23: "All Flesh Is in Mine Hand" (Doctrine and Covenants 60–62)
You may not be a world-class beatboxer—or do public math—but chances are, you have a talent. In fact, all members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have a very specific talent. And as we study Doctrine and Covenants 60–62, we are going to find out what that talent is, why it was important to the early Saints, and how we can share it with others today.
[Epic beatboxing] How's that for a talent? That's probably one of the really cool things that I can do. And some of you were like, "That wasn't that cool." I thought it was. It's all I got people.
But I want you to think about what is your talent? What are you really good at? Can you speak more than one language? Are you a dancer? Maybe you grow things. Oh, how about this, maybe you're really good at math, which is a talent I will never have. But whatever your talent is, or whatever talent you wish you had, today's discussion of Doctrine and Covenants, sections 60 through 62, will teach us about a talent that everyone can have. And I mean, everyone.
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.
Now, if you're new to our study group, we just 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, like my friend Mindy Larsen in South Jordan, Utah. Hi Mindy! I'm so glad you listen to this podcast.
Now, this is my favorite thing about the podcast: I get to invite two of my friends and they join me each week. So today, I am so excited to introduce you to my friends Sara Sargent Williams and Lindsay Welch Hola. Hi, friends!
This picture right here of your faces on my screen makes me so happy. I love these ladies so much.
Now Sara has been on before, she was on last year. And Lindsay's new, I finally got her on. She has not wanted to do this, in full disclosure, but she's such a good friend, she said she'd do anything for me. So I appreciate that.
Now we have known each other for over 20 years, right?
We met in the singles ward. How did we meet? Do you guys remember the story?
I remember going to Relief Society as a newbie. I didn't know a single person. And I got invited to Lindsay's townhouse for a little party. For the amount of time I knew Lindsay compared to how close I feel to Lindsay, does not equate. So I think we must have been friends in heaven.
I met Lindsay in the hall, but she was new in our ward. And I can remember that we were standing, about to go into the Relief Society. And I was standing with Amy, who was on last week, actually. And you said to us, "Are you guys taking applications for friends? Because I'd really like to join your club." And we looked at you and Amy and I both go? "Ummm, we'll think about it." And then after that we were friends.
I love it! Well, and you know, I remember, you were Relief Society president. And you called me to be one of your counselors. And then you gave me the assignment to call Sara. And that's how we first met. I don't know if you remember that, but I had to call and visit you. And so I just called you one night and we started talking. And I don't know how you ended up back at my house. But it was like a date I guess [laughing].
It turned out really well.
I know. So that's kind of a fun connection.
I totally forgot that, we were in the presidency together.
I didn't know I was an assignment.
No, you were brand new, brand new. And so we divided up the new people and I got your name.
I'm so glad.
I am too! That is awesome because we've been friends ever since.
Well, if you want to know more about my fabulous friends, oh my gosh, I just love them so much. You can check out their bios and see some fun pictures at LDSLiving.com/SundayonMonday.
Now, I gotta tell you, when I was preparing for these sections, I already asked them to be on and then I didn't know what the sections were about. And then I read the sections and I'm like, "This is gonna be fun." I couldn't think of two better people to discuss some of these crazy things in these sections. Am I right?
There are some crazy things.
Like the water.
Like I sent you a text and said, "I know that this is scripture because if someone turned in this Doctrine and Covenants as a manual to an editor, they would have them start over because it kind of jumps all around." And I love Church history, but you got to pay your price to know what's going on in here.
You can't just read the Doctrine and Covenants. You have to read all the Church history and all the discourses and all the things but it's not easy to just to read through and know what's going on because I've read it a few times in preparation for today and I'm still not sure.
What about you, Linds? Any thoughts on it?
There was a lot of imagery that was really fun. The thought of riding down the river and seeing the face of Satan burning.
You're like, "What?" [laughing]
Well, Sara, I like what you said about the Church history because here is something historical about the chapters that we're studying today. So you know, Doctrine and Covenants, sections 60 through 62, they have to be studied together. That's what's so cool about them. And it's the Lord's counsel to those who are returning from their mission. They're leaving Zion, they're leaving Missouri, and they're going back to Ohio and Cincinnati. And so before they leave, Joseph, he prays. He's like, "What do these people need to know?" And he gets these three sections. And so you know the context. They are in Missouri, we just dedicated the land for the temple in Zion. And now the Lord has told Joseph and these men, "Okay everybody, go back to Ohio. Go to Cincinnati, get the Saints, and then come back to Missouri." So that's where we are. And now we're just going to jump right into section 60. So grab your scriptures, and let's dig in.
Okay, so I'm just going to tell you about my friends. You guys know a lot of my friends have been on here. I have been blessed to be surrounded by some very talented people. And I will say I'm sitting with two of probably the most talented women I know. Their gifts are immeasurable, they have incredible talents. It almost makes me emotional, because, like I said, so much of me is because of these women. And because the Lord has blessed me with such really good friends.
And when I think about talents, one thing they all have in common is the talent that's mentioned in Doctrine and Covenants section 60, verse 2. So let's read what this talent is and why all of them have the same talent. Isn't that unique? Can you guys even guess before you look at it? What do you think the talent is that you all have? Because there's a lot of us.
Well, I think it's, "Open your mouth." Is that it?
Very good. Yes.
Because we're so shy, all of us.
Yeah, none of us are shy. We're loud for sure. So let's read this first; read verse 2 for us, Sara.
"But with some I am not well pleased, for they will not open their mouths, but they hide their talent which I have given unto them, because of the fear of man. Wo unto such, for mine anger is kindled against them."
Okay, highlight the word "talent" in that verse. That word talent, it literally means testimony. That's what we're referring to here. And so the Lord, He's saying, like, look, you need to leave. You need to leave Missouri, and you need to go back to Ohio and Cincinnati. But then He's saying to these men, but you know what, I am not well pleased with some of the men who you're with because they hide their talent, or they hide their testimony, which I have given them.
This is really interesting, because a lot of them are refusing to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. They actually were in Missouri, waiting for the Lord to give them something better or more magnificent to do. They were waiting for the Lord to give them a more, kind of, like, help me out with this—
A more prestigious calling or something?
Yes, that's exactly it. They were expecting something bigger, more prestigious, to use their voice with, and the Lord is like, I just need you to bear your testimony. That's it. That's all I need you to do. And so when we think about that, I want to know, why would He say that before having anything else prestigious?
Well, if you were talking about talent being your testimony, then I guess, in the gospel, your testimony needs to precede anything, because otherwise, what's the point? It's not a talent show. We're supposed to be sharing our testimony of Jesus so that we can help other people find Him and be happy now. And in the life to come.
When I think of talent, I mean, I think it's interesting that he used the word talent rather than testimony because, to me, talent means something that you're both given, but you also work at. For example, you might be musically gifted but you do have to put in the time. You do have to develop it. And if you don't use it, you lose it. And that's the same thing, I think that talent connotes that with testimony. That is the same thing; if you don't use it, you lose it.
Amen. Absolutely, Lindsay, in fact, read verse 3 for us. You're totally right, this is so cool.
"And it shall come to pass, if they are not more faithful unto me, it shall be taken away, even that which they have."
And this is an IF and then statement, which I love. So we have there, If they are not more faithful unto me, it, which is the testimony, or the talent, it shall be taken away, even the portion that they have. Even the testimony they have, gone.
And so Lindsay, I think you're right when it talks about if they are not more faithful. And we've talked about this in the podcast before that the word faith in Hebrew is an action word; it requires you to do things. And just like you said, Lindsay, it requires you to work on your testimony. It's not a one and done right? What is your testimony like now versus when we knew each other 20 years ago? Tell me about that?
Well, I just think it's grown through life experiences. I think 20 years ago, I thought life was kind of, you're more up on the mountain and less in the valley, in the proverbial valley, and life was really happy and easy-going. And I found through 20 years of life experiences that you spend a significant amount of time in the valley. And so when there's those peaks, you'd be really grateful for them. But you spend a lot of time in the valley and through that I think that's where your testimony grows, because you have to depend on the Savior so intimately to get through those times.
I think that there's times that I feel now, that my testimony isn't as strong as it was when I was single, because I had more time to work on myself. I was just thinking this today, like, I haven't spent enough time with my personal prayers, but I pray about 25 times a day, by the time I help my kids say the prayer on the breakfast and say a prayer before we go to school and say a prayer over dinner and say two personal prayers and say our family prayer. I'm kind of prayed out. I shouldn't admit that out loud, probably. But I get things done for my family, which isn't maybe as effective for me personally. But my focus is not necessarily on me right now. I'm trying to teach two nine year olds the gospel. And that's where my focus is. So for better or worse, that's how it's different.
Maybe that is what these elders are saying, is that you are right now in the thick of the little things rather than these big, grandiose, [things] and having these spiritual experiences and spending the time on your knees praying, which of course you should do. But maybe it's these small little things that is what's developing your testimony at this point.
You know what, Sara, thank you. I appreciate you being transparent about your prayers because I think so many of us understand and thought as you were speaking, "Yep, me too." I totally get it.
I'm curious to know, Linds, let me go back to what you had said. I want to know, is there a time where your testimony helped you when you were in the thick of the valley? Is there a specific time?
I mean, one of the most profound experiences in my life is when I had a sister that was 30. I was 29 at the time, and she passed away unexpectedly. And for me, that was a really turning point in developing my testimony because I had to believe.
I was really upset with Heavenly Father that she died unexpectedly, we were super close. And I had to really decide: do I believe Him? Do I believe that I'm going to see my sister again? Do I believe that there's a plan? And, and do I believe that He's comforting me? Because I felt so alone at that time. So that was a really pivotal point for me. When I felt I was so deep in the valley that I couldn't see out and I had to feel my way through. And I think the Savior is the one that helped me do that.
I remember that. It was so hard; and we prayed for you. You know, losing someone you love, like you loved your sister, it was devastating to watch. And I can say that you came out so much stronger; your valley did become a mountain. Thank you for sharing that.
The title for section 60 is just the word "Talent." So just write that up there next to section 60 in your scriptures. This section was given to 10 men who had made it to Jackson County, Missouri, and they participated in this dedication like we talked about. So the Lord tells them use their testimony.
Then in the next segment, I want to show you what the Lord calls those of us who use this talent or testimony because he calls us something pretty cool.
Segment 2 13:10
Okay, so I have three pictures that I want to show you guys, three pictures of rulers. And what I want you to do is tell me what all three of these people have in common. They all have one thing in common. And for those of you listening, you can go to the show notes and see these pictures. These are rulers of different countries.
Uh, the necklace?
Yeah, the necklace.
Yes, you're totally right. They have on a necklace. They have on these really cool jewels. So I want to show you in this verse, in verse 4, what these jewels have to do with royalty, because the Lord says something about himself in verse 4. And, Sara, will you read verse 4 for us, please?
"For I, the LORD, rule in the heavens above, and among the armies of the earth; and in the day when I shall make up my jewels, all men shall know what it is that bespeaketh the power of God."
Thank you. Okay, when you look back at that verse, what does the Lord rule over? This really stood out to me when I read this. What does He rule over?
"The heavens above and the armies of the earth"?
Yeah, what does that tell us about Him? Or what is He trying to tell us when He says what He rules over? Any thoughts?
It'd be like an overviewing thing from heaven and in the details of the earth with the army.
I don't know. I mean, I think the army stands out to me.
Me too. Tell me why, Linds.
Because it seems to me, when I think of army, I don't think of Heavenly Father. I think more of force and of power and greed. And that's kind of antithesis of what the Lord is. And so the fact that He's in with the armies, that's interesting to me.
I think besides being maybe a negative connotation about armies, I think of them as being a protective force and also someone who is rolling forth like with a new program. President Nelson asked the youth to join the battalion, the youth batallian. And taking the gospel forward and being missionaries and reclaiming the 12 tribes and it's maybe that's kind of how armies is being used in that scripture with Heavenly Father.
Oh, I really like that connection, Sara, I think that is so good. Thank you. That was awesome.
Now let's go into this verse because here's the phrase I love, it says, "and in the day when I shall make up my jewels." Highlight, "make up my jewels."
Now, I have two really great cross references for this verse. They are Zechariah chapter 9, verse 16, and Malachi chapter 3, verse 17. So write those out to the side. That's Zechariah chapter 9, verse 16. And Malachi, chapter 3, verse 17. And Sarah, will you look up the Zechariah reference, and Lindsay, the Malachi reference. We're gonna read these. And it's really cool what they say and the significance of them in Hebrew. So Sara, will you please read Zechariah chapter 9, verse 16. And let's listen for what is said about the Lord's jewels in His crown. This is so cool.
"And the Lord their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people; for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land."
Thank you. We've heard little flock before. But how cool that He just now equates us to the stones in His crown. We are jewels in His crown that are witnesses of His royalty.
And now look how cool it is with Malachi chapter 3, verse 17. Will you read that, Linds?
"And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him."
When it says in Malachi, "I will make up my own jewels," if you look that phrase up in Hebrew, this is so cool. I love this so much. That phrase is the word "segullah," which is a word in Hebrew that means peculiar.
You know, there's a really cool quote by President Nelson about this word peculiar or segullah. And I wanted to share this with you. I thought, this is neat; he gave this in a 1995 conference address. And I just want us to read this. Sara, will you read this quote for us?
"But the term peculiar as used in the scriptures is quite different. In the Old Testament the Hebrew term from which peculiar was translated is segullah, which means valued property or treasure. In the New Testament, a Greek term from which peculiar was translated is,
(Good luck with that word)
parapoiesis, which means possession or an obtaining. Thus we see that the scriptural term peculiar signifies 'valued treasure', 'made' or 'selected by God'. For us to be identified by servants of the Lord as his peculiar people is a compliment of the highest order. When we know who we are and what God expects of us, when his law is written in our hearts, we are spiritually protected, we become better people."
Thank you. So whenever we've talked about how we are a peculiar people, we're actually segullah, which means owned. We are His owned jewels. He has taken us and put us in His crown. And when He says, "in that day, when I shall make up my jewels," he is talking about us. We are His people, and He is coming to claim us or reclaim us, if you will, and put us in our rightful place in His crown. Any thoughts you guys? Just jump in.
My initial thought is that I don't know if it's just the time that we live in where everyone's so quick to take offense, because the word peculiar makes me feel defensive. But it's good to see that in Hebrew and in the New Testament Greek that it's a compliment, because I will take all the compliments I can get. [laughter]
That is so cool about peculiar, I've never heard that.
Yeah. Isn't that fun? And forever, when I heard the word peculiar growing up, I was like, "Yeah, we are. We're a bunch of weirdos, seriously." Maybe some of us are. But it turns out, we're actually treasured. And we are His special treasure. I mean, to feel treasured by someone; to think about how that feels, but then to feel treasured by God. Is there any, I mean, I don't even know if I can put that feeling into words. I don't even know if I, I want to think I'd know what that feels like. But wow, to be truly treasured, to be His jewels.
And I just think with the word, the verb treasure, you know, it also, it brings up the imagery of being protected, being watched over, being safeguarded, has value. You know, I just I really like that. And I've never heard that with the peculiar, I love that.
That it makes the jewelry on the rulers I showed you at the beginning not that fancy anymore, right?
Okay, so, back in Doctrine and Covenants section 60 verse 4, when it goes on to say, "All men shall know what it is that bespeaketh the power of God." The word "bespeaeth of" means to give evidence of or to testify. And the cool thing is, is it will be us, we will be the ones that are testifying or bespeaking of the power of God. And going back to how we started, we will be using our talent and sharing our testimony.
Now Lindsay is a lawyer. So I asked her to weigh in on the power of a testimony. Linds, why is this verse and our talent or testimony so important?
Well, what I love is that giving that testimony in evidence, evidence in a court of law is when it's information that is given that people weigh to decide whether or not it's true. And when you, in a trial, if you have several witnesses giving evidence, and the evidence is the same, their testimony is the same, it's more believable, and people believe it more. And I just think it's interesting that here he has a group of men, we go forth out as witnesses of two or more that are giving their testimony, and it becomes more believable that way.
Oh, that's perfect. So then when he comes and makes up His jewels, which are all of the believers, that's a pretty weighty testimony. Right?
Oh, Linds. That's awesome. Well, Lindsay, I'm never going to forget that. That the weight of our testimony combined, the good that it will do.
So our talent is our testimonies, and they matter to Him. So in the next section, I'm going to show you what doesn't really matter to our Heavenly Father, and I think this is going to be a fun discussion.
Segment 3 21:20
Okay, I just need to know, now, come on, you guys, get real. Have you ever said to your kids, "Yeah, it doesn't matter. I don't care."
Yeah, all the time.
I got a story.
So, in sixth grade, Daniel, he's 11 at the time. He had to do a health history fair. We have to talk about family history and our health issues. So we go through, we've got diabetes, we've got cancer, we've got glaucoma. I don't know, we've got hypertension, we have a bunch of stuff. And he's like, "Which one should I do?" And I said, "It doesn't matter; just pick one. It does not matter what you do."
So then fast forward, I go to the school presentation. They had to do it all in class, and I see that his was rabies. And that was our family disease [laughter]. So, sometimes, it does matter. There was a little disconnect.
That is the greatest story, just rabies!
Yes. And I said to him, I'm like, "Do you know anyone in our family that's died of rabies, that's had rabies?" He's like, "I think so. Someone had rabies." I'm like, "Well, okay."
That is so perfect. Because when you said to your son, "It doesn't matter," it's so interesting because the Lord uses a variation of that phrase for us in here and He means it.
Now listen, we're not being asked to choose between rabies or diabetes, which is such a great story. But let's look at that verse in Doctrine and Covenants section 60, verse 5. Linds, will you please read that for us?
"But, verily, I will speak to you concerning your journey unto the land from whence you came. Let there be a craft made, or bought, as seemeth you good, it mattereth not unto me, and take your journey speedily for the place which is called St. Louis."
Okay, what does that tell us about God? What does that tell us about the Lord when He's like, "It mattereth not unto me"?
I mean, it's a dichotomy. Because I think it's saying, I'm a big picture guy; I need you to get to St. Louis. I don't care how you get there, just get there.
But then at the same time, the Lord is so in the details in our lives. And so I mean, I think that's an interesting contrast between the two. But I do think He also wants us just to make our own decisions. He's given us brains, He's given us the ability to reason.
And also, when it comes down to it, we're here on this earth to learn so that we can advance and become like Him, and make and create worlds. And so if we're not able to make little decisions about whether to go by boat or mule or chariot, then how can you progress that far?
Yeah, I thought it was a big contradiction, because He says, it doesn't matter, except for you to stick together and you two, don't stop till you get to Cincinnati. And you two need to repent and you guys need to open your mouth more, and you guys stay by the land unless it's the canal. So I think to what Lindsay was saying, like, He is in the details of our lives, but He wants us to figure it out.
I feel like most of my answers are figured out, that I've gotten from my life. And I feel like maybe one of my talents is wisdom. I'm not the smartest person, but I feel like I can use the information I get to make good decisions.
There's been times that I have gone to my own dad, besides Heavenly Father, and said, "What do you think I should do?" And he's literally said, "You're a smart girl, figure it out," which is not what I wanted to hear. I was looking more of a Jerry Seinfeld answer of, "Why don't you just tell me what movie you'd like to see?" Because I guess that would take the ownership off of me and put it on, if it didn't work out well, you could just blame, "Well, that was the answer I got."
Sara, is there a specific time that you can think of?
Before I moved, I got offered a job in Ohio—speaking of the Ohio—and it was for a big company, and it was kind of a shoo-in because my friend worked there. But it just did not feel good to me.
And about a year later, I got offered this job to move to Utah, and it was the easiest thing. It really didn't even require a question because it just was logical. And the options just presented themselves, and it just moved so easily. I didn't feel like I was having to like push through the mire to make a decision.
And that's kind of how it's worked out for me always; I don't ever get really big, tremendous answers. I get ideas, and they feel good to me. And I kind of proceed for no revelation like, "This is what I think is smart. I'm going to pray that this is the decision I made. And unless You tell me no, I'm going to move forward."
That's great, Sara. Linds, do you have a time at all?
Mine is a lot like Sara's too is that I just reason through it. And I can just feel whether or not it's a good decision or not. And then I take it to the Lord, and I just ask, "Correct it if it's not because I'm moving forward with that." I think that's a way to develop faith, because if the Lord is telling you everything, it's really easy to believe when you're being told. But when you have to actually exercise that faith to make a decision and trust that He will help you when it's, if it's incorrect, I think that develops faith.
Yeah, definitely. Well, and I'm thinking along the lines of this because the Saints have already learned that the Lord will not command in all things, they know that.
What I think is so interesting is the phrasing of this because now the Lord's basically trying to say and teach them what you have just said, which is, look, it doesn't really matter. Can I get any more plainer than that? I just really want you to think it out. Make your decision and go with that.
I love the simpleness of this wording to us, "It mattereth not unto me." And going to verse 5, a couple of words for us to mark because you know what, honestly, I can't believe we didn't use this verse when we were in Relief Society for Super Saturday. How did we miss, "Let there be a craft made?" See ya Saturday [laughing]. Come on, that's hilarious.
Do we know what that means, like what is that?
So the craft right there, mark that, it's a watercraft. So He says, "Let there be a watercraft made," which is a canoe, "or you can buy it as seemeth you good." However you want to do it, just get something that's going to allow you to go down the water. But I did laugh. And I'm like, "and let there be a craft made?" People hate crafts. So it does mean the canoe.
And when it says right there to, "take your journey speedily for the place which is called St. Louis," mark that word speedily. He's basically saying hurry and go and they will; they'll leave the very next morning on their journey. And it's often that the Lord will say that, go quickly, go speedily. He's just saying now as in a time frame; pack it up, get on, get on with your mission is what he's telling them.
Yeah, because when we get to verse 8 He says, "And preach the word not in haste among the congregations of the wicked." So when they're working with the people, spend the time, but get moving in the meantime.
That's exactly what it means; mark that word haste. I'm so glad you brought that up. In fact, and mark "congregation of the wicked," because they're gonna say that often throughout these couple of chapters here. And what that basically is just talking about is "gatherings of people." It's not literally a congregation or a specific religion of wicked people, because later the Lord is going to use in section 61, verse 32, he's going to call believers a congregation of the brethren. So this phraseology congregation of the wicked is just a gathering of people who are not believers versus the gathering of the brethren, congregation of people who are believers.
Okay, so now that we know what doesn't matter to the Lord, let's find out what does. He's going to tell us some things that matter to Him. In Doctrine and Covenants, section 60, verse 7 and verse 13, are going to teach us some things that matter to Him. So let's read these verses and as we do will you guys mark what matters to Him?
Lindsay, will you read verse 7, and then, Sara, verse 13?
"And in this place let them lift up their voice and declare my word with loud voices, without wrath or doubting, lifting up holy hands upon them. For I am able to make you holy, and your sins are forgiven you."
Okay, and 13, "Behold, they have been sent to preach my gospel among the congregations of the wicked; wherefore, I given unto them a commandment, thus: Thou shall not idle away thy time, neither shalt thou bury thy talent that it may not be known."
What did you find in verse 7? What matters to him in verse 7?
I think that to declare what you know loudly and proudly and strong, and then in connection with 13, He doesn't want you to hide it. He wants you to be loud and strong.
Yeah, perfect, Linds.
And I thought when He says, "without wrath," it's like you don't need to maybe put other beliefs down; that you can say what you believe without maybe hurting someone else's beliefs. I mean, you don't want to take people's belief systems away, just to add to what they believe.
Oh, so good, Sara, so good. And here He is now telling us that how we use our talent does matter to Him. And then verse 13, I actually have Sara's name next to it. Because you're the laziest person I know [laughing]. Because in your family, I think "idle" is almost a swear word, am I right?
Well, it used to be, but we're all getting older and more tired.
My testimony initially was built on the fact that my dad would never waste this much time on something that wasn't true. As a little girl.
Well, when we talk about this, I think of that verse too, "Thou shalt not idle away thy time." Let's read that without any guilt. Can we just do that? And when we read that ideal, that, "thou shalt not idle away thy time," what is the Lord trying to teach us with that verse?
The thought that comes to my mind is the Mary-Martha argument. I don't remember which one is busy doing cooking, getting the meal on, and the other one's busy listening to the Savior. And both jobs need to be done. And neither of them need to feel guilty about that. And so whether you're visiting the sick or listening to someone tell you about their broken heart, or you're weeding your garden, or you're plowing out your neighbor's driveway or you're pounding doors on your mission, there's a lot of ways to be busy, and there's no right way, there's a lot of right ways. I guess there's no wrong way.
The verb, "idle," to me, I think of you know, with cars, when you see the sign that says, "Don't idle." It's against the law to idle. And the thought of just when I think of idling, I think of sitting in my car, and it's sitting there and I can feel it moving. And it's ready to go, but I'm not going. And I think that's what Heavenly Father wants is, get going, like, be productive. Even if you have good intentions, if you're just sitting there idling, that is not what he wants. Get going.
Okay, Linds, you just gave me such a good visual because I imagined me at a stoplight. And the cars are on and then the person doesn't go and you're sitting there forever. I mean, you honk your horn, you're like, "Get going already. What are you waiting for?" And I just think sometimes maybe that's what Heavenly Father is with me. I'm just sitting there at that stoplight, probably on my phone checking stuff out, the light turned green, and I'm not moving. And I love the way that that just played in my mind. So Lindsay, thank you. It's a great example of the word idle in there. Perfect.
And so that's the message that the Lord has for these men in Doctrine and Covenants section 60. Anything else that stood out to you in section 60?
Oh, I didn't like the word, "residue." I would not like to be referred to as residue.
I thought the same thing.
Is there's some sort of Hebrew that goes with that that can make me feel better about that?
That's a good question because it ends in verse 17, when he says, "And by the mouth of my servant Joseph Smith, Jr., it shall be made known concerning Sidney Rigdon and Oliver Cowdery. The residue hereafter. Even so, Amen." The translation of that literally is, the Lord's instructions will be given later. That's what it means, later on, you're going to get the rest.
Well, that's better than just the rest of the people who shall not be named.
Yeah, the residue just seems like the leftovers, they're just like, left.
I'm so glad you brought that up. Because it's often throughout this Doctrine and Covenants, and especially these sections, the residue, hereafter meaning, whatever's left, I'm going to give you here out. I'll give you the rest later on.
So thank you, thank you for sharing, both of you. And for that discussion. That was awesome.
Okay, so the next morning, all 10 men left; they left for Ohio, Cincinnati, and St. Louis. So this next section, Doctrine and Covenants section 61, includes some interesting teachings on water, and the destroyer, who was seen, quote, "riding in power upon the face of the waters." I'm going to show you what that's all about in the next segment.
Segment 4 33:36
Okay, here's what I want to know. And for my friends who are listening who know Sara or Lindsay, if you were to have them in a debate, who would win, Sara or Lindsay? Because you're both excellent orators. I mean, you guys can give a tongue lashing.
Sara, for sure.
I think that Lindsay would be too polite to win.
Sara would win for sure, cuz she's quick. She's so quick and clever.
And Lindsay is brilliant. She is more brilliant than most people think.
No, I would put my money on Sara any day.
Actually, I would too. Sara will cut you, she will cut you so fast.
No, I wouldn't say that she's cutting. I just think she's clever and she's quick, she's very quick.
And who needs to work on holding her tongue a little bit.
No, what do we call it?
A truth enema.
A truth enema from Sara Sargent. She's so good at giving those.
Truly, the older I get, the more I realize it's not my job to give people truth enemas. But
Well, you're really good at it, I'll tell you that.
Now, listen, the reason I asked this question was not to put you guys on the spot or call you out, but instead to get us thinking about discussing and then arguing, because that's what's going on right now at this time.
So here's what you need to know about the background. The men began to travel and as they were, there were arguments and fights among them. In fact, in the Church History, B.H. Roberts wrote, quote, "Some disagreements and ill feeling had developed among the brethren, so much so that these men were upset and unhappy."
And the reason why is as they're traveling down the river, they started talking about how they had expected so much more to come out of Zion before they left. They really thought that God was just going to like, open His hands up and let Zion be built. And they were going to get everything that they had been waiting for, and they didn't get it. And so they started to just murmur and argue and fight with each other. And it, it got pretty bad.
Now, I'm from Missouri, I have seen the Missouri River and the 1993 flooding of the Missouri River was insane. I was on my mission, and my family sent me pictures. I've never seen anything like it.
And during the time that Joseph Smith and the men are going down the Missouri River, it was a truly wild river. There were not dams, no locks, no levees in place.
Now, according to Joseph Smith, there had been other mishaps earlier that day on the river. And so the men decided, let's just stop, we're going to make camp and so you can just imagine, they're already cantankerous. They're fighting with each other, and now their canoes are getting turned over. They're wet, they're hungry, they're cold, all of these things. And so they pulled over, they decide to set up camp, and when they did this, W.W. Phelps, who's with them on this mission, sees in broad daylight, quote, this is what he sees and this is found in History of the Church, volume 1, page 203, he writes, "The destroyer in his most horrible power, ride upon the face of the waters. Others heard the noise, but saw not the vision."
Now you guys read those verses? What did you think when you were reading those verses of scripture?
Well, I just thought I've never seen anything that real. I am not receiving visions like that.
Yes, yes. Thank goodness.
Had you read it before?
No, not that I remember. But I do remember as a kid, my mom, always saying that Satan controls the water, be careful. So always remembering that. So I don't know if that comes from here.
That is exactly where it comes from. It's from there.
I thought it was like an old wives' tale. I don't remember reading that in scripture. But just thinking, "Well, Heavenly Father created the water, why can't He just be in charge of it?"
Okay, all of this is the perfect setup for the discussion about this section. Here's what we need to know: after he saw this vision, the rest of that day and much of that evening, according to Church History, were spent with men sorting out hard feelings and attempting to reconciliate between angry and offended parties. So by late that evening, most of those involved had repented and apologized and had been reconciled to one another. So that's the good news about this. So knowing the back history, how angry they were, look at verse 20. Because now verse 20 makes perfect sense to me. And I love this verse so much. So verse 20.
I wondered about this.
This is the reason for verse 20. Read it, Sara.
"I, the Lord, was angry with you yesterday, but today, mine anger is turned away."
There, I mean, is that the greatest thing ever?
Yeah. That reminded me a lot of my feelings as a mom. My father was the same way like, you guys.
That's the exact same impression I had, that it was just a parent talking. I was so mad at you yesterday but today's a new day, and we're starting fresh.
Yes, that's exactly it. He's acknowledging the fighting, and how they were acting like little kids. And He said, you know what, I was mad at you yesterday. But now my anger is turned away. I just love that. Because now it means you can go to sleep mad. It's okay. Now there's an old wives' tale. "Never go to sleep angry." Oh. please do, go to bed mad; it's a new day tomorrow. You might not be as angry as you were then. Am I right?
It's a new day, you'll think clearer the next morning, your anger might be turned away.
Okay, so now we know what that verse is for. So, the story about W.W. Phelps and the waters being cursed, and all of that, we're just going to discuss all of that. We're going to put some things to rest, so we can all just enjoy our summers when we're swimming.
The title for Section 61 is: "Satan and the Waters." So you can just title it that, "Satan and the Waters." We are going to go kind of verse by verse for some of these things, because we have two very separate teachings happening here about water.
The first one is found in verses 5 through 10. That is very specific about Satan and the waters. And then we have verses 14 through 19, which is kind of like the Lord saying, and you know what? While we're on the subject of water, let me teach you this truth. So they're kind of connected, but not really. The Lord is just taking this opportunity while He's talking about how the waters were dangerous. He's gonna foretell like, and by the way, before I come, the waters will be dangerous. But they're not the same; they're not dangerous right now.
And so a lot of people have read verses 4 through 10 as being a reason why we shouldn't swim, why missionaries don't swim. That is a falsehood. It's completely not true. The manual that I use actually says this as well as a couple other Doctrine and Covenant manuals. This does not prohibit travel by water or even swimming for missionaries. God is more powerful than Satan. And it's what you just said, Sara. He's more powerful than Satan. Satan doesn't control anything. And so I really appreciated that.
Okay, so Lindsay, I just want you to read verses 4, 5, and 6.
"Nevertheless, I suffered it that ye might bear record; behold, there are many dangers upon the waters, and more especially hereafter;
"For I, the Lord, have decreed in mine anger many destructions upon the waters; yea, and especially upon these waters.
"Nevertheless, all flesh is in mine hand, and he that is faithful among you shall not perish by the waters."
And so in verse 5, when He says, "Especially upon these waters"; and the water we're talking about in verses 4, 5, and 6 is the Missouri River. And we know that they know that, you know, Joseph Smith and Sidney almost drowned and a couple of other mishaps that happened on that river. So the Lord's pointing out, hey, take care of each other and be careful while you're out there. This matters to me. So I'm going to give you instruction.
In fact, the verse above it in verse 3, the Lord is even saying, the waters are so dangerous, why don't you just get off the waters and there's more good you can do. Sara, read verse 3 for us.
"But verily I say unto you, that is not needful for the whole company of mine elders to be moving swiftly upon the waters, whilst the inhabitants on either side are perishing in unbelief."
And so He's like, look, you can do more good on the land, just start teaching people and start going by foot. And then He wants them to take this message about the waters and share it like, and let other people know the waters are dangerous. Is that a true statement? Can water be dangerous?
Yes, you cannot drown if you don't get in the water.
There is the wisest friend we have. I loved that.
Now turn the page. Because then the Lord said, and I said this earlier, he's kind of like, you know, and while we're on the topic of waters, I'm just going to teach you this truth. So it's verses 14, 15, and 16. And these are really cool verses because it's talking about before the Savior comes. And I put in our show notes, a lot of great references. You can go and check these out and read some quotes. But let's just read verses 14 through 16. And Lindsay, will you read those for us?
"Behold, I, the Lord, in the beginning, bless the waters; but in the last days, by the mouth of my servant John, I cursed the waters.
"Wherefore, the days will come, that no flesh shall be safe upon the water.
"And it shall be said in days to come that none is able to go up to the land of Zion upon the waters, but he that is upright in heart."
That idea that John cursed the waters, the cross reference for that is in Revelation, chapter 8, verses 8 through 11. And then again, in Revelation, chapter 16, verses 2 through 6. And what I love about these verses is when it says In the last days, or in the days to come, it means a future day, and we're still waiting for that day to come.
And we don't really fully know exactly what it means, like when the waters will be cursed and how many people or things will die in it. It's just this revelation that the waters will be dangerous.
There's a really great quote that I have, and this is by Jay Perry and Donald Perry about what this could mean, with the waters being cursed. So I just want to read this because it's a different way, or a kind of different spin on the idea of the waters being cursed. Sara, will you please read this quote?
"There may be another meaning to sea ( s e a in this passage) in [Revelation] 17:15. The water symbolizes peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues. Perhaps here as well, the sea represents the wicked people of the world, all of whom are eventually destroyed."
That makes more logical sense to me than one of Heavenly Father's creations is now too dangerous for anybody.
I just find it interesting that there is so much discussion about the danger of the water because when I think about water in the scriptures, I don't think danger. I think Christ, the Living Waters, right?
So it's interesting that there's so much time that's spent on that. I don't know.
Yeah, cuz Old Testament, you think of the splitting of the waters for the Red Sea, the Jaredites on the barges, Nephi's, boat, all of that stuff which are kind of miracles. So I thought that was a lot of water talk that I was like, what?
Okay, I just love that you brought that up, because I'd never considered this. But Satan is so clever that he has managed to take credit for waters. That's exactly what he wants us to do. Because we've always thought that Satan had power over the waters and he doesn't. He does not have more power than Jesus Christ. But boy, we bought into that. Oh my gosh, he's so good.
That's really interesting.
Because, yeah, Jesus Christ is the water, the Living Waters. And yet, when we now, when we talk about and think of water, we're like, no, Satan has power over it, and he doesn't. I mean, just look at verse 1. Oh my gosh, look at section 61 verse 1. The Lord just sets it straight right there. What does he tell us in verse 1?
He is the Alpha and Omega.
Yeah. Everlasting to Everlasting.
Yeah. And he says, in the beginning, "Behold and hearken unto the voice of Him who has all power." Right there. He has all power. Satan doesn't have it. He doesn't have power over the waters. So enjoy your summer everybody. Just wear a life jacket.
The fine dichotomy of God. He's just saying, be careful, don't drown, but it's not because of Satan.
And when the vision that W.W. Phelps had, it has more to do with their bickering and cantankerous spirit that was kind of following them. I mean, that's what that was about, is that he's right there with you. Hey, guys, guess what? He is. Satan's right by your side because you need to get it together, you need to work things out.
And I just love that when the Lord says, look, I was angry with you yesterday. But today, my anger's turned away, you worked it out. You've reconciled each other, so let's get back on this mission.
And then He ends section 61 with verses 36 to 39. I couldn't think of a better ending. Let's just each take a turn reading one of these verses. We'll start with Sara and then we'll go Lindsay and then me.
I love this. "And now, verily I say unto you, and what I say into one I say into all, be of good cheer, little children; for I am in your midst, and I have not forsaken you;
"And inasmuch as you have humbled yourselves before me, the blessings of the kingdom are yours.
"Gird up your loins and be watchful and be sober, looking forth for the coming of the Son of Man, for he cometh in an hour you think not.
"Pray always that you enter not into temptation, that you may abide the day of his coming, whether in life or in death. Even so. Amen."
I like the, "be of good cheer," because it seems like in today's climate of news and politics and social media that everyone is really quickly stirred to anger and mad and upset. And I like it when the Lord says, hey, put your big girl pants on and cheer up, be cheerful. Let's just get some stuff done.
For sure, I like that, Sara.
And I love that he says, "What I say into one, I say unto all." He's saying it to everyone, whether you're members of the Church or not. And he calls everyone His little children. I love that.
Yeah, the Lord's like, "I'm in your midst." Like, I'm with you. I have not forsaken you. You got this. And like you said, Sarah, put on your big girl pants. gird up your loins, you've got work to do, and I need you to do it. I let you take this time right now, you camped together, you worked out your feelings. But now you got to go.
And that is exactly what happens. The next morning, they wake up and they part; they go their separate ways to the different places that they have to go. What is so cool about this story is that the prophet and his group happen to run into four men on their journey. I'm going to show you who those men were and what happened when they met, in the next segment.
Segment 5 47:18
All right, so with our group of friends, we all live in different places. So Sara, you're in Idaho.
The Gem State.
There you go.
Let's see, Lenna and Amy are in Colorado.
Lisa is in California.
Yep. So we're all kind of in different places. So describe to our listeners, what's it like when we all get together?
It's really, noisy. No story gets finished.
There's so much laughter.
Oh, so much laughter.
Maybe loud laughter.
Lots of it.
There might be dancing.
There's always a dance routine involved for sure. It's just, for me, so joyful. Would you agree? It's not often but when we see each other, it's so happy.
It's really like an infusion for me, like a big vitamin B-12, IV infusion for my spirit and soul and personality.
Oh, I like the way you said that, Sara. What's the one commonality that we have that makes it so great?
That we're all sisters and daughters of God. Sisters in the gospel.
Yeah, definitely. I think that's the one thing I appreciate the most about us is that when we come together, there is this unity, where we can talk about things that matter. And we can talk about things of the Spirit. And it's such a good feeling. And I love nothing more than being with my friends that I can talk about gospel things, and then laugh really hard.
Well, and I love that it's a safe place to talk about our frustrations, even if we're, we've all had different times where we've been frustrated with the Lord or mad or we don't think it's fair. And I at least feel safe to come there and say, "I'm mad. This is not fair. I don't see what's right and to be able to be heard and validated." And then kind of like alright, little flock, come on. Are you done feeling sorry for yourself? Let's go.
That's a great way to describe what we do for each other, I love that. I think there is that feeling in Section 62 of the Doctrine and Covenants.
So Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon split off from the group of men that they were with going down the Missouri River, and everybody kind of went their own way. And they met up with these people. And these are Joseph Smith's words describing what happened. And so Lindsay, will you read this for us? This is from History of the Church, volume 1, page 205, or you can get it from the Joseph Smith Papers as well. And here's what he had to say about this moment.
"On the 13th of August, I met several of the elders on their way to the land of Zion, and after the joyful salutations with which brethren meet each other who are actually contending for the faith once delivered to the saints, I received the following."
Okay, what about that description do you love?
The joyful salutation with which brethren meet each other.
Right? And that they're all contending for the faith.
I can envision a lot of really hardy backslapping,
Absolutely. And so now when I tell you who they met, it just makes it so much better. They met up with Hyrum Smith, Joseph's brother, who he hadn't seen in a while; John Murdock; John Murdock, is whose wife gives birth to twins; Harvey Whitlock; and David Whitmer. They were on their way to Zion. They were on their way to Missouri, coming from their mission that they were called back from.
And so as they're coming to Missouri, and Joseph Smith meets up as he's leaving it, they all connect at this moment. And so Joseph then prays, and he receives Doctrine and Covenants section 62. And it's speaking to these four men who they met up with. And so we just have to jump into section 62. And we're going to read verse 1 and verse 3. The whole thing is so beautiful when you know who he's speaking to: Hyrum, John Murdock. I mean, just such good men. And Joseph received this revelation.
Poor John Murdock. I mean, his wife died and has given up his babies. And then he goes on a mission? That's a pretty big deal.
It seems like you're emotional about it.
Well, I have twins, so I'm, anytime they mention twins, then I just feel like bursting into tears. Because it's so hard. And my twins did say to give them a shout out. So I will do that: shout out, babies.
Your sweet little twins. I love them. So let's just read what the Lord had to say. And we'll just read verses 1 through 3 because I just think these are beautiful. Sara, will you start us out and read those verses for us?
"Behold, and hearken, O ye elders of my church, saith the Lord your God, even Jesus Christ, your advocate, who knoweth the weakness of man and how to sucker them who are tempted.
"And verily mine eyes are upon those who have not as yet gone up unto the land of Zion; wherefore your mission is not yet full.
"Nevertheless, ye are blessed, for the testimony which ye have born is recorded in heaven for the angels to look upon; and they rejoice over you, and your sins are forgiven you."
It just occurred to me I've never thought of this before and maybe this is not valid, but like, one of the angels in heaven is John Murdock's wife.
Who is like, listening to his testimony. And I'm sure being a bigger support than he can realize.
That is beautiful, Sara, I'd never thought of that before. I like that so much. It's a beautiful instruction that the Lord is giving him. These four men, I should say.
What's unique about this to you in verse 3, compared to Section 60, where the men were hiding their talent? What does this tell us about these four men?
Well, that they're just opening their mouth. They're not burying their talent, they're giving their testimony. And now your testimony doesn't have to be a lot of pronouncing of doctrine, it can just be your belief system and sharing it with the people who you're trying to build a friendship with.
Yeah. In fact, look back at verse 3. I'm going to read it again. And as I do, I want you guys to underline what comes as a result of bearing your testimony.
"Nevertheless, ye are blessed, for the testimony which you have born, is recorded in heaven for the angels to look upon; and they rejoice over you, and your sins are forgiven you."
What are some of the results of bearing your testimony?
Blessings and forgiveness.
And it's recorded in heaven.
Yeah. I like the part that says, "Your sins are forgiven you."
Yeah. I'm going get up a lot more often in testimony meeting.
There'll be a sudden rush to the podium this next fast Sunday for sure. What a great blessing though; I think that's pretty powerful.
I want us to read this quote. Linds, will you read this quote by Elder Uchtdorf, because here are some other really great things that can come from a testimony in conjunction with what Sara said.
And while we're setting up for Lindsay to read this, the title for Doctrine and Covenants section 62 is one word. It's just "Testimonies." That's the title for Section 62, "Testimonies." And here are some other really cool things that can come from bearing your testimony.
"Testimony provides proper perspective, motivation, and a solid foundation on which to build a life of purpose and personal growth. It is a constant source of confidence, a true and faithful companion during good times and bad. A testimony provides us with a reason for hope and gladness. It helps us cultivate a spirit of optimism and happiness and enables us to rejoice in the beauties of nature. That testimony motivates us to choose the right at all times and in all circumstances. It motivates us to draw nearer to God, allowing Him to draw nearer to us. Our personal testimony is a protective shield, and like an iron rod it is guiding us safely through darkness and confusion."
It makes me think of, as a mom, I want my kids to gain their own testimony. But I can remember, like I said before, like thinking the Church has to be true, my dad wouldn't waste this much time. He's always been really busy and actively involved in our ward. And it reminded me that it's okay if my kids lean on my testimony to bear it, to show them how happy the gospel makes me, to help them see all the little things that prove that God is real. And in times of hardship or death or sickness, that we can remember that death's not the end, that it's okay. It's just part of the whole plan, and to keep us going through the bad times.
You know, what, Sara, I am a witness to this. I love that your testimony, it is an example to your children. I've seen it.
And you know, sitting here thinking, I'm just wondering, have you ever had an experience where you've been able to share your testimony with someone who wasn't a family member, or maybe someone who's not a member of the Church?
The missionaries in our ward, that were assigned to our ward, gave everyone, along with the stake president, a challenge during stake conference send in the name of someone that came to their mind right then. And our stake president was just waiting up there at the pulpit for us to be texting these names. And so I complied. And I sent them the name of one of my friends and co-workers that is a member of another faith.
And then one of the missionaries broke their ankle so they got changed. Nothing ever happened for months. But at another point, a new set of missionaries came and they said, "We saw that you gave this Jane Doe name," I won't say the name, "And so we brought you this Book of Mormon that we marked up and so we just want challenge you to give this to this person."
And so I was like, "Okay, great. This is going to be weird. This is a coworker. I don't like to do this." And it just is really easy to say, "Oh yeah, I'll share my testimony." But to actually do it.
So we work in different states, different cities. And so we were both in town for a sales meeting and as I was leaving my office, I saw that Book of Mormon so I thought, "Well, I'll just put this in my bag. That's kind of weird but I'll just put it in my briefcase." So when we got to this meeting in Salt Lake, my friend, my coworker, her father-in-law died while we were there. And he had been sick with cancer for a long time but he passed away.
And so we were in the office and I could just feel that Book of Mormon burning a hole in my bag and I did not want to say anything about it. I thought I was going to throw up, for sure. But I finally just said, "Listen, I'm sorry that this happened. And I don't want to make this will be uncomfortable or awkward but I have this book," and I kind of told her the situation. "I've been wanting to give this to you but I don't want you to feel offended or pushed away." And I probably apologized way too much before I gave it to her. And I just said, "I just want you to know that your father-in-law will live again." And bore my testimony of eternal life and eternal families. And the main point of our religion, our belief system is to have famiilies be together forever and that this Book of Mormon is about that.
And I gave it to her. And she was very receptive. I mean, I have not had the courage to ask her about it since then. But she said, "I know that you believe that. I can see that in the way your perspective on life and how happy you are." And she was grateful that I shared it with her.
And so that is, I guess, my testimony of being able to share the gospel with someone in a time that was not a coincidence. For whatever happens in the future that I grabbed that Book of Mormon, that she was there when her father-in-law died and the opportunity came up because I couldn't have created that if I had was like writing a paper about it. It was just not a coincidence that all that went down that same day.
That's a wonderful story, Sara, and courageous.
Oh, I'm sweaty just thinking about.
I can see, I would be too. Oh my gosh, great story. What about you, Linds?
Well, what strikes me about this quote, and just what we've been talking about is that the testimony is a declaration. It's requiring us to say what we know. And in a court of law, you submit affidavits or declarations where you say, under penalty of perjury, what you believe and what you know. And it just seems like a testimony is the same thing. It's a declaration that's going to help guide you and it's strong. It's a shield, and it's an iron rod.
And I think sometimes when you say it, even though you might bear your testimony in your heart and through your actions and privately to your Heavenly Father, there's something about going up to the podium and bearing your testimony publicly that I think commits you and gives you perspective and motivation and a foundation. I think just the act of doing that really serves a purpose and there's a reason why we still have fast and testimony meetings.
I don't feel like I can get up as much because I have the opportunity to teach singing. And so I try to bear my testimony at the end of every single singing time. So I kind of feel like, "Well, here's, you know, a third of the people that are in Primary; they're sick and tired of hearing from me." And I'm sure my husband doesn't; he thinks I get up too much anyway.
it's hard for me to get up because I feel like my testimony is really quite small. It's not profound. It's very basic. I'm an easy believer. And what I believe in is so simple that sometimes, you know, I don't have a profound story to tell. And what I'm realizing here is that it doesn't matter. The point is to bear it. And that is what Heavenly Father wants because it helps you and it helps anyone that's listening to you.
Oh, I love that you just brought that up. That's a great thing for us to think about.
You know, at the last fast and testimony meeting, my two daughters got up, which they normally do. And I'm I'm never gonna squelch that, like you get up, you get up every single fast Sunday, I don't even care. But it was so interesting because my husband got up. And he is not one to get up very often. And my favorite thing was the reaction because all of my daughters, when they saw him get up, all of them started tapping each other. And went, "Dad's getting up! Dad's getting up! Oh my gosh, Dad's getting up!" Like it was such a big deal. And it was the most beautiful, simple, less-than-two-minute testimony. And then he sat down.
And I just loved that my sweet daughter leaned in. And I was like, "That's a testimony." Because she had wondered earlier. She'd said, "Mom, what makes up a testimony?" I was like, you know, people's feelings and thoughts. And when he sat down, I said, "That's a testimony." It was just what you said, Lindsay, it was simple. It was short. And it was so powerful. And I think that's what your testimony would be.
Great discussion, both of you. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and your feelings about that and about testimony. I really appreciate that.
Several times throughout this episode, I have felt the spirit from the things that you have said are true, and I've loved that. I really feel like you've been blessed for the testimonies that you've born. And there's no doubt that angels are rejoicing over you. I just know that. I think they rejoice over everything you do. I think as moms, you're bearing testimony on a daily basis when you love your kids and take care of them. That's a testimony. I didn't think I'd get emotional about that, hmmm.
So these people were blessed for not hiding their talent, unlike the missionaries in section 60, which we kind of talked about. So in the next section, we're going to see what else these elders were blessed for, and why it mattered to the Lord.
Segment 6 1:02:38
Okay, ladies, going back to our discussion in section 60, about the Lord saying, "It mattereth not unto me." Okay, we love that phrase now. In Doctrine and Covenants section 62, the Lord points it out again, "It mattereth not unto me." And then we find out what does matter to Him in this section.
I asked you before you came to just look over verses 3 through 7 and tell me, what did you mark? What does matter to the Lord in the rest of this section? What did you find?
Well, bearing your testimonies, assemble yourselves together, hold a meeting and rejoice together and offer a Sacrament to the most High. I mean, our ward is just getting together now from COVID regulations. And it just feels so good to be together, to see each other. But that's one of the things I noticed.
I like that one.
I noticed how much joy there was in these scriptures where it says, "Hold a meeting and rejoice together and declare glad tidings," and I promise that the promise might be fulfilled and rejoice together again. I just think when it really comes down to it, the gospel is a message of joy, and peace, and glad tidings. And so it really, that really struck me.
It's a great point. I like that a lot. He does want us to rejoice.
And the person who's fueled by friendships, to have the Lord say, go as a group or two by two, whatever you feel good about, it doesn't matter. Just go and be cheerful and declare these things.
As we're talking about testimonies, I think of little kids who go up, and I know that they're probably, I know that they are discouraged to like have little kids go up who need a helper. And yet, I kind of miss that because the confidence that your little child who wants to bear their testimony, which is a great desire, but they need their mom to stand next to them or their big sister or whomever to kind of stand there and help them either have confidence or think of the words. And I felt that a lot in my life like, just come with me. But you know, as a patient in a hospital to have an advocate, as you know, someone giving childbirth, you've got someone standing by your shoulder. On your mission, you've got a companion. It just adds a lot to have someone go with you.
When you're saying that it just strikes me as in verse 1 when it says, "even Jesus Christ, your advocate who is there advocating for you and representing you and being behind you." That just struck me.
Oh, for sure. Because then when you finish that verse when it says, oh my gosh, Lindsay, I love you brought that up, it says, "The weakness of men and how to succor them who are tempted." And then I love that word, "succor." Because it means to literally run, giving aid or help, how we should be for each other, just running to our aid, to give aid or help to each other.
And it strikes me how much that the Savior, as well as His instruction to us, is to be with the "congregations of the wicked", or those that have been tempted. It's not go rejoice just by yourself and stay, stay with those that believe like you do. No, get in there, get your hands dirty, go in with the people, the congregations of the wicked, which maybe is not the greatest PR phrase I've ever heard, but maybe we want to rethink that, but it's the idea was to get in there and get in with the people and succor them. And I love that.
Oh, for sure Linds. And thank you for pointing that out.
And I love how we know that He's in the details of our lives. Because I mean, I've had lots of examples of that. But where he's saying, It doesn't matter, just get it done. But then He's giving so much specific direction. Because He is in the midst, He says, don't worry, I'm right in the middle of you. Just because I'm not going to spell out every single thing you're supposed to do and what shoe to put on and all that stuff, I'm still right here. And when you need me to say, don't go that way, then I will speak up. But otherwise figure it out.
Boy, and He does, that is true. He definitely does.
And I just love, just really quickly: I just love that He says, "I promise the faithful and cannot lie." Just that promise, I can't lie. It's just a great reminder. Everything He says is true. And you just have to believe that it's true.
Linds, will you read verse 6, because a lot of what you said came from that verse; it's just such a good verse.
"Behold, I, the Lord, have brought you together that the promise might be fulfilled, that the faithful among you should be preserved and rejoice together in the land of Missouri. I, the Lord, promise the faithful and cannot lie."
Not that He will not lie, He cannot. I love that.
That's awesome. So good. Okay, and so we just have to do verse 7 because we kind of started with verse 7.
Yeah, I've been thinking about verse 7 a lot.
Why don't you read it for us, Sara? This is so fun.
I told my husband about this and he has a fascination with mules and he did say, "I would pick a mule." It's like, "Yeah, you don't have to tell me that, I already know" [laughing]
"I, the Lord, am willing, if any among you desire to ride upon horses, or upon mules, or in chariots, he shall receive this blessing, if he receive it from the hand of the Lord, with a thankful heart in all things."
Okay. There's a story about why the Lord is saying this. So here's what you need to know: this verse is for John Murdock. Here's what happened. While they were on their mission, John Murdock got really sick and his companion was Hyrum Smith at the time, and they are stuck in a place called Chariton. I think that it's pronounced Sheraton, Missouri. And they're just waiting for John to get better. And while they're waiting for him to get better, two other elders come upon them: David Whitmer and Harvey Whitlock. So that's how the four of them ended up together. And they had been faithful in their commandment to preach the gospel on the way to Missouri. So these men are coming from Ohio to Missouri.
And remember, Joseph is leaving Missouri going to Ohio. That's how they all met up. So after these four elders met Joseph Smith, in Chariton, and they received the Lord's instructions, which is recorded in Section 62, they combined all of their money together, and they ended up buying a horse which allowed John Murdock to travel with greater ease to Zion. And so that's the point of that verse. The Lord's like, it doesn't even matter if you want to ride on a horse or a mule, or upon a chariot, whatever you need to do, just to finish out your mission so I can bless you. And so that's what that verse is about.
I like that. I read that, obviously, this week, and I thought about it a lot. And last night, it struck me and I, it's probably just nonsense, because it's obviously this Church history story. But it reminded me of this scripture about you're not required to run faster than you have strength, but implies that you do need to run and so that's what I thought of when like, if you want to do a slow, plodding mule, or a chariot to go faster, or a horse to go in between as long as you're going, it doesn't matter how fast you go, just go.
I think that's exactly what it's saying. And I think that's what the Lord saying to John Murdock. However you want to go, just go. Oh, Sara, that's awesome. I'm putting Just go next to that verse.
All right, well, that's it. That's the end. Ladies, thank you. That's the end of the podcast. Oh my gosh, I just love you two. This was so much fun. And it was so wonderful. Again, just like we talked about earlier, it's a safe place to talk about scripture with friends.
Okay, so I want you just to take a couple minutes and think about everything we discussed which was so much stuff. Is there anything that stood out to you, anything you like, "Oh, I didn't know that." Or anything you're going to takeaway from our discussion today?
My takeaway, I can never remember like, I always feel on the spot and my mind goes blank. But my takeaway is to open your mouth and to share your talents. And it doesn't have to be profound whatever you're saying, to tell people and show people that the gospel makes you happy. And John Murdock like, I'd never known the story of John Murdock, his twins but for him to be able to get up and go on a mission when his wife had babies, just died. That he is my hero, I'm gonna put his name on a cross stitch.
Awesome. I love that, great takeaway.
I think the takeaway I have is the protection and the power of bearing your testimony that it gives. That quote from Elder Uchtdorf really struck a chord with me. That it is a motivation, it defines who you are, it defines your path. And by opening your mouth and just actually saying the words, it is important, it's important.
Thank you, Linds. Mine, too. I have two, was Lindsay, when you talked about how a testimony is weighted. I'd never known that before. And just the idea of how much all of our combined testimonies will weigh when Christ comes again. That is going to be a great visual for me, and maybe what does my testimony weigh? And where am I on my journey? And am I working on it? Everyone can have this talent, everyone can have a testimony. And how hard am I working on it? Maybe that's something I could just probably think about.
And then, Sara, I just love twice, you know, put on your big girl pants, and just go and just do it. And I'll just always remember that and that scripture, just go; doesn't matter how you get there, just do it. So thank you. Thank you both.
Well, for those of you who are listening, we would love to hear what your big takeaway was from this episode. So if you haven't already joined our discussion group on Facebook or Instagram, go do it. Just join us. I know I say this every week, but it's totally worth it. And you can ask questions throughout the week that I try to answer. And then at the end of the week, we do a call, asking for your big takeaway. So comment on the post that relates to this lesson. And I want to know what you learned, especially for these three chapters that we discussed because this was such a fun discussion. You can get to both our Facebook and Instagram by going to the show notes for this episode on LDSliving.com/SundayonMonday and go there because that's where we have all of the links to the references that we used, as well as a complete transcript of this whole discussion, so go check it out.
The Sunday on Monday study group is a Desert 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 Lindsay Welch Hola and Sara Sargent Williams. Now you can find more information about these ladies at LDSliving.com/SundayonMonday.
Our podcast is produced by Katie Lambert and me. It is recorded and mixed by Mix at 6 Studios and our executive producer is Erin Hallstrom. Thanks for being here; we'll see you next week. And please remember, you really are God's favorite.
I have to tell you, you know, I have a huge Diet Coke addiction. And I started out by drinking 20-ounce bottles, and Molonai brought me the other day two-liters and now I just drink straight from the two because it's cheaper. I'll just be like driving on the freeway drinking out of a two-liter bottle [laughing].
No you won't! No you won't!
Go look in my car rather than a 20-ounce.
That makes me love you even more!
I thought it was ridiculous but I really like it.
Greater love hath no husband. Just go for the two-liter! Oh my gosh, that makes me so happy!
Title for Section 60: Talent
Background for Sections 60–62:
"On Monday, 8 August 1831, the day after Polly Knight's funeral and the reception of Doctrine and Covenants 59, the elders asked the Prophet Joseph Smith just how they should return to Ohio and by what routes, whether they should do missionary work along the way, and if there were any other special instructions for them. In response to their inquiries, Joseph received Doctrine and Covenants 60. Sections 60–62 constitute a unit dealing with the return from Zion, and they should be studied together" (Stephen E. Robinson, H. Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, Vol. 2, "Doctrine and Covenants 60," Deseret Book).
Why was the Lord not well pleased?
2 But with some I am not well pleased, for they will not open their amouths, but they hide the btalent which I have given unto them, because of the cfear of man. Wo unto such, for mine danger is ekindled against them (Doctrine and Covenants 60:2).
- Talent = Testimony
"Some of the elders called as missionaries to Missouri refused to preach or bear testimony of the restored gospel while on this mission. A few expected the Lord to give them greater powers of public speaking before they would even attempt to preach. The Lord warned them that his anger was kindled against them, this being one of the more severe warnings he had given them. Note that the immediate concern here is for how the elders would behave and whether they would preach as commanded on the way back to Kirtland, a journey that commenced the next day (see D&C 61:3, 33–34)" (Stephen E. Robinson, H. Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, Vol. 2, "Doctrine and Covenants 60," Deseret Book).
- It = Testimony
What do these rulers have in common?
4 For I, the Lord, arule in the heavens above, and among the barmies of the earth; and in the day when I shall make up my cjewels, all men shall know what it is that bespeaketh the power of God (Doctrine and Covenants 60:4).
- Jewels = Us
- Bespeaketh = Give evidence, testify
Make up Jewels:
- Jewels = Segullah (Hebrew) = Peculiar
Quote: "But the term peculiar as used in the scriptures is quite different. In the Old Testament, the Hebrew term from which peculiar was translated is segullah, which means “valued property,” or “treasure.”31 In the New Testament, the Greek term from which peculiar was translated is peripoiesis, which means “possession,” or “an obtaining.”32
"Thus, we see that the scriptural term peculiar signifies “valued treasure,” “made” or “selected by God.”33 For us to be identified by servants of the Lord as his peculiar people is a compliment of the highest order.
"When we know who we are and what God expects of us—when his “law [is] written in [our] hearts”34—we are spiritually protected. We become better people" (President Nelson, "Children of the Covenant," April 1995 general conference).
What the Lord told the Saints doesn't matter:
5 But, verily, I will speak unto you concerning your journey unto the land from whence you came. Let there be a craft made, or bought, as aseemeth you good, it mattereth not unto me, and take your journey speedily for the place which is called St. Louis (Doctrine and Covenants 60:5).
- Craft = Watercraft or canoe
- Speedily = Go quickly
8 And let the residue take their journey from St. Louis, atwo by two, and preach the word, not in haste, among the congregations of the wicked, until they return to the churches from whence they came (Doctrine and Covenants 60:8).
- Congregation of the Wicked = Not a specific people or religion
- Not in Haste = Saints were to gather quickly but missionaries were to continue to preach
What matters to the Lord:
7 And in this place let them lift up their voice and declare my word with loud voices, without wrath or adoubting, lifting up holy hands upon them. For I am able to make you bholy, and your sins are cforgiven you (Doctrine and Covenants 60:7).
- Declare His word with loud voices without wrath or doubting
13 Behold, they have been sent to preach my gospel among the congregations of the wicked; wherefore, I give unto them a commandment, thus: Thou shalt not aidle away thy time, neither shalt thou bury thy btalent that it may not be known (Doctrine and Covenants 60:13).
- Don't idle
- Don't bury talents
17 And by the mouth of my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., it shall be made known concerning Sidney Rigdon and Oliver Cowdery. The residue hereafter. Even so. Amen (Doctrine and Covenants 60:17).
- Residue = The Lord's instructions will be given later
Title for Section 61: Satan and the Waters
Background for Section 61:
"Joseph and ten other elders left Independence, Missouri, in canoes on 9 August, headed back down the Missouri River for St. Louis. A couple of the elders returning to Ohio with the Prophet had been expecting great miracles to occur in Missouri and, despite the clear statement of Doctrine and Covenants 58:3–7 that these things would take place only over time and after much trial, they were unhappy that they had not seen a more immediate fulfillment of God's promises. As a result of their false expectations being disappointed, there was some murmuring and arguing among the party as the missionaries made their way downriver (see D&C 61:20).
"On 11 August, the third day of the journey, the canoe in which Joseph and Sidney were riding actually hit a "sawyer," or partially submerged tree, and was nearly overturned. The accident could easily have been fatal, for at that time the Missouri was a truly wild river without dams, locks, or levies. According to Joseph Smith, there had been other mishaps earlier that same day,1 so the travelers stopped and made camp earlier than usual at what was then called McIlwaine's Bend, presently known as Miami Bend, about forty miles above Chariton, Missouri. After the party had left the river, William W. Phelps saw, in broad daylight, a vision of Satan riding upon the waters of the river. The rest of that day and much of the evening were spent in camp sorting out hard feelings and attempting a reconciliation between angry or offended parties. By late that evening, most of those involved had repented, apologized, and been reconciled to one another.
"The following morning after prayers, on 12 August, Joseph received Doctrine and Covenants 61, which explained in part the previous day's events and the related vision given to Elder Phelps. The Prophet's own account reads as follows: "On the 9th [August 1831], in company with ten Elders, I left Independence landing for Kirtland. We started down the river in canoes, and went the first day as far as Fort Osage, where we had an excellent wild turkey for supper. Nothing very important occurred till the third day, when many of the dangers so common upon the western waters, manifested themselves; and after we had encamped upon the bank of the river, at McIlwaine's Bend, Brother Phelps, in open vision by daylight, saw the destroyer in his most horrible power, ride upon the face of the waters; others heard the noise, but saw not the vision. The next morning after prayer, I received the following"2 —Doctrine and Covenants 61.
"The first known text of section 61 appeared in The Evening and the Morning Star for December 1832, about sixteen months after the revelation had first been received. This was published in Missouri by W. W. Phelps, editor of the Star, who had himself received the vision that preceded Doctrine and Covenants 61" (Stephen E. Robinson, H. Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, Vol. 2, "Doctrine and Covenants 61," Deseret Book).
Quote: "There were arguments and fights. “some disagreements and ill feeling had developed among the brethren” (B. H. Roberts, A Comprehensive History of the Church, 1:262–63).
Jefferson, Missouri, Flood of 1993
(Image from wikimedia.org)
Verses 4–10: Missouri River
4 Nevertheless, I suffered it that ye might bear record; behold, there are many dangers upon the waters, and more especially hereafter;
5 For I, the Lord, have decreed in mine anger many destructions upon the waters; yea, and especially upon these waters.
3 But verily I say unto you, that it is not needful for this whole company of mine elders to be moving swiftly upon the waters, whilst the inhabitants on either side are perishing in unbelief (Doctrine and Covenants 61:3).
Quote: “In regard to the Missouri-Mississippi waters, we have seen year by year great destruction upon them, and coming from them. Millions upon millions of dollars almost annually are lost by this great stream overflowing its banks. Many have lost their lives in these floods as they sweep over the land, and even upon this apparently tranquil or sluggish stream there can arise storms that bring destruction. Verily the word of the Lord has been, and is being, fulfilled in relation to those waters” (Church History and Modern Revelation, 2 vols. , 1:224).
Quote: "The Lord’s words in Doctrine and Covenants 61:4–19 do not prohibit Latter-day Saints from traveling on or swimming in water. In describing the curse on the waters in the last days, the Lord may have been referring to passages in the book of Revelation in which the Apostle John described destruction that will occur in the waters before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (see Revelation 8:8–11; 16:2–6). In Doctrine and Covenants 61, the Lord refers specifically to the danger of “these waters,” meaning the Missouri River (see D&C 61:5, 18). At the time of this revelation, the dangers of the Missouri River included accidents due to difficulties in navigating the waters and contracting cholera, a disease most commonly spread by contaminated water (see “The Way of Journeying for the Saints of Christ,” Evening and Morning Star, Dec. 1832, 105)" (Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, 2017, "Chapter 22: Doctrine and Covenants 59–62," ChurchofJesusChrist.org ).
Verses 14–19: Foretelling
15 Wherefore, the days will come that no flesh shall be safe upon the waters.
- Last days/days will come = hasn't happened yet
16 And it shall be said in days to come that none is able to go up to the land of Zion upon the waters, but he that is upright in heart (Doctrine and Covenants 61:14–16).
Cross References for Verses 14–16:
Quote: "Revelation 16:3 the second angel poured out his [bowl] upon the sea; and it became as . . . blood/every living soul died in the sea. This plague and that which follows parallel the first plague that the Lord brought on the ancient Egyptians—the waters turned to blood (Ex. 7:19-21). In 8:8-9, a third of the waters were afflicted; here, the polluted water kills every creature. This may have connection with words of the Lord given in our dispensation: "Behold, there are many dangers upon the waters, and more especially hereafter; for I, the Lord, have decreed in mine anger many destructions upon the waters" (D&C 61:4-5). We can only speculate on the cause of this destruction; it may be related to the fallout from nuclear war.
"There may be another meaning to sea in this passage. In 17:15, the waters symbolize "peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues." Perhaps here, as well, the sea represents the wicked people of the world, all of whom are eventually destroyed" (Jay A. Parry, Donald W. Parry, Understanding the Book of Revelation, 204).
God has all power over His creations:
God's Counsel to Everyone:
Title for Section 62: Testimonies
Background for Section 62:
"After Joseph Smith and his party of missionaries to Missouri received Doctrine and Covenants 61 on 12 August 1831, they split up, with Joseph, Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, William W. Phelps, and Sidney Gilbert traveling rapidly overland while the rest of the elders continued downriver toward St. Louis. The next day, Joseph and his party crossed the Missouri River at Chariton, Missouri, and found there the later party of missionaries to Missouri—Hyrum Smith, John Murdock, Harvey Whitlock, and David Whitmer—who were still on their way to Zion.
"Joseph Smith recorded their meeting as follows: "On the 13th [August] I met several of the Elders on their way to the land of Zion, and after the joyful salutations with which brethren meet each other, who are actually ';contending for the faith once delivered to the Saints,' I received the following (History of the Church, 1:205)" (Stephen E. Robinson, H. Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, Vol. 2, "Doctrine and Covenants 62," Deseret Book).
2 And verily mine eyes are upon those who have not as yet gone up unto the land of Zion; wherefore your mission is not yet full.
3 Nevertheless, ye are ablessed, for the btestimony which ye have borne is crecorded in heaven for the angels to look upon; and they rejoice over you, and your dsins are forgiven you (Doctrine and Covenants 62:1–3).
What comes as a result of bearing a testimony:
- Recorded in Heaven
Quote: “A testimony provides proper perspective, motivation, and a solid foundation on which to build a life of purpose and personal growth. It is a constant source of confidence, a true and faithful companion during good times and bad. A testimony provides us with a reason for hope and gladness. It helps us cultivate a spirit of optimism and happiness and enables us to rejoice in the beauties of nature. A testimony motivates us to choose the right at all times and in all circumstances. It motivates us to draw nearer to God, allowing Him to draw nearer to us (see James 4:8). Our personal testimony is a protective shield, and like an iron rod it is guiding us safely through darkness and confusion" (Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "The Power of a Personal Testimony," October 2006 general conference).
What matters to the Lord:
5 And then you may return to bear record, yea, even altogether, or atwo by two, as seemeth you good, it mattereth not unto me; only be faithful, and bdeclare glad tidings unto the inhabitants of the earth, or among the ccongregations of the wicked.
6 Behold, I, the Lord, have brought you together that the promise might be fulfilled, that the faithful among you should be preserved and rejoice together in the land of Missouri. I, the Lord, apromise the faithful and cannot blie.
7 I, the Lord, am willing, if any among you adesire to ride upon horses, or upon mules, or in chariots, he shall receive this blessing, if he receive it from the hand of the Lord, with a bthankful heart in all things (Doctrine and Covenants 62:3–7).
Horses, Mules, or Chariots:
Quote: "Horses . . . or in chariots. The more contemporary term for the archaic word chariot would be wagon. Hyrum's group of "late" missionaries was delayed in part by preaching along the way and in part by John Murdock's illness, which made it difficult for him to continue toward Independence. After Doctrine and Covenants 62 was received, the missionaries traveling with John Murdock combined their money and bought a horse, thus enabling John to continue his journey with them more easily. The Lord here made it clear that he had no objection to such an expenditure if it moved the work forward" (Stephen E. Robinson, H. Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, Vol. 2, "Doctrine and Covenants 62," Deseret Book).
1 Behold, and hearken, O ye elders of my church, saith the Lord your God, even Jesus Christ, your aadvocate, who knoweth the weakness of man and how to bsuccor them who are ctempted (Doctrine and Covenants 62:1).
- Succor = To run to give aid
6 Behold, I, the Lord, have brought you together that the promise might be fulfilled, that the faithful among you should be preserved and rejoice together in the land of Missouri. I, the Lord, apromise the faithful and cannot blie (Doctrine and Covenants 62:6).