27: "If the Lord Be God, Follow Him" (1 Kings 17–19)
One definition of the word destitute is to be “without basic necessities.” Has there ever been a time where you felt spiritually destitute? Like you were missing the basic necessities? If so, this week’s lesson 1 Kings 17–19 is for you because if there is anyone who understands the feeling of being destitute, it’s Elijah the prophet and the widow of Zarephath. Through their examples of faith, we’ll learn who we should turn to in our greatest moments of need and learn how all things can be restored through the Savior.
1 Kings 16:30–31 (King Ahab and Queen Jezebel are introduced)
1 Kings 17:1 (Elijah is introduced)
CR: Doctrine and Covenants 110 (Elijah appears at the dedication of the Kirtland Temple)
Elijah = Jehovah is my God
1 Kings 17:1–7 (Elijah asks God for a famine and is fed by a raven)
CR: Luke 4:25 (The famine lasts more than three years)
1 Kings 17:9 (Elijah is sent to the widow of Zarephath)
1 Kings 17:5, 10–13 (Elijah meets the widow of Zarephath and asks for food)
1 Kings 17:13–16 (Elijah blesses the widow to never run out of food)
“‘Faith without works is dead.’ But [then he added], ‘Works without faith is even deader’” (President Dallin H. Oaks, “Challenges to the Mission of Brigham Young University,” BYU Leadership Conference, Apr. 21, 2017, 8).
1 Kings 17:17–18 (The widow of Zarephath’s son dies)
1 Kings 17: 19–24 (Elijah prays and widow’s son comes back to life)
Link: Emil G. Hirsch, Karl Budde, Solomon Schechter, “Jonah,” jewishencyclopedia.com (Cites Jewish Midrash that the prophet Jonah could have been the widow’s son)
1 Kings 18:3–4 (Obadiah hides the prophets)
1 Kings 18:7–8 (Elijah tells Obadiah to get Ahab)
1 Kings 18:17–18 (Ahab meets Elijah)
1 Kings 18:24–29 (Elijah challenges the false god Baal)
1 Kings 18:30–39 (The Lord brings down fire on Elijah’s sacrifice and the people acknowledge the Lord is the true God)
1 Kings 18:40–46 (Elijah has all the false prophets killed)
CR: 3 Nephi 13:24 (No one can serve two masters)
1 Kings 19:4 (Elijah prays in despair)
1 Kings 19:5–8 (God sends an angel to feed Elijah)
1 Kings 19:11–12 (God sends Elijah forth and speaks in a still small voice)
I've been thinking about faith a lot lately, because for me, it seems to be a fading gospel principle because in the world today, I'm realizing answers come immediately, purchases can be made and delivered quickly, problems solved almost too easily, and, that uncomfortable space of uncertainty can be filled with a number of devices or apps that can numb our senses, creating almost a counterfeit faith that can soothe an aching soul. Today's study of 1 Kings chapters 17-19 will tackle faith, and hopefully have us looking forward to any faith-defining moment that comes our way.
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 podcast, I just want to make sure you know how to use it. 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 Allie Myers and her sweet son Jamison. Hi guys. Now another awesome thing about our study group, and it's my favorite, is that each week we're joined by two of my friends. So today I have Sandy Bacon and Emmy Porter. Hi Ladies.
Sandy Bacon 1:09
Emmy Porter 1:09
Okay, how do we know each other?
Sandy Bacon 1:14
I was roommates with someone that you were roommates with after, and then everyone knows HB. And then Emmy married one of my best friends from college, which is also where I know Holly. And so we're all intertwined in the King Henry mecca of love.
And King Henry is - they're apartments at BYU. So that's where it started. BYU
Sandy Bacon 1:38
Oh, yes. Although I never went to BYU. I was just at BYU housing.
Oh, well, that's a good way to do it. Nice. You get the fun without the you know, the work. And here's how I met Emmy was through this group. But I knew Emily's husband before they got married. Good ole Greg Porter. And he calls me "Tamster the hamster".
Emmy Porter 1:59
Still to this day, we talk fondly about "Tamster the hamster."
We went on a camping trip when Greg and I were all single. I looked at him and I just started talking small talk with him. I'm like, So are you, are you here to meet people? Like tell me a little bit about yourself. And he looks at me. He's like, ''I'm only here for HB; she's the only person I care about." And that was the end of our conversation. And then he asked me what my name was. And I said, it's Tamara and he goes, 'Tam, Tam stir?' Like, I don't even remember how it came up, he couldn't hear my name quite right. And then the, I don't know, long story short, I'm Tamster the hamster. And, boy, I love that Greg Porter, he is fun-nny! So if you're wondering what my friends look like, and if you want to read more information about them, you can check out their bios in our show notes, which are found at LDS living.com/sundayonMonday.
In today's episode, there is a discussion about suicidal ideation. And we just want to be sensitive to all of our listeners and let you know before you begin this episode.
Really quick before we get started, I need to give everybody an update for the timeline that we're on. Last week we talked about Solomon, and he passes away in 1 Kings 11:43. So after Solomon dies, his son Rehoboam decided to increase the people's burdens. He was not a good leader, and the people revolted. And they were divided into a northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah. Now we have a king called Jeroboam. He was the king of the northern kingdom and he introduced idolatry and other wicked practices among his people. Through the line of King Jeroboam came the most wicked and most powerful of kings in northern Israel. Before I tell you who this wicked king is, I have a song I'm going to play and I want you to tell me what you think of when you hear this sound. (plays somber instrumental song in a minor key)
Sandy Bacon 3:42
Like a death march.
Oh, very good. It made you think of a death march, Yes. What did you think of Emmy?
Emmy Porter 3:48
Something spooky is about to happen.
Oh, okay. Very good. I loved Emmy's face even. She was like, ooh, egh.
Emmy Porter 3:54
A little off setting.
It's very off-setting and here's why. Let's go to 1 Kings 16:30. It's almost like this episode could be a melodrama. If I had time, I would have put music to all the characters. But this one needed music because this person is the most wicked, the most powerful of all the kings in northern Israel, and his name is in verse 30. Let's highlight his name. And Sandy, what's his name?
Sandy Bacon 4:19
There it is. In fact, Ahab is so wicked and then it tells us about his wife in verse 31. He took to wife Jezebel, the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Zidonians and went and served Baal and worshipped him. Okay. Jezebel. Have you heard that name before?
Emmy Porter 4:37
Sandy Bacon 4:37
Yeah, good or bad? What do you
Emmy Porter 4:41
bad bad bad
She's equally as wicked as her husband. They are no good. In fact, that verse says that they went and served Baal. Highlight that name because Baal is a God and it comes up often throughout the Old Testament. So I just want you to know a little bit about him really quick so you can teach this and know about it. The name Baal, it is a false god, it is a male god, and it's a sun god who's worshipped principally in Phoenicia. But he's also worshipped in different ways in various places. The word 'Ball 'or 'Bale', it expresses a relationship between a Lord and his slave. So it's not a happy relationship with a God. And the usual symbol for him is a bull. So just kind of tuck that in your brain, because anytime you get to it it's going to be evil worship, an evil god. It's not a mutual relationship of a child with a father; it's a slave. it's so sad.
So basically, the whole house of Israel is an idolatry in disarray. And it's sad, because the unity and prosperity that was achieved with David and Solomon is completely gone. And the kingdoms are now divided. And so we're gonna go into the story here, because we have this Jezebel and she and her husband are so evil, that they are seeking to kill the prophets. That's their job, and they only want their living prophets for Baal. That is their goal, to teach people to just worship this false god. So that's the setting for what we're going to study today in 1 Kings 17-19. So let's go into 1 Kings 17:1 and we're introduced to who the Lord is going to send to help the Lord's people. And Emmy, who is it that we're talking about?
Emmy Porter 6:15
Yes, highlight that name. Elijah the Tishbite. All of a sudden, he's just here. So here are some fun facts about Elijah. He held the keys of the Sealing power and the fullness of the priesthood in his day. Malachi prophesied that Elijah would return before the great and dreadful day of the Lord. With Moses, he appeared to Peter, James and John on the Mount of Transfiguration to give those apostolic ministers the keys of the kingdom. I think this is interesting that during the night of September 21, to the 22nd in 1823, Moroni told Joseph Smith that the Lord would soon reveal unto him the priesthood by the hand of Elijah the prophet. And then on April 3, in 1836, Elijah will come to the Kirtland Temple to restore the priesthood powers, and that's in Doctrine and Covenants, section 110.
Now, some have claimed that after Moses, Elijah was the greatest man in Israel's religious life, and some regard him as the best-known person in Hebrew history. Now, this is part of what we talked about when we did the Passover -
Sandy Bacon 7:16
Exactly, Sandy. And you did the Seder with your Seminary students didn't you?
Sandy Bacon 7:20
I did, it was great. And we put the cup out for Elijah, we opened the door, we stood up, we waited for him.
This is that Elijah, this is where he fits into the timeline for anyone that practiced that. So thank you, Sandy. And then the last thing is what Elijah's name means, and I think this is awesome. So anywhere on that page, highlight Elijah; his name means "Jehovah is my God". Now, knowing that that is his name, after you two studied and prepared for these three chapters, I'm just curious. How do you think his name fits with these chapters? "Jehovah is my God."
Sandy Bacon 7:52
Not as a spoiler, but it's what he's going to prove. It's what in chapter 18, it's going to be the big like, throwdown between the gods. And his name says it all.
Oh, I think that's awesome. I never connected it that way. Sandy, Jehovah is my God. And he's gonna prove it in 18. Such a good, okay, that's so good. Thank you. What about you, Emmy?
Emmy Porter 8:14
In this community where there are these different gods, and a very big division, he wants it known who he follows. There's no connection to Baal, to the world, to these kings. He is for Jehovah, and that is who he is following, who he's acting in behalf of. That's his man.
Wow, Emmy. As you were saying that Emmy, it made me think of this. Because here's what I want us to do throughout this whole episode today, is I want us to think, is Jehovah our God? Are we going to think about Him the same way you described Him Emmy? I thought that was a great description that that's who his God is and there's no, there's no way that's going to change. And I want us to think about that, in light of the stories we share today and the experiences we have in our life, is Jehovah our God? And will He do for us what He's doing for the people in these stories? So, think about that and we're going to begin with Elijah's stories and discover how Jehovah really is his God in the next segment.
Segment 2 9:13
Now, I asked this question of my friends before we met, and I even said, I gave them an out. I'm like, if you can't, or you're not comfortable sharing a story of this magnitude, let me know - I'll find somebody else. Because this whole episode is crucial to this question. And so, have either one of you ever had a moment that felt destitute - a time when you just weren't sure how you were going to make it that you'd be willing to share with us?
Sandy Bacon 9:43
Sandy, you go first.
Sandy Bacon 9:46
I was getting ready to fly out to take my oldest son to college. And Greg worked in the direction of the airport, and he was going to drive back anyway to pick us up and take us all together, so we had this little moment, the three of us saying goodbye to my oldest for the first time. And when I got out of the shower that morning, I had these messages from Greg and I thought, What is going on? Do not tell me that that man is wanting me to Uber. And he's not even going to drive our son to college, like to the airport for college. So when I called him, I was kind of like Yes? And when I called, I could hear he was driving. I'm like, Oh, are you already on your way back? And I'm like, oh, I should be nicer, because here he is ahead of schedule. And he said, "Hey, Sandy, I just want you to know, I just lost my job." I said, "Okay. "
No matter what he said, all I kept saying back was, "Okay. Okay. Okay." I immediately thought, are we telling my son this, or are we not telling him? Are we like hiding this moment? This is supposed to be his day. He's going off to college. And Greg said, No, he's a part of our family. We're going to tell him right away. So Greg came home. We had a little conversation, we went in, we told Andrew what was happening. And then that day, Greg drove us to the airport. And on the way I'm texting all of our friends because I am leaving with Andrew and staying out in Utah for a week. And there was nothing I could do. Greg was so blindsided, and so shocked. Not to give the whole ending away, but it took seven months for Greg to find another job. It was a long time, with a lot of questions, and a lot of like, that destitute feeling.
And tell me about your heart. Where was your heart and your thoughts?
Sandy Bacon 11:52
Well, you know, it was kind of an interesting place because I was ready for my heart to kind of be consumed with the feelings of Andrew leaving. And then all of a sudden, I had this completely competing heartbreak for Greg, because like I said, he was so shocked. He was so blindsided. And so my heart was actually really split. I felt like I couldn't fully give either of the things what I needed to, which maybe was a blessing, because I had to keep going back and forth back and forth between these two things over that week. But after I got home, I just longed for resolution. I longed to be able to figure out how to help Greg, and how to make things better. And I felt so helpless in that situation because I could not fix it.
I mean, did you have like a ton of savings? And you could just live off of that and be free with a fancy-free, no worries?
Sandy Bacon 12:54
Oh, yeah. We had enough for 10, 20 years. No! I mean, of course not. It was scary. I mean, we made some pretty drastic changes right away. But then it was like, how long can we maintain any sense of normalcy before we're gonna have to do something really dramatic, like, move, like sell our home? What ultimately ended up happening and is that we had to move from a place that we totally loved with one child in the middle of high school and one child in the middle of middle school. That was our seventh move since we've been married. So it's not like we are strangers to a move. But we told the kids before that last move that we would try not to move till they were through high school. And then here we were, in the middle of high school for one. I mean like, Um, we're not so sure we can stay here.
Yeah, yeah. Wow. Thank you, Sandy. What about you, Emmy?
Emmy Porter 13:53
I was called into our Primary presidency, and I had never been in Primary before, so I already was feeling very inadequate and kind of like, Okay, whatever. I don't know what you want me to do here, but I was willing. Not even a year later, I was called as the new Primary President. We've had probably around 175 children in Primary at that time, it was a huge Primary, including nursery. And maybe 150 of them came often, so it was a huge Primary. But you would think with that many kids, well you were in a big, strong, active Ward, that wasn't the case. It was a small Ward and kind of at a weak point for our ward where we did not have a lot of adult support.
So I have all of these kids that we need to serve and we did not have the adults in the world to cover them. It was so overwhelming, you know, Sunday us here and talks and things about it's this day of rest and I looked forward to Sunday. I dreaded Sundays for the years I was in this calling. I loved being with the children, I loved serving in Primary. But it was the most stressful, hard calling for me because every week I felt like I was in a Whack-a-Mole, and I was down underground, just constantly trying to survive.
And any time I'd see light and think, Ah, we've got it covered, this week we're going to be okay, we've got enough teachers - somebody would move, somebody would ask to be released, and I just get whacked back down again and again. There was not one week the entire about three years that I was in Primary that we had full coverage. So every single week I was trying to find subs, trying to find coverage, trying to figure out how to make it work. It was a really hard time, where I felt very alone in something that was challenging. Even though you know, I had support of my husband, I had support of my counselors, but it's on your shoulders, and I didn't know how to do it. And so it just was a very heavy burden at that time of - I knew there was no way I could physically do what needed to be done. And I felt that constantly.
Well, on both of your experiences, that's how you would, like it was just heavy, it was heavy to carry, it was heavy at the moment. And so many of you who are listening, you have had destitute moments. Many of you are in the middle of a destitute moment where you're wondering, I don't know how this could possibly play out in any positive way. And you're just grabbing at anything, and maybe you feel like Whack a Mole. Like you finally see some light, and then you get shoved back down. And I want everyone to kind of think about those moments, because our stories today are about people who are in these very heavy, destitute, 'I don't know how it's going to work' experiences.
And you know, I remember mine, when I was single, and I was, I think I was in my 30s. And I remember how destitute I'd felt. I was so depressed, though, that I can remember praying to Heavenly Father: 'I could be such a better missionary in the spirit world than the life I'm living here. Like, if You could take me I would, I would gladly leave.' And now I'm recognizing that was suicidal ideation and all these thoughts, but it was so heavy, and it was so destitute, and you just get to that point sometimes in your life where you're like, I don't know how I'm gonna get out of this. And that's what's so beautiful about today's story, is that there is always a way out, because it is "Jehovah is my God" And so we jump into 1 King 17 and there are three people who feel this deep sense of depletion and destitution.
So the first thing I want us to do is just quickly mark their names. And we have in 1 Kings chapter 17, we've already marked the name, Elijah. Now, Elijah, actually, he's so upset about what Jezebel and Ahab are doing, that he actually calls a famine on the land. He shuts the heavens and causes there to be no more rain, no more food. But he's kind of out of luck, because now he doesn't have any food. And so he says to the Lord, what am I going to do? And the Lord says, Okay, just go hang out by this brook and I'm going to send a raven every day to feed you. And so that's what happens in verse 4.
Sandy Bacon 18:17
Now that's a good story.
Right? I don't know that I would take food from a Raven's beak.
Sandy Bacon 18:20
Oh, you would, you would.
And so he's doing this every day. And so we have in verse 5, that Elijah went and did, according to the Word of the Lord. How awesome. But then the raven stopped bringing him food, and the brook dried up - there was nothing left for him to drink. This famine lasts so far up to this point for three years and six months. You can read that in Luke 4:25-26. This wasn't just a couple of months, this was a three-year feeling of destitution and sadness. So he walks into this city called Zarephath. In verse 9, the Lord says,
17:9 "Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongs to Zidan, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee."
Highlight 'widow woman'. And this widow woman needs food. And the one thing that she then tells us later on about her being a widow is that she has a son. So we have a widow woman, Elijah, and her son,. And in the next segment, we're going to tell their story.
Segment 3 19:15
So let's go to 1 Kings chapter 17. And Sandy, will you please read for us verses 10-12.
Sandy Bacon 19:23
10 "So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.
11 "And as she was going to fetch it, he called her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand.
12 "And she said, As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die."
Oh my goodness, let's talk about the widow. Okay. What do you think about her after reading these three?
Sandy Bacon 20:09
I love this moment. It reminded me of like "The Titanic", when the old couple like, gets in the bed and they just like cuddle up. They're like, we're just gonna spoon to the bottom of the ocean. She's like, I am going, and I'm going to prepare this last meal. We're going to eat it. We're going to cuddle up and spoon and like starve to death. So that's what it reminds me of.
Thanks, James Cameron.
Yeah, exactly. Well it's so fascinating because she's a widow. I mean, think about this: Of all the people in the village - you walk into this village, you're starving - the last person you're going to ask for food from is a widow. She has no way to provide for herself. There is no way she could get a job to buy food. You would think that the Lord would send the prophet to the richest man in the village who's going to have food? Isn't that interesting that he chooses the least likely person?
Sandy Bacon 21:01
But she might be the least likely financially. There's no way she's the least likely spiritually. She's alone, she has a child; she literally is on the last meal, she knows they're going to die. You can imagine the prayer, the hope, the angst, the spiritual hunger to reach out to a higher being - to God, and to plead for help. And when you are open in that way, you can be receptive to things that you are not receptive to when everything's all right.
Emmy Porter 21:42
It struck me as I was rereading these chapters in preparation, he sent a raven to feed him before. This isn't for Elijah. If he was just hungry and God needed him fed so he could do God's work, God could send another bird. He could give him food anyway, anyhow. I think this is more for the widow. And he opened this door for her, not for Elijah, but it's for the widow.
That's great insight Emmy and how interesting is it in verse 12, where it says, "As the Lord thy God liveth". Like she's saying, as your God lives, which kind of implies by many scholars that she was not a believer. Remember, she is in this village where people have been worshiping Baal. She has been in the thick of that wife, or at least with a people who have believed that way. And so here she is saying, 'As the Lord thy God, liveth, I will do this for you. And then we're going to die.' It's just fascinating to hear her wording in there. I love this. Okay, so let's find out then what happens. So let's go into verse 13. And we'll each take a turn reading verses 13-16. And Emmy we'll start with you, and we'll go Emmy, Sandy, me.
Emmy Porter 22:55
13 "And Elijah said unto her, fear not; go and do as thou has said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.
Sandy Bacon 23:07
14 "For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth."
Do you love that promise? Oh, okay. Do it and then you're gonna have so much flour and oil, you'll never ever run out. I'm wondering if she's like, You're crazy. Yeah, I can't even, what? you know. And I, in my mind, I'd be like, Oh, does that mean, I'm going to have to then, you know, have my garden and you're just, I'm gonna have to produce it on my own? Like, she can't even, I don't even know if she knows what this means. I'll never waste?
15 "And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days." And then verse 16,
Emmy Porter 23:52
16 "And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Elijah."
Why do you think it worked?
Sandy Bacon 24:03
Emmy Porter 24:04
Total faith, even in a God that she didn't maybe know or believe in? She went and did.
Emmy, I like how you said she went and did. You know there is something so cool about this story, and it's all the action words. So grab another color of highlighter if you have one and I'm going to call out the verse and I want you guys to yell out the action words. So we're going to start with verse 5. This is Elijah. What's the action words there?
Emmy Porter 24:28
Went and did again,
Sandy Bacon 24:29
Very good. Now, verse 10, what's the action word?
Sandy Bacon 24:34
arose and went.
Highlight that, then we go to verse 11. What's your action word there?
Emmy Porter 24:39
Sandy Bacon 24:40
Going. I don't know, praying too.
Oh, I like that. Yes, going to fetch and then 'I pray thee'. Oh, that's a, hold on. I hadn't marked that. Then verse 13, what do we have?
Sandy Bacon 24:52
Fear not, go and do.
Emmy Porter 24:54
go and do again.
There it is. And then verse 15, it's what you said Emmy. She went and did. Now tell me about this. Going back to the stories that you both shared, did one of these action words, or how do action words play into the result, the end result of your story? Did you go and do, what resolved your problem?
Sandy Bacon 25:14
I did not know you were going to ask this in this way. But I swear that I was given action words every single day. During this trial during this seven months. I did not know what to do, and I am a doer. I want to fix the problem and I couldn't. And every morning, I got down on my knees and I stayed there until I felt like I knew what Heavenly Father was telling me to do. Right away, I was told, Allow your kids to feel how they're feeling, which goes against , I mean, that sounds bad to say it goes against my nature. But my nature is to say like, Okay, you guys, this happened, now pull up your bootstraps, and we're gonna move on, and blah- blah-blah. No, my kids needed to like mourn what was happening, and to process that it might mean another move. And I was told very clearly: Let them do that.
And then after that, I kept coming with ideas every day. What if I do this? Okay, what if I go get a job? What if I do this? What if we did to, to, to do, and I was told, Keep things as normal as possible. Just stop trying to fix it. Just keep things normal; that's the best thing you can do for your family. Every day I got down on my knees and pled, pled for direction, pled "Please tell me what to do today." And every day, if I waited long enough, I was told, Be patient. Be patient. And even though be patient may sound like you're being pushed off, it wasn't. It was an action. It was something I was supposed to do that day. For that day I was supposed to be patient.
And we got about 5 1/2 months into what was a 7-month process, and all of a sudden, one day as I was kneeling, I had such a distinct thought, Get ready, it's coming. And when it happens, it's going to be fast. And from that moment to the time we had sold our house and moved and Greg had gotten a new job, it was 6 weeks!
Sandy Bacon 27:47
So I relied, I needed those action words every single day. And God gave them to me.
Emmy Porter 27:57
Oh, Sandy. That's a great example and story of those words in your life. Wow. Thank you for sharing that. Emmy, what about you?
Emmy Porter 28:06
There was a constant, like Sandy said, a constant prayer of how can I do this? 'I can't do this' was usually my prayer. What are You going to do for me? What can You give me? And my prayer usually was, Send us help, help me to find help, and expecting that. And it was interesting. The answer I got now looking back, was to simply go and do. And so I hadn't really thought of it until we went through this. And then you asked that question. I went, that was my answer over and over and over again, was just to go and do. Like I said, I never got the answers I wanted. I never got all the people we needed. I never got things to go smoothly.
But every time, it was just, Get up and go do. Just get to church and do; go and do, go and do, go and do. And I realized that after doing that, and just kind of what I thought was following the motions and just kind of swims - treading to stay afloat, was actually God answering my prayers. And He made it possible for me to do the things that I would have never thought myself capable of doing. That now looking back when it was over, I would never give up that opportunity because I, what I learned and how close I came to God through that by doing those just simple go and do, go and do, go and do, He made me better and stronger and made things possible that I know without a doubt I could not have done on my own.
Wow. Excellent. Both of you. That was such a powerful discussion taken from 1 Kings 17. We have this great story about this widow woman: go and do, went and did, and that really is the answer. We always talk about faith without works is dead, but I really liked this quote. It is from Elder Dallin H Oaks. Sandy, will you read this, please.
Sandy Bacon 30:07
"Faith without works is dead. But then he added: works without faith is even deader."
And I think for me when I was going through my depression, I remember falling asleep that night thinking, If You take me now I'd be fine. Really, I could be such a better missionary than a seminary teacher. And I woke up alive that morning. And then I just put on my dress and I went to work and taught seminary, and then thought, what more could I do? And I had the thought, Go volunteer at the temple, which is so crazy, like. And then I called them and said, I'd like to volunteer in the baptistry. And they said, Good, the only position we have open is at 5am. Uh, can I get back to you on that? But I took it. Oh my gosh, I used to lay in bed at night, the night before, on a Friday night. And I would do my hair and my makeup. And I would pray that I wouldn't roll around so that I could just wake up, go straight to the temple, and it worked.
I love this idea of going and doing; it's what it's all about. And yes, faith without works is dead. But then if you're working without the faith, it is even deader. The work you're doing should be showing your faith for the Lord. And I did that for several years. And guess what, I didn't get married. But that's okay. It made the situation I was in so much better. And that's what God does for us. It doesn't necessarily mean we get what we pray for. And Sandy, you had to move your family, and that's not what you wanted to do. And so I just think it's amazing how God still though, hears our prayers and works it out in the best possible way for all of us. And so I'm just intrigued with this story. And I'm so much loving the stories that both of you shared, because I want us to think about: the Lord chose a widow.
And I love, Sandy, what you taught us about why He chose her, of all the things. And you're right, Emmy. He could have just sent another bird, but He didn't. And so I want everyone listening to kind of just think right now, why is the Lord choosing you? You're right, the Lord could have chosen anyone else to be Primary President, Emmy. But your experience taught us that He made you better and stronger and more faithful. And so kind of think that and tuck that in the back of your heads for those of you who are going through your moment. Why is the Lord choosing you? And what is He going to do with your experience? Because Elijah was sent to this widow and the Lord knew that the good that would come from her witness. And so we're going to talk about another story with the widow and the witness of that miracle in the next segment.
Here's one of the things that I love about God. It's a one and done situation, right? Like you have one trial, and then you never have to go through another one. Is that how it works?
Sandy Bacon 32:34
Oh, for sure. For sure, yeah. I checked math and we're good to go.
Emmy Porter 32:39
I have the one story to share and that's it.
Oh, my gosh! Yeah. And I knew that's why I was like, can you just, yeah, just the one story that you had in your life. I mean, why? Why do we, why are we given more? Because it would be nice if we could have a one and done.
Sandy Bacon 32:50
I mean, yes. Especially in the moment, it would be nice if we could have a one and done. But honestly, when you look back at those times, and you think about the lessons you learned, and you think about the way you were stretched and you grew. I mean, every single thing that I thought of when you asked us would be we, would we be willing to share a story when I thought, what about this situation, what did I learn? What was that like? Oh, that was a really good one. That was a hard one. Oh, what about this? Oh, gosh, I learned so much there. Okay, that could be a good one. Oh, what about this? Oh, yeah, that was, I mean, and so along with the trial comes the outcome, the growth, the stretching, the change. And even though you don't want it to be true in the moment of the trial, that it is necessary for growth and change. Whoa, it is!
Emmy Porter 33:01
Yeah. SO much. There, it's exactly what you said. There are so many blessings and so much growth that came through all of those that I can't imagine life without those. It would almost be boring and simple. You know, it's like when you run out of Netflix shows and there's nothing else to watch because you've hit them all. I want, that's boring. I like change. I like new. And so these trials as hard as they are in the moment, they seem to make life better. That when it's over, I look back and just think, Oh, we are at a better spot. I feel better. I feel stronger. I feel more connected to God, to my husband, to my kids. I would never give those up.
Right. Never. Well, the widow of Zarephath - so she's eaten, her belly is full, right? Her oil and her flour has not ended and they're not going to and it's so nice. And then we have the story that continues with her in verse 17. Let's read verses 17 and 18. And Sandy, will you read those for us. We're gonna continue the widow's story.
Sandy Bacon 34:51
17 "And it came to pass after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick; and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him.
18 "And she said unto Elijah, what have I to do with thee, O thou man of God? art thou come unto me to call my sin to remembrance, and to slay my son?"
Now, how might this have been a challenge for her faith?
Sandy Bacon 35:20
Oh, I mean, I mean, it's the ultimate challenge, right? She's, she's, she's saying to him, I mean, was this the purpose? You came here and tested me in this way and I thought I passed the test, just to really be told I'm not enough? I am a sinner? and now my son's being taken. Like was this all some like crazy, twisted, like test? Like a reprimand? Was this some crazy reprimand?
Oh, I like how you summed that up.
Emmy Porter 35:51
Yeah. Well you think of she's a widow, she's already lost her husband, who knows what other people in her tribe are still left? She's run out of food, she doesn't have a lot of options. And now her one possession, her one love, her person, her son is about to be taken? That is, I imagine that feeling - if you are taking all that I have.
Yeah, so awesome. Let's then let's read what happens then in the story. And we'll pick up with verse 19. And we just have to read the verses 19-24; we'll each take a turn because it's just, I just love the wording in these verses. So we'll start with you, Emmy, and again, Emmy, Sandy, and me.
Emmy Porter 36:33
19 "And he said unto her, Give me thy son. And he took him and out of her bosom and carried him up into a loft, where he abode, and laid him upon his own bed.
Sandy Bacon 36:44
20 "And he cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord, my God, hast thou also brought evil upon the widow with whom I sojourn, by slaying her son?
21 "And he stretched himself upon the child three times, and cried unto the Lord, and said, O Lord, my God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again.
Emmy Porter 37:05
22 "And the Lord heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived.
Sandy Bacon 37:11
23 "And Elijah took the child and brought him down out of the chamber into the house and delivered him unto his mother: and Elijah said, See, thy son liveth."
Sandy, tell me why that makes you so emotional.
Sandy Bacon 37:14
Oh, I just, it's this powerful moment. And imagining this mother waiting downstairs. Elijah takes him up, he doesn't do it in front of her. And she's downstairs, and he's like, let me take this child upstairs. And I'm sure this is not like a well-insulated house, she can hear what's happening. She can hear him praying over her son. And then I'm sure she can hear him coming back downstairs. And just that anticipation and waiting as a mother. It just is like gut-wrenching to me. And I think what a beautiful moment of for this mother as her child is brought back to her. And she gets to witness the power of the priesthood, the power of God, in a like, perfect, beautiful way in her life. And it goes back to answer that question to her like, Was this just some crazy way to tell me how bad I am? And the answer is no, no, it was not. In fact, here's a crazy way to tell you how much I love you.
Emmy Porter 38:32
Oh, I love that.
I got to write that down. At the very beginning, when I talked about the word faith, and how we can get everything so fast, and everything is immediate. And then I talked about how even when they have those moments that are uncomfortable and uncertain, we don't like them. And so we try to do whatever we can to fill that space. And so we whatever it is, for me, it's a nap, it's a show, or whatever. I don't want to be uncomfortable. And Sandy, you hit the nail on the head when you said that that mom who was waiting, and as any parent has waited to find out if a child is well, it's an eternity. It is so uncomfortable. And you just wonder - was she pacing the floor? Was she knitting? Was she praying? Was she sobbing? Like, what did that uncomfortable space look like for her? And what did she do with that time while she waited to see what happened with her son?
And I think sometimes we get caught up in this idea - Satan wants us to think it shouldn't be uncomfortable. And there shouldn't be a moment where we don't have answers. And this is the beautiful example of her not having the answer at all and hoping with all of her heart that it would work out, but not sure if it would. And she's putting all of her trust in faith - in this prophet, and in God. And again, going back to that, the name of Elijah - "Jehovah is my God" - and that will be the result of this miracle. Look at verse 24. She says, "And the woman said unto Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in thy mouth is truth." We went from verse 12, on the other side where she says, "As the Lord thy God liveth". to Now she's saying, he's my God, too.
Sandy Bacon 40:06
Yeah. And I just really quick, Tammy, I wanted to say, I can never read the scriptures the same. After you teaching me, I see these little things and I think, Oh, thanks, Tammy. But back in verse 21 where he stretches himself upon the child three times, and I think, three, that triplicate, that like, and he prays, and I mean, we have significance to that in our lives right now. We have significance to that in the temple. I feel like there are moments where we cry out to the Lord. And I love that he does that three times, because you can see with all of his might, with everything he has he begs for the soul of this child to come back.
Yeah. Absolutely. And if we even take the idea, I mean, all the action words in these verses, and they're different this time. He takes, he cries, he stretches. I mean, he hears. Isn't that awesome now when we take those words into our, who can't relate to that, to take to cry, to be stretched. Ohh. And then to finally hear, it's beautiful. And the son lives. Now, something neat about this is when we ask the question, Why do we think the Lord chose this widowed woman? And why is the Lord choosing you? And Emmy I like how you taught us it's to make us stronger and better. There's reasons for all of the trials that we go through.
Something that I thought was so fascinating about this story was that according to Jewish Midrash, they believe that this woman is actually the mother of the future Jonah, the Prophet. That this boy right here is Jonah. Isn't that fascinating that this little boy whose life will be spared, who will see the miracle with the oil and the meal, will then be called as a prophet? And then I think, why is the Lord choosing you? I mean, who are we in this room right now, and who are we listening, who are we preparing for? I just think that our influence is outnumbered. It's not just within the walls of your home. But there are women who are single, who are listening, and men who are single. And you better believe your influence of going and doing and crying and searching and stretching will be felt by so many people. It's powerful.
Emmy Porter 42:23
It's so awesome. I was noticing Tammy with your action words. It seems to me - and maybe this is just a lesson I needed - but the beginning they're going and doing. It's more of the physical actions: go gather, go, cook, go make, go get. And then the end, it's prayed, call to me, cry to me, listen to me. And I just think, I think sometimes I do it in reverse, where I come to God and I just say, Give me the answers. Show me what I need to do. And I think to me, like I say, maybe it's just a lesson to me that I need to go and do my part. And then bring it, include Him in that, but do my part first before I expect God to do His part.
That's powerful Emmy. Absolutely. Wow, thank you for sharing that. It's one of the best stories about faith -it just re-instills faith in me. I love it. I love it. So thank you for your answers. That was such a really incredible discussion. Again, the spirit is so strong, like everything you guys have said is truth. And it is so cool. And I love what we found out about this story that maybe we didn't know before we met. This has been so - that's why we do this - it's awesome. So we're gonna discover another amazing moment in the life of Elijah in the next segment, and I can't wait to show you what the story is.
Segment 5 43:46
I have to play the sound again. And tell me who it's going to introduce.
Here comes Ahab
Here comes Ahab and Jezebel. You're totally right. All right. Turn with me to 1 Kings 18:3-4. We've got these two and boy are they in cahoots! And we, boy, they are naughty. Gosh, these two. Okay, here's what's going on in 1 Kings 18:3-4. Emmy, will you read those verses for us.
3 "And Ahab called Obadiah, which was the governor of his house. (Now. Obadiah feared the Lord greatly:
Emmy Porter 44:24
4 "For it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the Lord, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by 50 in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.)"
This is not Obadiah the prophet that we're going to read about later on when we get to the prophets in the Old Testament. Obadiah was a very common name at this time. So this is a man who was Ahab's chief steward, but he feared the Lord greatly. He was a good man who worked for a wicked king. And so Jezebel sought to kill all the prophets; Obadiah took it upon himself to hide the - don't kill the prophets. Now. Obadiah meets up with Elijah in verse 7, and I think this verse is really powerful because Obadiah knows who he is. It says that "he fell on his face." And he said, "Art thou my lord Elijah?" Like, are you the prophet Elijah? And then Elijah says to him in verse 8 "I am." And then he says, "go, tell thy Lord," (who would be Ahab. So he's telling Obadiah, Go tell your Lord Ahab.) "Behold, Elijah is here." Now. Obadiah freaks out. Overdose's like
Sandy Bacon 45:26
I love this part.
Tell me about it, Sandy. Why do you love it?
Sandy Bacon 45:29
Oh, I just think it's so funny. He's like, Uh, yeah. So you have a really good way of not being where you are supposed to have been seen. And if I go tell him that I saw you, and then he says, "He's not there?" He's gonna kill me. Yeah. So I don't know that this is the best idea.
I love it. I just, totally, I hoped you would have shared that story. Yeah. 'I'm not sure you're making the best decision here.' But what does Elijah say?
Sandy Bacon 45:56
He says, 'I promise, I will be here when he comes to get me like, I promise I will show up so that you do not get killed.'
Yep. And he is good on his word. So Ahab meets up with Elijah in verse 17. And I just think it's fabulous what Ahab says to him, 'Are you the one that's troubled Israel?' Never mind that they have, with all their false gods and what they've been making their people go through? He's like, Oh, you're the one that caused the famine. You're the one that's caused all this stuff. And Elijah's answer in 18, Emmy, read that.
Emmy Porter 46:30
18 "And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim."
And in verse 18, where he says, "and thou hast followed Baalim, that's the theme that we've learned at the very beginning of the year. That's how you would take a Hebrew word and make it plural. So he's saying you have followed other gods, we've talked about the God of Baal. Now, it's Baalim, like multiple gods, false gods that all the people who are following. So now we're going to have sort of a 'prophet-off', if you will.
Sandy Bacon 47:03
This is the greatest story about whose prophet is the best, whose God is the best. I'm going back to what Janise Johnson taught us, I just love how she said that, that the Old Testament will just be this constant battle of whose God is the best God. And so Elijah comes up with this incredible idea now. Okay, so I asked Emmy and Sandy if they would help me tell this story, because it's such a good story. So Sandy is going to take verses 24-29, and set this story up, and then Emmy will finish it for us. So hit it, what is this 'challenge of the gods?'
Sandy Bacon 47:34
Okay, I love this. He says, Alright, here's what we're going to do: we're going to set this all up and we're going to have the same supplies. And we're going to gather all of these supplies. And I'm actually going to let you pick first so that no one could ever say, Oh, I took the good stuff, and you took the bad stuff. And we're going to get this bullock and we're going to cut it up, and we're going to put it on the altar, and we're gonna see whose god can light this on fire. And so they're, they're doing that. He's like I said, he lets him go first in verse 25. And in 26 they dress it, they put it on there. And then the people are calling unto Baal.
And it I love how it says in 26, "But there was no voice, nor any that answered." And so then they start like really going kind of crazy at the end of 26: they're jumping on the altar. In 27, I love 27. It says Elijah mocks them. You know, I can imagine this kind of like schoolyard like, like, Oh, where's your God now? What's Where's the fire you've been talking about? And you know, they're just kind of going crazy. And he's saying, Well, maybe he's sleeping, maybe, maybe you can't wake them up. Try, try louder. And they start like cutting themselves and, you know, bleeding and doing all of these crazy things. But nothing happens.
Yeah. Oh, great description. Way to tell that story. It's so good. And I did, I laughed so hard with Elijah mocking - the schoolyard mocking - maybe your gods asleep? Go wake him up. I mean, you wouldn't. It's so good. Okay, so nothing happens. Crickets are chirping, the altar did not catch on fire. Nothing burned. And now, Emmy, tell the story in verses 30-39. What happened with Elijah?
Emmy Porter 49:25
Hey, so it looks like it's at the end of the day. He had let them have all day to call on their god and to make it work up to this evening, ritual time. And so it's Elijah's turn. And he calls the people all around him and says, Hey, come gather. I'm going to try now. Elijah gets 12 stones, it says to represent the 12 tribes of Israel and he builds an altar in the name of the Lord. But he doesn't stop there. He gets his altar built, and then he builds a trench around it, all around the altar. And it says it's big enough for two measures of seed, you probably know this better. From what I could find. It said not just to like pour in two measures of seed, because that would not be a big trench. It was enough that you could sow, plant, and harvest two measures of seeds. So this is a big trench.
Emmy Porter 50:23
from what, from what I could find. That's what seems to be a kind of accepted understanding of that measurement. And then he gets the wood on the altar, he cuts up the bullock, he lays it on the wood. But he doesn't stop there. He then tells the people, Okay, go get four barrels, fill them full of water. And I want you to come and pour it all over my sacrifice, all over the wood, all over the sacrificial meat, and then do it again. And then do it again. So after three times, they have poured so much water, that the wood and the meat is soaked. And the trenches, this huge trench that they built and dug is completely full of water. The time of evening sacrifice, Elijah comes near, and he calls out in verses 36 and 37. He says to the lord of God, the
36 "....Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word.
37 "Hear me, O Lord, hear me, that this people may know that thou (Jehovah) art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their hearts back again."
And I like, to me kind of in that prayer, he mocked 'em earlier, he teased them, he taunted them about their God, and kind of called out what was happening. But this prayer, to me seemed a little more humble in the sense of, You are God. It is Your power. I am just Your servant, and I pray that this will happen - not to prove that I'm right, not to prove that my God is the best, but to give these people a chance to turn their hearts, to repent and come back to You.'
And so I kind of liked that phrasing there of almost giving them an out where they aren't just finding out that they're wrong. But it's giving them a chance to come back to the true right God, and to acknowledge Him again. So after the prayer, fire of the Lord falls down from the heavens, totally burns the sacrifice, the altar, the stones. It says even the dust, and it licks up all of the water in the trenches. So all around, everybody who saw falls down to the ground and acknowledges, crying out: "The Lord, He is the God; the Lord, He is the God."
Sandy Bacon 52:55
I loved that, I loved in 39, where it has that, like, He IS the God. He IS the God. Like, that's how I heard it in my mind. We totally had it wrong. I love that.
Emmy Porter 53:14
That's a great way to read it. It changes the meaning, or not the meaning, but the way that you see them perceiving. You kind of get that click in their minds of Oh.
Yeah. Well, and especially when we connect that. I like the way you read that, Sandy, because now I'm connecting it back to verse 21. Before the whole miracle occurred, Elijah, in front of all the people said to them, he called out and said, How long shall ye be between two opinions? Like, how long are you going to try and be between either serving the god of Baal, or the God of Israel? I mean, what does that mean? How do you interpret that? Isn't that a great statement: How long will you be between two opinions? How do you interpret that in the world today?
Emmy Porter 53:55
Oh, I think that happens all the time. I mean, I think we have maybe certain topics within the gospel or certain areas where we think well, I mean, I'm not sure exactly how I feel about that. And I'm going to kind of ride the fence. I'm not going to pick a side on this. I'm just going to, I'm just going to try to be in neutral ground. And you know, going back to like doctrinal mastery, scriptural mastery: can't serve two masters, right? And so he's saying you're going to have to pick. How long are you going to ride this fence and not actually be dedicated to anything? Because you can't fully be dedicated to someone when you're not standing on their side, Fully.
Oh, yeah. So choose who you're going to be dedicated to. Is Jehovah your God, just like Elijah's name is and we've said that throughout. is Jehovah your God? So good, Sandy. What do you think Emmy?
Emmy Porter 54:56
I had that similar thought, just kind to what's my focus each day, as simple as just looking at on a day-to-day basis. But who am I choosing that day? Am I going to choose God and let my actions be to serving Him? And what I choose to watch and listen and bring into my life and into my mind? Am I choosing God? Or am I choosing what the world's putting out there and what they tell me I should be focusing on? I think it's easy sometimes to say that we are committed members of the church. And that's our belief, but our actions in our day-to-day life is, like Sandy said, just kind of riding the fence and riding along with what everybody else is doing. And so you can, you know, say that this is my God, but am I really choosing Him and making Him a part of my day? Are my actions again, coming back to those action words, where are my action words taking me?
Oh, Emmy, I really like that. In fact, I'm thinking right now, like, where are my action words taking me? There are plenty of times, checking in this verse now, like, there are plenty of times when am I in between two opinions when it comes to what I'm watching? Or viewing? And thinking? I probably shouldn't be watching this, probably not the most appropriate thing. Oh, my gosh, I'm really glad you applied it to that, because you just called me out. And I know that.
We all think that.
I know that there are seeing, there are times when I'm watching something, and then the Spirit's like, You shouldn't be watching this. And then I'm like, but I'm a grown-up and I'm fine, I can handle it. And then now I'm going to see that line all the time. 'Well, how long are you going to be between two opinions then, Tam? And let's see how well that works out for you.' Oh, my gosh, that was so good. It's totally me! It's totally me. Okay, that was an awesome discussion. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Because now at the end of this incredible miracle, and the people, I just love it, say it again, Sandy. Verse 39 - How did you hear it?
Sandy Bacon 56:57
I heard it, "The Lord, He IS the God . The Lord, He IS the God.
Yes, He IS the God. And the people believe that and they join with Elijah, but not for long. And then we get the whole story. And boy, Jezebel comes back into the picture. And she is not having it, she is furious, that Elijah, at Elijah because in verses 40-46, he has all the prophets killed - all the false prophets, I should say. All of the prophets of Baalim are killed. And Jezebel is so mad that she is then seeking and she is going to kill Elijah. So in the next segment, we'll find out if she gets to do it.
Segment 6 57:36
So let's just jump into 1 Kings chapter 19. And Jezebel is fit to be tied. And so she wants to have Elijah killed. So Elijah flees,, he's got to get out. He's got to go hide and find somewhere where he can be safe. And so he does in verse 4.
4 He goes "a day's journey into the wilderness, and he came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.
Describe how he is feeling right there.
Sandy Bacon 58:09
Yeah, he's you laying on the bed.
Emmy Porter 58:10
Yes, exactly. That's what I was going to say.
Sandy Bacon 58:13
Like, just take me I'll be better in the spirit world. I'm not better than the people who came before me that have died. Right? Like it's my time. Go ahead and take me.
Emmy Porter 58:22
I've done what I can do.
Yes. It's been a fun run. It's interesting to read this verse from a prophet. Just this utter discouragement. I mean, everything's worked out for him up to this point, you would he think he would just say to the Lord, 'Okay, what's next? Where should I go?' But he's done, he's tired. He's overwhelmed, and he just wants to be done. And then verse 5-8 the Lord provides miracles, the Lord provides him with food and nourishment that he's gonna need for this - a total in verse 8 - of 40 days and 40 nights. And it says he's on Mount Horeb. And Mount Horeb is Mount Sinai. It's another name for Mount Sinai. So this the miracle's on Mount Sinai. And it's just so incredible to me that all of this, this experience and everything that we've talked about today, my question: Were either of you nourished in your discouragement, in your time that was so devastating?
Sandy Bacon 59:19
Oh, Tammy, I 100% was nourished during this time. I was talking to Greg when I was asking him, could I use this personal story that's really in large part about him? And he was telling me yes. And I was describing the feeling of searching for the miracle and realizing after the fact that it wasn't him getting a job. We didn't get to stay in Indiana, the kids didn't get to stay where they were comfortable and happy. All of that had to change. But during this time, during this 7 months, there was literally never one day where I was not given the ability to discern the spirit.
Every single day I stayed on my knees until I could hear in my mind the words of God speaking to me. And I have never had a time like that in my life. I've never had this stretch where I felt so close and so nourished through the sorrow, through the destitution, through the pain, through the uncertainty, there was no doubt in my mind that God was right there with me, because He literally let me hear Him every single day. And looking back, it feels so loving and so fatherly to me, like a child who is saying, like, Is it Christmas, is it Christmas? Like, is Greg gonna get a job today? Is there something I'm supposed to be doing? Like, are we there yet? Are we there yet? And every day, I'm saying like, be patient, be patient, be patient, be patient. I'm right here beside you. I've got you, be patient.
And in the end, the miracle was the love and the companionship. And the reality that just like the widow, who asks, in this moment, like, is this what this is all about? Am I being punished? Is something wrong? Has something happened? And then the end answer is No. Through this series of miracles, through this realization that I'm right here with you, you'll realize I'm here to show you I love you. I'm right here, and I have never left you and, and that is a miracle. And when I look back at that time, that is what I feel. I don't feel the destitution anymore. I feel the miracle of God's love in my life. This Fatherly beautiful love.
That's incredible, incredible. Thank you, Sandy. What about you Emmy, did you feel, have you ever felt nourished in your discouragement?
Emmy Porter 1:02:12
Completely. I realized, especially after cuz I said through the process, I never felt alone. But I felt like I was just going through the motions, that I was just doing the bare minimum to stay afloat. But I also felt like that was okay, that that's what I needed to do right then was just enough to keep it going. But when that was towards the end, there wasn't like this big moment of, Oh, I see why I was in here because I was able to do this or this. I don't think it was because of something I can do. I think it was because of what I learned. And what I learned was that God never left me alone.
I realized that there was things in there that physically I could not have done. I could not have met all the needs that were on me right then in that calling and at home, at my kids' school, all of it. I was not alone. God was with me that entire time and made possible what really on paper was impossible. And I had, that was such a strength and a testimony to me. That I look going forward, I just feel when a challenge comes up it's such a strength and a comfort to have had that experience that I just remember, I'm not alone. If I do and include God in my, in the process and in each step, He is not going to leave me. What he taught me, what he strengthened me, the love He helped me to see for the children of the primary. That learning to see others through His eyes and to focus on people and what really matters rather than on logistics and on the practicalities.
And the things that I think we tend to get tied up a lot in of like, oh, I don't want to do that. But how am I gonna get this done? And I've got to do this and don't you realize I'm also doing this, this, this and this, and I'm gonna have, everything we tend to focus on God helped me to realize just love the children, just love My people, and I will make it possible. And that's been a huge, I've said that's something I've carried since that time that has strengthened me in other aspects and other trials that have come up.
Thank you Emmy. You know, what was so cool is that each one of us have had our own story with a feeling destitute, depleted and discouraged. And we each had our own answer or resolve, in that the lesson that we learned was so unique to each one of us. And I love that you both shared what your experience was and what your story is, and what lesson you learned. Because then I'm thinking about mine and here I am, the only thought that came to me was volunteering at the temple - 5am in the Baptistry. And I'm folding towels, that's all I did. I didn't do anything fancy. But I'm looking back at that time in my life. And I just, for me, as a single woman, I just needed to feel needed. And the Lord knew that.
And anyone who's struggling with suicidal ideation, that's actually a truth - that they need to feel needed. And you're supposed to help give them jobs or assignments or ask them to volunteer. I mean, I've learned that later in life. But I didn't know that but God knew that. And so He just says, volunteer at the Baptistry. And for the first time, I felt needed. Every Saturday morning at 5am I just felt like nothing can, you know what? They need me to fold those towels; no one else is going to get it done. So I'm super important to the process of baptizing for the dead. But I got to go into the House of the Lord every Saturday morning, and it was so quiet. And I had really cool experiences just standing there folding towels. And I, I learned that the Lord loved me, through that moment. And I learned that the Lord will nourish me in my discouragement and He has continually throughout my life.
And so how awesome that the Lord caters these moments of discouragement, these moments of destitution for the lessons that each one of us needs to learn. And I think that's what's so cool about how the God works, and how He loves us. Because I just love, Sandy, how you said, Here's my crazy way to tell you that I love you. And that has been manifest throughout today's stories. So that is awesome. So thank you. Thank you ladies, that is the end of our discussion. Now listen, we could go on because, you know, 1 Kings chapter 19 is really cool. It's the part where the Lord tells Elijah in verse 11, go forth. I'm gonna take care of you.
And then you get the classic scripture mastery scripture, where the Lord speaks to Elijah, and He doesn't speak to him in an earthquake. And He doesn't speak to him in a wind, and verse 12, just mark it. It's a still small voice. That's where we get the wording for it. That's where it comes from, is that He speaks to us in a still small voice. So just highlight that know that. But really, the crux of this discussion has been discussed, and the spirit has been so strong today. So thank you. Thank you, ladies, you're the best.
Sandy Bacon 1:07:19
YOU'RE the best
Emmy Porter 1:07:20
Thank you, we love you!
Oh, I just think it's so cool. Jehovah is my God. Jehovah IS my God, as Sandy would say it. Oh, so great. So take a minute and just gather your thoughts. And what is your takeaway from today? What's something that you learned from Scripture? Or that you'll share with someone, or I don't know
Emmy Porter 1:07:38
What you just said that right there, Tammy, that Jehovah is my God, teaching us what, that that's what Elijah's name means. That's how Elijah is known to everybody, with you know, Hi, how are you? Who are you? I'm Elijah. Oh, Jehovah's your God. And I think what am I doing every day to let my actions tell people that that's who I am. That Jehovah is my God. That I just thought I kind of want to put that like on my badge of walk around. That people that meet me and know me and see what I'm doing, that they're gonna go, Oh, Jehovah is her God. That's who she serves. They're, that's awesome. That's, I want to be Elijah.
Yeah. Oh, that's a great takeaway. Yeah. Now whenever I see Emmy, I'm gonna say: Jehovah is her God. Yeah, that's right. That's so cool. What about you, Sandy?
Sandy Bacon 1:08:38
I think I still have to I just keep coming back to this feeling of how loved we are through our trials, and that the world wants to tell us to feel like we're being punished like this widow felt. Or like, like, we're like, we're not enough or that God doesn't love us. That this is some like, weird, twisted reprimand to life, that somehow we deserve to be hurting. But He is right there with us and we learn so much. And we have these those action words that like Emmy talked about at the end: the stretching, the praying, the pleading, the crying. And as we do that, He listens, He hears, He answers, He walks beside us, and He loves us. And in the end, we are better for having been able to have this measure of His love that is tangible in our lives. And it's just a beautiful, painful process of growth. And, and I'm grateful for it even, even when it's so, so difficult in the moment.
Absolutely. Well, both of you taught me this then, it's a summation of what both of you said. And when Emmy did go through those words, and we learned about those. And then when you said, Sandy, because that's how my God speaks is the same way as yours: 'Hey, here's a crazy way to tell you I love you. Not conventional, not what you expected, but it is going to absolutely manifest my love to you.' And I just think of so many of our brothers and sisters out there who struggle, and you are going through experiences in their life right now where they're like, Are you kidding me? Really? Like, I can't believe I'm going through this now? Or, Why me? Or why my child? Or why my friend or nephew or whatever?
If we can twist that moment and think no, this is just a crazy way to know that God loves us, and then ride it out. Let there be some uncomfort, it's okay. Let there be a moment where you're just unsure, and He will fill that void with love. He just will and He has consistently in the stories that we shared today. So, that was a good day. Wow. Thank you. Gol, I love you guys.
Sandy Bacon 1:10:55
We love too you.
Emmy Porter 1:10:57
Thank you, Bye bye.
Well, 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 join. It's a great place to ask questions throughout the week or post your takeaways or even post things you're learning. So do it. And then at the end of the week on a Saturday, we post a call for your big takeaway. So comment on the post that relates to this lesson and let us know what you learned. You can get to both our Facebook and Instagram by going to our show notes for this episode on LDSliving.com/sundayOnMonday. It's not a bad idea to go there anyway, because that's where we're gonna have the links to the references as well as a transcript of this whole discussion. So go check it out.
The Sunday on Monday Study Group is a Deseret Bookshelf Plus original brought to you by LDS Living. It's written and hosted by me, Tammy Uzelac Hall, and today our brilliant study group participants were Emmy Porter and Sandy Bacon. and you can find more information about my friends at LDS living.com/sunday on Monday. Our podcast is produced by Katie Lambert and me; it is edited by Hailey Higham, and it is recorded and mixed by Mix at Six Studios. And our executive producer is Erin Hallstrom. Thanks for being here. We'll see you next week.
And please remember, if you're feeling destitute, you're God's favorite, and He loves you!