, don't, I don't think we have to feel guilty if you don't volunteer at the prison.
If you don't, you know, whatever. I just think the farther away we can get from guilt, the closer we will be to the Savior. So I think you know, we can do that.
I'm sorry. Can we just quote Sharon on that right there? "The farther we can get away from guilt, the closer we will get to the Savior."
Yeah, I really, you know, I think that's true. And in the final judgement, I think there may be some goats that will surpass those of us who think we are sheep. I think we have to be very careful of judgment of others. I think, for me, God's mercy on the sheep and the goats is a stronger image for me then looking at the actual dark frr of the goat, or the white wool of the sheep. It's His mercy in, in fact, it even says, when, when Kate was talking about the talents, the one scripture that it says, "And he gave to each according to his ability." So the one who had one talent was probably only capable of having one talent. And I question whether - and this is just my cynical personality - question whether the one who had five talents, was he playing the stock market? Was he gambling? Was he increase, you know, how, do the means, does the end justify the means? You know, did how he get it matter at all? Yeah, it matters. Why didn't he bring back 20 instead of 10? And when the one man who had 2, why didn't you bring back 10 instead of 2?
So you can read into it and gain from it, you know, what is personally enhancing and confirming to the individual who's reading the parable. And for me, your one question is determined personal application? And that's contribution when I can. Valuable lessons is God's mercy. Spiritual comparisons? Those who have the ability to give 1, those who have the ability to give 2. Important details? Look past, look past the dark fur and look past the white wool. What is the Savior trying to tell us about the sheep and the goats? We're all different. We have different abilities. And the one man or even woman who hid his or her talent, in essence said, Well, the Lord doesn't need more. He has enough; I don't need to give Him any more so I don't need to worry about that. And what Kate mentioned earlier about the talents is fear. So he was fearful. So to me the, I'm impressed with the parables because the Savior was brilliant. He was brilliant. He knew His audiences, he knew the culture of the time, what was going on, and what they needed to hear for them to draw closer unto Him and to start ushering in the kingdom of Heaven.
Absolutely. Well, and Sharon, your whole proverb that you taught us about, the culmination of it is verse 40. Matthew 25:40, and it is a great Scripture Mastery Scripture. It says, "And the king shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." And here's something kind of fun if you want to teach this, if you're a Seminary teacher or Primary, Sunday school teacher. I wrote a song for verse 40 to the
Oh, let's hear it.
I will sing it to, its to the hymn "Jesus said, Love everyone". You know that song? "Jesus said, Love everyone, treat them kindly too." Okay, well, it is to that song. And so then I was like, You know what? I bet these words fit. So get this, here we go. It even has the reference with the introduction to the song. (sings):
"Matthew 25:40. Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the - least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
Kate Lee 1:21:15
There you go, now you can memorize it. That's the gist of this whole thing. And I think we've seen that theme throughout this entire conversation, that drops of oil are doing things to other people, helping each other stay on the path. The sheep, the goat, the talents, all of it. It has been such a great discussion so that when Jesus does come again, right, and then it goes back to how this started - to be on the right hand. I mean that, at this time, in anciently to be on the right hand was just one of the most honorable positions at a feast of a king. And when Jesus comes we want to be on the right hand. And so it made me think about the last verse in the song, "I Wonder When He Comes Again", because I think it just beautifully ties in with everything we've been studying. Because it says, "I wonder when He comes again, will I be ready there, to look upon His loving face and join with Him in prayer? Each day I'll try to do His will and let my light so shine that others seeing me may seek for greater light divine. Then when that blessed day is here, He'll love me and He'll say, You've served me well, my little child. Come unto my arms to stay."
And I think today both of you have shared your thoughts and feelings about that, that you just want to hug Him, climb up on His lap, come in His arms to stay. And I think you've beautifully demonstrated that with your stories and your answers. So thank you.
Kate Lee 1:22:41
This was great.
Great discussion. Okay. Thank you, ladies. So gather your thoughts. And is there anything you're going to take away from our discussion, anything that stood out to you while we talked?
Kate Lee 1:22:52
I think my overall as I was going through the whole thing, I think it was just how am I, like, how am I going to spend my time nurturing my testimony of Christ? Because I definitely want to be able to run into His arms without being like, 'Oh, shoot,.' You know, like, I definitely want to focus on how I can, yeah, nurture my testimony of Christ.
Absolutely. Thank you, Kate. What about you, Sharon?
Well, same thing. And you know that I've been quite taken with a Jewish authoress.
Jill, Amy Jill Levine. And I'd just like to quote something that she said, which kind of sums up my summary of talking about the parables. She says, "One does not need to worship Jesus as Lord or Savior for the parables to have meaning." And so actually, for all of us that are talking here today, that does have meaning. And she says, "I do not worship Jesus as Lord and Savior." (She's Jewish.) "But I continue to return to these stories because they are at the heart of my own Judaism. They challenge, they provoke, they convict, and at the same time they amuse. At each reading when I think I've got all the details explained, something remains left over and I have to start over again. The parables have provided me countless hours of inspiration."
And I say that, Amen. And conversation, they are pearls of Jewish wisdom. If we hear them in their original context, they have greater meaning. They gleam with a shine that cannot be hidden. So what I've gained from all of this is an appreciation for the depth, the complexity, complexity and simplicity of how the Savior taught Jews, Gentiles, male, female, rich, poor and gave examples of all of those in His parables. So I've come away studying for this podcast, loving the Savior's teachings and His parables that draw me closer to Him, which is what I want to do, which is my goal in life.
Absolutely. Thank you, Sharon. Thank you.
My takeaway is from you, Kate. Remember the Ember. I will never forget that and when I'm camping with my kids this summer, I'm going to teach them about that. Remember the ember.
Kate Lee 1:25:31
I love it.
And Sharon, I liked it when you said "Endure to the end of the yet", going back to the Joseph Smith-Matthew. For those the, yeah. Just the elect will endure to the end of the yet, so I'm gonna remember that. So thank you.
Boy, I love you both.
Love you, so great. Wonderful.
Wow, so fun. That's it. We're done.
Kate Lee 1:25:53
Yeah, thank you, that was awesome.
Love you friends.
It was awesome. Love you, too. Bye guys.
Bye. Okay, well, we want to know what you've learned. So if you haven't already joined our discussion group on Facebook or on Instagram, go do it. It's such a great place to share what you've learned or even ask questions, and I try to answer 'em throughout the week and so does this whole awesome Sunday on Monday community. And then at the end of the week on a Saturday, we are going to post a question from this specific episode. So comment on the 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 at LDS living.com/sunday on Monday and go there anyway, it's where we're going to have links to all the references. We had so many in this episode, as well as a transcript of this entire discussion, and a glue-in that you're for sure gonna want to put in next to your story about the widow's mite.
The Sunday 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 Sharon Staples and Kate Lee. And you can find more information about my friends at LDS living.com/sunday on Monday. Our podcast is produced by Cole Wissinger and me. It is edited by Hailey 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 and don't you forget: you are God's favorite. Rock and roll.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai