29: "He Trusted in the Lord God of Israel" (2 Kings 17–25)
This week's lesson contains six unnamed women in the Old Testament. Six! That's as many as we'll be covering in detail during this year's special Unnamed Women of the Old Testament series. But in this episode about 2 Kings 2–7, we learn about the adversity some of these women faced and how they performed heroic acts through their faith. Others show us the dire consequences of shutting Christ out of our lives. But all show us the importance of staying on the covenant path and helping others do the same. So grab your scriptures and let’s dig into these powerful stories.
Picture: Tammy’s Drawing of the Division of the Northern and Southern Kingdoms of Israel (see segment one and segment two in the transcript)
1 Kings 11: 28, 43 (Solomon calls Jeroboam to be the new leader and dies)
“The what informs but the why transforms,” (Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Why of Priesthood Service,” April 2012 general conference).
Old Testament Title Page (See for names of prophets of Northern and Southern Israel)
2 Kings 21:13 (The Lord with wipe Jerusalem of evil)
2 Kings 17:22–23 (Assyrian captivity of the Northern Kingdom)
CR: Doctrine and Covenants 110:11
2 Kings 24–25 (Babylonian captivity of the Southern Kingdom)
Saphah = North or dark, gloomy, or hidden
2 Kings 18:1–2 (Hezekiah becomes king)
2 Kings 18:3–8 (He reigns in righteousness)
2 Kings 18:25 (Rab-shakeh addresses the Southern Kingdom)
2 Kings 18:26–27 (Rab-shakeh speaks in Hebrew to intimidate the people)
2 Kings 19:1 (Hezekiah rents his clothes in grief after Rab-shakeh’s speech and goes to the temple)
2 Kings 19:2 (Hezekiah seeks out Isaiah)
2 Kings 19:3 (Israel doesn’t have enough strength to deliver themselves)
2 Kings 19:4 (The Lord will hear Rab-shakeh and help Israel)
2 Kings 19:6–7 (Isaiah prophesizes Israel will be saved)
Rab-shakeh = An office of the Assyrian king
2 Kings 19:32–37 (The Lord heard the prayers of the people and Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled)
2 Kings 20:5–6 (Hezekiah is healed from a sickness and lives 15 more years)
2 Kings 20:21 (Hezekiah dies after 15 years)
2 Kings 20:21 (Manasseh reigns after Hezekiah dies)
2 Kings 21:2, 6, 9 (Manasseh reigns in wickedness)
2 Kings 21:18–19 (Manasseh dies and his son Amon reigns)
2 Kings 21:20–23 (Manasseh reigns in wickedness and is killed by his servants)
2 Kings 21:24 (His son Josiah reigns)
2 Kings 22:2 (Josiah rules in righteousness)
2 Kings 22:3–8 (Josiah reconstructs the temple and finds the book of the law)
2 Kings 22:13 (Josiah asks his servants to inquire of the Lord)
Book of Law = A scriptural outline of temple ordinances and temple teachings that possibly included Deuteronomy 28:36–37. (See “Josiah follows book of the law, walks ‘in the way of David,’ The Church News, July 28, 1990)
2 Kings 22:14 (The servants of Josiah go to Huldah)
2 Kings 22:15,16,18,19 (Huldah says “thus saith the Lord” four times to the servants of Josiah)
2 Kings 22: 19–20 (Huldah says because Josiah was righteous, he will go to his grave in peace)
2 Kings 23: Josiah Reforms
“Who [Josiah] when he had heard them read, rent his garment; and called for Eliakim, the High Priest, and for [Shaphan] the scribe, and for certain [other] of his most particular friends; and sent them to Huldah, the Prophetess, the wife of Shallum: which Shallum was a man of dignity, and of an eminent family' and bid them go to her, and say, that ‘[He desired] she would appease God, and endeavour to render him propitious to them: for that there was cause to fear, lest, upon the transgression of the laws of Moses by their forefathers, they should be in peril of going into captivity, and of being cast out of their own countrey; lest they should be in want of all things, and so end their days miserably,’” (Josephus, “Chapter 4,” Antiquities of the Jews: Book X).
2 Kings 24:1 (Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylonian is introduced)
2 Kings 24:10–11 (Babylonian captivity of the Southern Kingdom begins)
2 Kings 24:17 (Nebuchadnezzar makes his uncle Zedekiah king)
2 Kings 24:19–20 (Zedekiah reigns in wickedness)
CR Scripture Chain:
1 Nephi 1:4 (Lehi was a prophet during the reign of Zedekiah)
Omni 1:14–16 (The people of Zarahemla are identified)
Mosiah 25:2 (The people of Zarahemla are descendants of Mulek)
Helaman 6:10 (Mulek was a son of Zedekiah)
Helaman 8:21–22 (Mulek was the only son of Zedekiah to survive)
2 Kings 25:7 (Zedekiah’s sons are killed)
Growing up, I attended a very rural high school where the basketball coach was also my history teacher. Now not that the two can't coexist, but in my situation, he did not. And as a result, I didn't really learn my history until I had kids and helped them with their homework. I call those years the RE-education of Tammy Uzelac Hall. All of a sudden, I'm like, Wait, what? We landed on the moon.? Okay, just kidding. It's not that drastic, but still. Now, if your biblical history is a little shaky, it won't be after today's discussion. Second Kings chapter 17-25 is the history episode of the Old Testament, where knowing the history makes all the difference to understanding the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, the world we live in today, and your role as we prepare for the Second Coming of Christ. Whew, I know it's a lot.
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. K, 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, and it's going to explain how you can best use this podcast to enhance your Come, Follow Me study, just like my youth conference buddy Katie Corbridge. Hey, lady, and nice job on all the pictures you took. I'm so glad I met you. And I have a special shout out to my friend Quincy Wilde and her mom Jackie Clark, whose birthday is this week. Happy birthday, Jackie, July 12!
Now another awesome thing about our study group is that each week we're joined by two of my friends, so it's a little bit different each week, and today.... Oh, how excited am I to introduce you to Sharon Staples, oldie but a goodie,
Sharon Staples 1:40
Shalom, my friend. And we have Katrina Maxton. All the way from Scotland.
Katrina Maxton 1:49
Hello, everyone. Hello. Nice to be here.
Ah, we are so glad that you're willing to join us again. Because how much do we love Katrina? Seriously, Sharon.
Sharon Staples 1:59
Oh, she is wonderful already.
Katrina Maxton 2:00
Oh, Thank you.
And you probably remember her from last year, she was on an episode that was so good. Anything you want to tell us Katrina? What's it like in Scotland right now? What's the weather?
Katrina Maxton 2:10
Um, we have had our nicest summer day so far. We've had a lot of wind the last two or three weeks and a lot of dry ground. So the farmers are watering already. For Scotland that is very, very unusual. So the ground is quite parched. Our grass out the back, which is usually beautifully green, is starting to go a bit yellow, which is very unusual here. So we're hoping for some rain. What about you?
Sharon Staples 2:40
We're in a drought-like you are only it's extreme. And they're asking us to not water our lawns. So it will go around and to prioritize what we do water. It's going to be in the 90s today and in the 100s this weekend here in good old Draper, Utah. So it's parched like you are there only I think maybe a bunch of worse. Yeah.
Katrina Maxton 3:05
Much, much worse. I can't imagine.
Sharon Staples 3:07
Pray for rain in Draper and pray for rain in Scotland.
Yes, rain all round. We need rain. Yeah, it's a great thing to pray for.
Where's Noah when we need him?
Katrina Maxton 3:16
Oh, I know. We'd get the right ark, wouldn't we?
Yeah. Well, for those of you who would like to see pictures and read more information about my guests, you can find them in our show notes which are at LDS living.com/sundayOnMonday. Okay, 2 weeks ago, Kristen Walker Smith, our guest, she quoted Elder Uchtdorf and she said, "The what informs, the why transforms." And I loved it when she said that. I have not stopped thinking about it because this seems to be the theme as we studied Solomon's temple and we are going to continue with that theme today. So grab your scriptures, your journals. And here's a little new assignment: five colored pencils, and an 8 1/2 by 11 piece of paper. And let's dig in.
Okay, I'm gonna go full-blown Institute style for you right now, I'm going to give you a history that you need to understand in order for us to move on in the Old Testament. So here's what I want you to do. Grab your five colored pencils, or markers, a pen, and an 8 1/2 by 11 piece of paper. Now, if you're wondering, why do we need five colored pencils? Why do we need an 8 1/2 by 11 piece of paper, because this is where we're going to create sort of a history map of the book of 1 Kings and 2 Kings that you have to know. I, in good conscience cannot move on in studying scripture without giving you this historical background. So for those of you that are out running errands and driving, or maybe you're running or riding a bike, just listen. And then when you get home, you can write all this stuff out on an 8 1/2 by 11 piece of paper. You don't want to miss this. It's crucial to understanding everything.
So here's what we're going to do. Take your 8 1/2 by 11 piece of paper and at the top of the page in all capital letters, I just want you to write 'Israel'. That's it. Here's a little background up to this point - David and Solomon, they united all of Israel and Solomon built the temple. We love that. We love them for that. And we talked about that when we were with Kristen and Char. Now, in 1 Kings chapter 11, Solomon, he calls a man to be a leader. And this man's name is Jeroboam. And it says that he is a mighty man of valor. Solomon really likes him. And then in that same chapter, 1 Kings 11:43 Solomon dies. Now, the new leader of the kingdom is not Jeroboam, it's actually Rehoboam, which is Solomon's son. Now, Rehoboam was evil, he did not follow in the footsteps of the Lord or His grandfather, David. He actually begins to increase taxes for slave labor. And he starts to have people enslaved to build the temple.
Well, this Jeroboam is furious, he is not having it. So grab a red marker or a red pencil. And what I want you to do is draw a line horizontally on your paper halfway down and make a sort of zigzag like the page is being ripped in half, or something's being split. It's at this point that because Jeroboam does not want to follow Rehoboam, Jeroboam becomes the leader of the northern kingdom. Israel is split into two kingdoms, Now we have a northern kingdom and the southern kingdom. So right under the name ISRAEL that you put in all caps at the top, I want you to write underneath that, northern kingdom, and then the capital is Samaria. So underneath Israel, right, northern kingdom, and I just put a little star for capital and then wrote Samaria. And the leader of the northern kingdom is Jeroboam. And that's spelled J E R O B O A M.
Now I chose a color for kings. So whenever I write a king's name, I'm going to highlight it or color it and orange is mine. So I wrote Jeroboam in orange. Now, underneath the split, in a color that we were doing the kingdom color, if that's what you want to do, you're going to write southern kingdom of Judah. So we have the northern kingdom, and then the southern kingdom. Southern kingdom of Judah, and then put a little star - the capital of the southern kingdom of Judah is Jerusalem. And the leader of this kingdom at this time now is Rehoboam, that's Solomon's son, and that's spelled R E H O B O A M. So we have these kings, King Jeroboam, King Rehoboam. And neither one of them walked in the ways of the Lord.
In fact, in both kingdoms - this is an interesting thing - each kingdom in the Old Testament will have 20 kings each. So in the northern kingdom, I wrote '20 kings' in orange, and then I put an = sign; every king in the northern kingdom was bad, they all = bad. However, in the southern kingdom, I put '20 kings' again and of the 20 kings in the southern kingdom, 8 were good, and 12 were bad. Now later on today we're gonna talk about some of those good kings, but not right now. But just know, 8 were good, and 12 were bad. Now because these kings were not good and they were not choosing the ways of the Lord, the only thing the Lord could do was He had to send something to help the people. So in the next segment, I'm going to share with you who the Lord sent.
Segment 2 8:24
Okay, now for this next segment, grab another color, because here's who the Lord had to send. He needed to send prophets. And He sent them to both the northern kingdom and the southern kingdom. So I'm going to tell you who these prophets are. Now go to the page at the very front of your Bible that lists all the books of the Old Testament. (you can see how far we've come) We are now in 1st and 2nd Kings. Now, 1st and 2nd Chronicles we are not going to study because it's actually a repeat of 1st and 2nd Kings. It's not even part of the Come, Follow Me lesson. So just know that. And then next week, we're going to do Ezra and Nehemiah and Esther, and that concludes the historical portion of the Old Testament.
Then after that - we kind of wrote this at the beginning of the year - we have the poetry books, and then we have all of the prophets. And you're gonna want to see how to spell their names as I plug in which prophet spoke to which specific kingdom during the historical time of the Old Testament. So here we go. Are you ready for this, you guys?
Sharon Staples 9:20
Yep. Fire away.
Katrina Maxton 9:21
This is so fun for me; like, this makes so much sense. Okay. In the northern kingdom of Israel, here are the Prophets that the Lord sent to warn the people: Elijah and Elisha. And we've already studied their stories, so now you're getting context. K, so they were in the northern kingdom. And then three more: Amos, Jonah, and Hosea. That's Amos, Jonah, and Hosea.
So those are those prophets that the Lord sent to the northern kingdom of Israel. Now, the people in the southern kingdom needed help as well and the Lord sent a few more prophets. So here are the prophets in the southern kingdom: we have Joel, Isaiah, Micah, Nahum, Zephaniah, (you'll probably have to look that one up), we got a ph in there), Zephaniah, Jeremiah.
Now after Jeremiah, I want you to leave a space for another name that I'm going to give you later at the end of this episode, so leave a blank space, even a line so we can go and put his name in there. Then we have Lamentations. Lamentations are Jeremiah's poetic words describing the sad scene of the southern kingdom. It is such a beautiful poem, and I can't wait till we get to discuss it because it's an acrostic poem, and I love acrostic poetry - the proverb of a virtuous woman - acrostic. So it'll be a fun discussion. Then we have Obadiah, and Habakkuk.
Now you might be noticing we did not cover all of the prophets that are listed here in the Old Testament books, but that's okay. We're going to in just a minute, so bear with me. Okay, so the prophets are preaching to the people and we have a major problem. Let's go to 2 Kings 21:13. The Lord has something to say with how the people have treated the prophets. And I want us to think about what He's trying to teach us with this wording, because it's some great imagery. Katrina, will you read 2 Kings 21:13.
Katrina Maxton 11:27
2 Kings 21:13 "And I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria, and the plummet of the house of Ahab: and I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipeth a dish, wiping it, and turning it upside down."
Like, that verse struck me. What do you think the Lord is trying to teach us with that wording?
Katrina Maxton 11:56
Well, my first thought was a bowl wiped out and turned over, there's nothing left. And it can't be refilled. It just sounds so very final.
Ah, I like how you described that.
But my other thought was Heavenly Father has the power to empty out Jerusalem, wipe the people from the land and destroy them. It reminds me when I was a child, and I used to lick my pudding bowel clean. And my mom, my mom would tell me to leave the 'pattern.' But there wouldn't be a 'pattern' left in Jerusalem.
Oh, that's perfect. That is perfect. That's exactly what's happening is the people are not listening to the prophets. And so He's going to wipe the area clean. And the first area He wipes clean is the northern kingdom. So up there in the northern kingdom, in big letters, choose another color. And I want you to write 'Assyrian captivity', Assyrian captivity. And that is in 2 Kings chapter 17; 2 Kings chapter 17 is where the Assyrian captivity takes place. Specifically, you can read verses 22 and 23. And it just talks about how the Lord, in verse 23 says, "The Lord removed Israel out of his sight, as he had said by his servants the prophets. So was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day."
The other connection to this is, this is where we get the Lost 10 tribes. So I wrote 'Lost 10 tribes', and then I drew a jaggedy circle all around it so it really stands out in the northern kingdom. When you hear about it, this is where it took place. So these tribes, they come down into northern kingdom of Israel, and the king of Samaria takes the tribes up with him, and we get the Lost 10 tribes. Now, because there were righteous kings in the southern kingdom, the Lord didn't wipe their bowl clean yet. So I put Lost 10 tribes in a jaggedy circle, right there in the northern kingdom of Samaria to remind me that this is where the Lost 10 tribes happened, where the tribes were then taken. They weren't lost like, we don't know where we are, they were taken from their land. They were taken up into Assyria and overrun by the king of Assyria.
And so that's where this whole story takes, the whole story of the Lost 10 tribes happens right here. I love this. Now, the southern kingdom, however, fared a little bit better, because they did have a few righteous kings. And so the Lord wasn't ready to wipe out their bowl clean yet, but He's going to, and when He does, it takes place in 2 Kings chapter 24, 25 and this is called the 'Babylonian captivity.' So in big letters at the bottom of my southern Kingdom I wrote 'Babylonian captivity' and we're going to put in the rest of our prophets, because it's during the Babylonian captivity that we have Daniel and Ezekiel. Those two prophets lived during the Babylonian captivity and prophesied.
And then next week, we get to hear a really cool story about how the Israelites are allowed to come back to rebuild the temple. And when they do, we have Ezra, (I'm gonna say 'em fast, but then we'll come back). We have Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. The last five prophets we haven't mentioned yet, so I'll say that one more time: Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, (kind of sounds like haggis, huh Katrina?)
Katrina Maxton 15:40
It does; getting, making me hungry.
Sharon Staples 15:43
'Hi, guy. Haggai, Zechariah, and then we have Malachi. Okay, this my, this is it you guys. This is history, the fastest way we could do it condensed of the whole entire Israel and how it got broken up into a northern kingdom and the southern kingdom. Any questions? How do you feel about that?
Sharon Staples 16:14
Well, sad. Very sad.
Sharon Staples 16:19
Well, breaking up a tribe, breaking up the tribes; we learn how to be who we are and to connect with the gospel by those around us. And the common bond of testimony, and the common bond of understanding and, and love and companionship and all those things that we need to further the gospel. And when you're broken up that doesn't happen. And not only that, but those 10 tribes were scattered. They never did unite again. Ever. They've been dispersed and immersed in nations throughout the world. That's what we're doing today under President Nelson, our Prophet, is gathering those tribes that have been scattered.
So for me, it's essential that I know what you've just taught us. Because I now can put names and places and situations to those scattered tribes, and how I'm helping through genealogy, through family history, through missionary work, gather them again, which is what the Lord has asked us to do in our current day. So this is just unbelievable information for me. And I'm grateful that you explained it so clearly. So thank you.
You're welcome. Well, I think this is pretty interesting, too. So I'm going to give you a cross reference to put next to the '10 tribes'. This was really profound. And this is Hebrew coming into action. Put Doctrine and Covenants 110:11. And verse 11 talks about how Moses appeared to the men in the Kirtland Temple and committed the keys of the Gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth. And then it says, "and leading of the 10 tribes from the land of the north." And we know right here, they're in the northern kingdom. But how cool was it when we learned what North means in Hebrew. And the word North in Hebrew is TSAPHON. And it means dark, gloomy or hidden. Now, how much context now does that give us for the Lost 10 tribes who will come from the North? Boy, if that doesn't describe people who need the light of Christ!
So we're not gathering people who were like, 'I don't know where I am, I'm lost. I'm lost in the north.' It's, 'I'm lost in the north, I need the light of Christ in my life. I need covenants. I need the gospel of Jesus Christ.' So isn't that beautiful? How the imagery here, north and south. And if you're wondering, Okay, the Lost 10 tribes, well, who are the two that we know about? In the southern kingdom, Judah and Benjamin are the two tribes that remained, so those are the 2 that make up the total of the 12, the 12 kingdoms. Judah and Benjamin were in the southern kingdom. Anything for you, Katrina, does this help make sense of the Bible and everything? You read all of 2 Kings.
Katrina Maxton 19:14
I did. I've read quite a lot of 2 Kings and I, this is clear. This is makes it clear. There's also, there is a little section in the front of the Come, Follow Me book that has the outlines on those things. And I've been referring to that, as I've been reading with 2 Kings, so that I can map it out a wee bit better.
Yeah. Oh, Katrina, that is so cool. I'm so glad that you mentioned the Come, Follow Me manual. There is a section in the manual called "Jesus will say to all Israel come home", so I highly recommend going to that and reading it. Because it is, it's the history behind everything we just taught. Thank you ladies, thanks for your comments and for indulging me in our map of Israel - the northern and southern kingdoms, awesome. Well, and for those of us that drew with us, or have your own picture, post it on social media. Download your picture onto Facebook, or on Instagram and tag us, because I'd love to see how your picture turned out. Because so many of you are so artistic. And you can check out our show notes, because that's where I'll have mine. And you'll see how not artistic I am. But it'll be so fun to see what everybody came up with.
Okay, so that is the structure. That's what we need to know in order to move forward. That is the WHAT of 1st & 2nd Kings. And remember, the WHAT informs. And now we're going to go back and look at the WHY, which will transform. And we're going to do that in the next segment.
Segment 3 20:35
So we are going to now take a look at the kings. And we mentioned that each kingdom, the northern and the southern, had 20 kings. Some were bad and some were good, but the southern kingdom, they have their claim on a few good kings. So turn with me to Second Kings, chapter 18. We're going to meet one of these good kings. And we're going to look at verses 1 & 2. Sharon, will you please read both of these verses? And as Sharon reads them, I want you to mark what is the king's name and what is the king's age.
Sharon Staples 21:01
18: 1 "Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign.
2 "Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Abi, the daughter of Zachariah."
Okay, what is his name?
Katrina Maxton 21:27
Thank you. Hezekiah. And how old is he in verse two?
Katrina Maxton 21:31
Katrina Maxton 21:34
25 years young,
25 years young, very good. Now, a little genealogy about Hezekiah. He is a direct descendant from King David: King David, Solomon, Rehoboam. And then you get into the other kings. He comes down that line and now Hezekiah. And according to verses 3-8, you two, was he a good king or a bad king?
Sharon Staples 21:57
Oh, he was very good. Thank goodness, we've got a really good one this time
We do; what made him good? Are there things that stood out to you in those verses?
Sharon Staples 22:06
Let's see. "He trusted in the Lord God of Israel;" (This is verse 5) "so that after him none was like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him. (6): For he clave to the Lord, and departed not...."
How beautiful. That is pretty righteous.
Sharon Staples 22:25
Yeah. Kept his commandments. The Lord was with him.
Hmm, Verse 7, yeah.
Katrina Maxton 22:30
Whithersoever he went forth, he prospered. He did well, he had all the right qualities of a king. We want a king like that. Why would we not want a king like that? He's obviously, he's seeking after the Lord. And he's trusting in Him. He's dependable, he's just a good man. Solid, you know.
That's a great way to describe him. He is a good man and solid. And he's leading his people in righteousness. I appreciated verse 4. He broke down the high places, the images, he cut down the groves, all of this false worship that many of the past kings had led their people into. Hezekiah comes; he's like, We're done, we're done worshipping false gods in a very inappropriate way, is what they were doing. And so he cuts that all down and he's leading his people in righteousness. And then in comes the king of Assyria, because he's thinking, Well, I had success taking the northern kingdom. Surely I'll have success taking the southern and that's his goal. He wants to just completely do another Assyrian captivity. And he sends a man to do his work. And this man is brutal. He, there's nothing good about this man. His name is an interesting name. It's Rab-shakeh. Sharon, did you look up that word by chance? I guess, a bunch of names. He's just
Sharon Staples 23:53
Uh, yes. It means, he's just kind of the chief of the army. He's the head engineer. He's the go-to guy for to get things done kind of stuff. And it wasn't a particular person, it was an office. So Rab-shakeh means an office of the king.
Oh, I like that. Let's mark that, that's in verse 19 where his name is introduced to us.
Sharon Staples 24:20
Yeah, Rab-shakeh. Yeah. So we really don't know his name. He is just this person. And he's the kind of the executioner in a sense.
Because he has words for these people and he is not mincing them at all. In fact, I thought it was interesting in verse 25, when he says, "The Lord said to me, Go up against this land and destroy it." Like he's, he's speaking words that he thinks the people can understand. And he's tricking them. He's filling it. It totally reminded me of, somebody told me this earlier this weekend: "A Satan sandwich," where you've got two lies, and a truth in the middle. He seems to do that, or two truths and a lie, however you want to look at that sandwich. This whole conversation, this whole speech that he gives to the people is just like that - a Satan sandwich, where he'll tell them some truths, and then he'll hit them with a lie. And so I found so many of those as I was reading what he had to say to them.
And did either of you catch in 2 Kings chapter 18 what happened in verses 26-28, regarding the language that Rab-shakeh was speaking in? Because that really struck me. He was begged to not speak in the Jewish language, and instead to speak Syrian. But he was like, 'Nope. I'm not. I'm speaking in their own language.' I'm curious to know what either one of you think about that.
Katrina Maxton 25:40
Was it just to put fear into them, basically? And he was a bit full of himself, I found this guy. So he was speaking to them in their own language, which is quite a big deal when you're not from ...You know, you know, when someone starts speaking to you in your own language, you're, you're coming into them? You know, so, I find he's really full of himself.
Great way to put it. They say in verse 26 to speak the Syrian language. But Rab-shakeh, who's very full of himself, says in verses 27-28 that he's going to speak in the language of the Jews, because he wants to scare them. I like how you said that Katrina. Sharon, do you have anything else you want to add to that?
Sharon Staples 26:27
No, except that he was using a tool of the Savior too, because the Savior said, "And I will"- and I don't know, I can't quote where it is - but he says, 'And they will know the gospel in their own language.'
Katrina Maxton 26:42
That's in the Book of Mormon.
Sharon Staples 26:43
I think it is, and, and that's why our missionaries learn the language of the people to whom they're going to teach, so that they can speak to them in their own language. So this Rab-shakeh is, is using a tool of the Lord, to destroy a people, to do evil. And he does that all the time. Satan takes a half truth or a quarter of a truth or some truth and twists it or turns it or uses it to his advantage against the Lord and against the gospel.
Yeah. Oh, that's so good. So good, Sharon.
Katrina Maxton 27:20
So, you know, I think what's very satanical about him is that he is continually prodding them about where is your God, where is he?
Yeah, absolutely right.
Sharon Staples 27:34
We want proof.
Katrina Maxton 27:36
So this is a scary time for Hezekiah and his people, and Hezekiah has to make a decision - what is he going to do to help his people? So let's go into 2 Kings chapter 19. And I asked my guests to come prepared with all of the ways that Hezekiah turned to the Lord in 2 Kings 19. What did you ladies find? How did Hezekiah handle this threat from Rab-shakeh? And give us the verse, give us the verse and then what he did.
Sharon Staples 28:05
Well, it's going to be verse 1. First of all, he rent his clothes, and because of the daring mockery of a living God, he also went to the temple and he inquired of Isaiah. So he, he sought counsel, and he was willing to show his anger and his displeasure by renting his clothes.
In fact, next to that verse, let's write that: "rent his clothes." He's, I've put 'grieved to soar.' Like he's so displeased with the situation. And then I marked in that verse what you said, he went to the house of the Lord. Awesome, Sharon. And then you said, in verse 2, he went to Isaiah the prophet. That is Isaiah the prophet. This is where Isaiah fits into the whole picture. So he goes to ask the Prophet, What should I do? Awesome. All right, what else did you find? Katrina?
Katrina Maxton 28:55
I actually found in verse 3, I love the imagery because it seems to be a theme that they do not have the strength to deliver themselves. You know, in the same way a baby doesn't have the power to deliver itself; that the last push for the mother before her last strength is completely spent. But you know, in the ancient world, that imagery had big significance.
Will you read that for us, Katrina. I love that wording.
Katrina Maxton 29:24
2 Kings 19:3 "And they said unto him, Thus saith Hezekiah, This day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and blasphemy: for the children or come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth."
Katrina Maxton 29:42
They're not going to push. I mean, I've been in labor myself. And you know, well girls, that last push is the hardest. And you know, they know that they're not going to deliver themselves and Zedekiah knows this. He knows that he needs the Lord. He needs to trust in Him and to push them out of the situation that they're in.
Sharon Staples 30:11
And it's when they're in the most danger is when and those last, -like you said - those last pains of childbirth. And it's dangerous to the child and to the mother.
Katrina Maxton 30:11
and to the mother. Yeah.
Sharon Staples 30:16
Oh, it's a destructive situation and a very dangerous situation. And that's what he's saying about the people that he's trying to help. They're in real danger.
Katrina Maxton 30:33
It's great imagery.
Sharon Staples 30:35
Yeah, it is.
Incredible imagery. I couldn't write fast enough. I'm so struck by that. Wow. So good. I, oh go ahead.
Katrina Maxton 30:45
Verse 4, it is amazing to me. Sharon, did you get the verse 4? I had, I read it over quite a bit, that says,
4 "It may be that the Lord thy God will hear all the words of Rab-shakeh." (Of course, he'll hear all the words of Rab-shakeh." "whom the king of Assyria his master has sent to reproach the living God;"
He becomes full of himself, you know. What power does he have? None whatsoever, "and will reprove the words which the Lord thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up thy prayer" Lift it up, you've got nothing to fear. Just lift up your prayer "for the remnants that are left." And he's always thinking about, not just himself, but he's thinking about his people, and others, the bigger picture.
Sharon Staples 31:46
And in verse 6, Isaiah sets him straight. He says, "And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall ye say to your master, Thus saith the Lord, Be not afraid of the words which thou hast heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me." That's, that's what you just said, Katrina is, don't be afraid of those words, because Isaiah is in tune.
19:7 "I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumor, and shall return to his own land, and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land." So the Lord's in charge, you just have to go ask Him, for goodness sakes. Ask, which is what Hezekiah did to Isaiah and said, Okay, I need help. Isaiah said, this is the help you're gonna get, the Lord's gonna tell you what to do. And he's, don't worry about him. This guy is toast.
Sharon, I like how you just said, 'this guy is toast', because he totally is. And then Katrina, I'm just thinking back to this because you showed us that the Lord told Hezekiah to 'lift up thy prayer, rather than lift up thy sword.' And now I'm going like, this is so cool, because prayer is their tool. Like it's not sword. I really like that. So I'm wondering right now, is there a time in either one of your lives where you did a Hezekiah move, where you went to the temple or followed the words of a prophet or sought the words of a prophet or prayed or anything that we've discussed, and it worked for your good?
Sharon Staples 33:21
I had the privilege and blessing of working for Elder Marvin J. Ashton for a number of years when he was an Assistant to the 12, and then he was a member of the Council of the 12. And on Thursdays they have their First Presidency, Quorum of the 12 meetings all day. And so on Thursday afternoon late, he would come back to the office where I was, and he would go in his office and close the door. And I knew I was not to disturb him or take any calls or anything. It was his quiet time. And then he would buzz me and he'd say, "Staples," - I'm not sure he knew my first name - he would say, "Staples. Do you want to have your testimony strengthened?" "Sure." He said, "Well, come in." I'd go into his office, and then he would bear his testimony of the Prophet.
And those memories of his bearing the testimony of the Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith and President Kimball and President Lee strengthened my testimony beyond measure. Because I heard a prophet, seer and revelator, an apostle, bear testimony to me personally of the prophet who was leading the church. And it was, I can tell you about the pictures on his wall, I can tell you where the phone was. I can tell you everything about that office, everything that was going on, because it was so vivid and so strong. And he did it more than once. He would come, you know, maybe once a month or once every two or three months and say, "Staples. Do you want to have your testimony strengthened?" "Yes, sir." I'd go in and he would bear his testimony that the Prophet's in charge of the church and the Prophet's in charge of the Lord's work upon the earth. It was sweet beyond comprehension.
Katrina Maxton 35:00
I think there's a lot, there's a lot of power in testifying.
Sharon Staples 35:07
Oh my gosh, it was for me
Katrina Maxton 35:09
Hearing anybody testifying just is the best thing. Not a story, not a, you know, a blog. Just testify, and I'm sure that must have been incredible.
Sharon Staples 35:23
It was. If I, if I ever have any doubts, I go back to that office and that man and think, don't worry, don't worry what the world is saying. Remember the language of the Prophet, which is what Isaiah is telling him. Don't worry about what the, don't worry about those outside voices. Just listen to the Prophet. So, it was sweet.
Would either one of you be willing to testify at this moment in the podcast?
Katrina Maxton 35:54
I'm getting, I'm going already. I testify that Jesus is my Savior. I testify that He loves me. And He loves all of you. I testify that the Prophet, President Nelson, today, he speaks for our Heavenly Father. And I testify that he is our Living Prophet and he knows what's best for us, and will guide us through any, any difficulty and strife that we have. I testify that as we lift up our voices, He will hear us speak to Him. I testify that there's nothing that He won't do for us. I testify that He loves you. And He loves all of His children. And I testify that there isn't anything that He wouldn't do for any one of them. I'm a witness to that. I'm a witness. I stand as a witness and I testify about Him as much as I possibly can. Because I know that these times are precious, and people need to know of Him. I testify because I know He is real. I know that He lives today, and that He is our strength, our song, our life, our light. And I testify that we can find Him as we lift up our voices to our Heavenly Father and hear Him speak to us, just as the prophets testified to us.
Sharon Staples 37:45
Sharon Staples 37:47
Sweet. Thank you.
We are all feeling that right now. Wow. Thank you, Katrina. Thank you.
Katrina Maxton 37:54
I bore my testimony to someone just a week ago. She told me —she was in my Pilates, she's my Pilates teacher. She's not a member of the church. And we got talking about a spiritual, spiritual things. And she told me that she'd felt the Spirit twice in her life. It's a conversation, I'm just going to tell you in a nutshell. And she said that she had felt this warm feeling over her. And I just said to her, Do you want to feel that again? And she said, I would love to feel that again. And I said, Would you would you be willing to hear what I have to share? And she said, Yes, I'd be willing. And I testified. And I said, I said, I said maybe five things, in a testifying moment. And she was in absolute floods of tears. And I thought, don't ever forget or assume that testifying to someone is not powerful. Don't forget it because it's, it's so powerful.
Sharon Staples 39:19
And just think, all this comes out of the Old Testament. I just think it's amazing. And I've not really appreciated the Old Testament in my life ever, until I have had to, quote, "study and ponder and pray about it." And now I can't get enough.
Oh, I LOVE the Old Testament.
I mean the history, the context, the names, the meanings, the Hebrew. It just gives so much strength and power to the New Testament, to the Book of Mormon, to the Doctrine and Covenants. I mean it's always been there and I've been able to glean it, thankfully, by studying the Old Testament as well. It's just been a great experience.
Wow. Thank you. Thank you, both of you. All of this beautiful discussion about testifying. Then in the next segment, let's see what happens. Hezekiah will be the one to testify to his people as a leader. And we'll see if his prayers and temple work and everything we've discussed really worked.
Segment 4 40:06
Okay, let's see if it worked. Go into 2 Kings chapter 19. And verses 32-37 is the answer. In verse 32-34, Sharon, can you please read those three verses for us.
Sharon Staples 40:21
32 "Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning the king of Assyria, He shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shield, nor cast a bank against it.
33 "By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the Lord.
34 "For I will defend this city, to save it, for my own sake, and for my servant David's sake."
So I bracketed off those verses and to the outside I wrote, "The prayers were heard". And let's see the result of the prayers, verses 35-37. Katrina, will you read that for us.
Katrina Maxton 40:59
35" And it came pass that night, that the angel of the Lord went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.
36 "So Senecacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh.
37 "And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword: and they escaped into the land of Armenia. And Esarhaddon his son reigned in his stead."
Thank you. So, Wow! Talk about a final push, doesn't get any better than that. And so with the Lord's help, Hezekiah and all of his people were able to come out from under the threats of Rab-shakeh and the king of Assyria. So Hezekiah then in chapter 20, he gets really sick to the point where he thinks he's going to die. And Isaiah actually comes to him and says, Gather all your affairs in order because you're gonna die. And Hezekiah takes it to the Lord and just says, I'm not ready to die, please let me live. Just let me live a little bit longer. And the Lord answers his prayer. How much longer does he get to live?
Katrina Maxton 42:22
Yep. Perfect. And you're gonna see that in 2 Kings chapter 20. And those are in verses 5 and 6. And verse 6 says,
6 "I will add unto thy days fifteen years," I thought it was interesting in 7, "....Isaiah said, take a lump of figs. And they took it and laid it on the boil and he recovered." Like, that's how he was healed - such a cool miracle.
Sharon Staples 42:42
Yeah. Who knew figs had that kind of power?
Who knew? And then, unfortunately, Hezekiah dies. Turn to 2 Kings chapter 21. And when Hezekiah dies, we're going to have a new king. Now, before we even introduce you to this king, I asked you guys a question to think about: which is stronger, nurture, or nature? I can't wait to hear what you have to say about this, Sharon.
Sharon Staples 43:09
Well, that is the main dilemma of the science of psychology today and has been for years and years and years, and that is to decide at what point you can intervene with the person in order to change their behavior to the way that is positive rather than negative. And so, depending on your genetic makeup, your biological components, all the science of the body versus mom and dad, brothers and sisters, grandma, grandpa, school, church leaders, prophets, who has the most influence over how you're going to direct your life? And that has not been answered, as far as I know. It's both. It's what you're born with, and how what you're born with is developed.
Katrina Maxton 44:03
You know, I, I was a long time without the gospel in my life. And I know that I had picked up a lot of nurturing and a lot of nature as well. I think it's important to realize that Christ can do a lot on either side of that. He will meet you right in the middle of where you are. So you can never say that you will, you cannot change; it just is a case of wanting to and having the desire to. And I think for the kings that we're going to talk about, there was that, you know, if you've got someone behind you, someone who has nurtured you in some way, it must help you in some sense of that.
I say I feel in a way that, because my mother was so good, and I want to be like her. So, um, you know, that's no, that's, that's a natural thing to feel that you you want to be like someone who you are really proud of, or you look up to. I mean, my mom isn't a member of the church, but she's an amazing lady, nonetheless. And I look up to her as if she was a member of the church, because she's so wonderful. But you know, thankful that I had my mom there. But think about the people who don't have anybody, who trying to scramble through life by the seat of their pants. And they're looking for people like us to communicate our testimony or to testify to them that they're loved. As simple as that.
Yeah, absolutely. Well, I've loved this discussion and what both of you have had to say about it, because Hezekiah is dead, and Hezekiah was so good and so righteous. And so after he passes away, we have the new leader who is his son, and his name is in 2 Kings 20:21. What is the name of the new leader?
Sharon Staples 46:26
Manasseh. And how old is Manasseh? and his age is in chapter 21:1.
Sharon Staples 46:35
He was 12 years old.
Boy, that's a young kid isn't it?
Sharon Staples 46:39
He's a Deacon.
He's a deacon age, exactly. And this one blew my mind. I want us to look at verse 2, 6, and 9. These verses will tell us about how this king ruled. So Sharon, will you please read 2 Kings 21:2; Katrina, will you read verse 6; and I will read verse 9. Go ahead, Sharon.
Sharon Staples 47:00
2 "And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, after the abominations of the heathen, whom the Lord cast out before the children of Israel.
Katrina Maxton 47:11
6 "And he made his son pass through the fire, and observe times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger.
9 "But they hearkened not: and Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than did the nations whom the Lord destroyed before the children of Israel."
It is believed that he was the most wicked evil of all the prophets in the southern, sorry, of all the kings in the southern kingdom. That part in verse 6, "he made his son pass through fire" - that is child sacrifice, he reinstituted and brought that back into the kingdom. He did not follow after the ways of his father, Hezekiah. (Manasseh) passes away in chapter 21, and his son Amon becomes the next king and that is in 2 Kings 21:19. Highlight that man's name. And verse 20 says "he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord." So he wasn't a good king. He didn't follow after his grandfather's footsteps, and he'll actually be killed by his two servants. So now we need another king.
So the next king will be the son of Amon, and his name is found in 2 Kings 22:1. Katrina, who is our next king?
Katrina Maxton 48:25
Josiah. Now, this nurture versus nature - because his father and his grandfather were pretty evil. In fact, his grandfather's the most evil, his great-grandfather was super-duper good, and they're coming off from the line of David, King David. What would we naturally assume then that Josiah would probably be? He's only eight years old as the new King. So based on his example, what kind of king would he probably be?
Sharon Staples 48:49
You'd be evil,
Right, evil. But again, I love this idea of nurture versus nature because look at verse 2. Sharon, can you read that for us.
Sharon Staples 48:56
2 "And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left."
Yay, we have a good king again, oh, so happy. In fact, he's such a good king. Bracket off verses 3-8, because he then puts forth money to have the temple reconstructed. So several of his men go to the temple site. And while they're there, they find something, in verse 8. And Sharon, I love what you taught us, because Sharon and I met before we recorded, and she found something pretty cool. Sharon, what did his servants find at the temple site as they were reconstructing it, in verse 8?
Sharon Staples 49:36
Well, it says here that the high priest "said unto Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the Lord. And Hilkiah gave the Book to Shaphan, and he read it." Now it's my understanding that the book of the law was not the Torah, was not the Pentateuch, because it's too long. It's too big. It's too whatever. But there were some, there was a book in the temple that outlined temple ordinances and temple teachings and who did what to whom and whatever. So it was a book of law for the Israelites, for the Jews, but not the Pentateuch, not the Torah.
But it was scripture,
Sharon Staples 50:18
It was scripture, and they followed it.
Katrina Maxton 50:20
Actually, I think that I studied that a little bit. And that actually, I've heard that that was from someone from the church. In Deuteronomy.
Sharon Staples 50:35
I had heard that as well,
Katrina, I'm so happy you brought that up, because this is kind of cool. According to tradition, the very first verse that was read to Josiah was Deuteronomy 28:36-37. So I want us to go there really quickly, because these two verses caused Josiah an extreme reaction. So let's read what was read to him that caused him to react the way he did. It's in Deuteronomy, chapter 28. And it's verses 36, and 37. And I'll read these. Here's what Josiah heard. Now remember he's coming from a string of evil kings. And now he's in charge at a young age, and he hears this:
Deut 28:36 "The Lord shall bring thee, and thy king which thou shalt set over thee, unto a nation which neither thou nor thy fathers have known; and there shalt thou serve other gods, wood and stone.
37 "And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a by-word among all nations whether the Lord shall lead thee."
So he's hearing because the kings are not following my word, you will become a by-word, a prov, you'll be an old saying. And so how does Josiah react when he hears these words?
Sharon Staples 51:49
I don't know.
Katrina Maxton 51:51
He's moved by these words, completely and utterly moved to the point where he puts himself in sackcloth. And he feels overwhelmed by - can you imagine? - He suddenly realizes what the real thing is? I mean,
what his family members have done, and what could possibly happen to him! He's terrified. In fact, let's read Josiah's actual response. Sharon, will you please read 2 Kings 22:13 for us.
Sharon Staples 52:23
22:13 "Go ye, inquire of the Lord for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found: for great is the wrath of the Lord that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us."
Thank you, Sharon. Awesome. Okay. So, in the next segment, we are going to discover when he says, "go inquire of the Lord.", they actually did. And they went to someone specific, and it might surprise you who they chose.
Segment 5 52:55
Okay, let's find out then, who Josiah sent his servants to, who did he want to know and get opinions from about these verses of scripture? So Katrina, will you please read 2 Kings 22:14, and I'm so excited about this verse.
Katrina Maxton 53:16
14 "So Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asahiah, went unto Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe; (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college;) and they communed with her."
Okay, highlight - who did they go see, what is her name?
Sharon, Katrina 53:50
Huldah, the prophetess. This is, it makes me so happy. You have to know about Huldah. It's not in the Come, Follow Me manual. So of course we're gonna just talk about her this whole segment. Here's some really cool things. She is a prophetess; it says that she's the wife of Shallum. It says that Shallum is the 'keeper of the wardrobe'. This could literally be the king's royal clothing, or it could mean the priests' vestments of the temple. So those are two options for 'keeper of the wardrobe'. And it says now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the college, and I remember the first time I ever read that I'm like, 'Oh, so she's smart, she has a degree.' But "college" is a unique word. Sharon, tell us about what that word college really means.
Sharon Staples 54:31
It's been translated as "in the second part", or "in the second quarter" This area may have been located between the first and second walls in the northwest part of Jerusalem. So it wasn't a university or a place of higher learning. It was a location in Jerusalem.
Yep. And they believe it was a newly developed quarter or area that was bordered by Hezekiah's walls and refugees from the northern kingdom would flee and live there in this new little space. So that's where she lived. Now, according to Josephus, in his writings he indicates that Josiah himself identified Huldah as the one to consult. So here's this righteous king, and he would say, Go to Huldah the prophetess and ask her what she believes about all of these writings or about the scriptures. Let's get her interpretation of the Scripture. So now I just love Josiah so much more, right?
Okay, so here's what I want us to do. We are going to look at 4 verses and get out something to highlight in your scriptures; we are going to highlight a phrase that Huldah repeats 4 times. And I want us to talk about what this tells us about her. So here we go. We have in verse 15, the way it starts. Highlight, "Thus saith the Lord God of Israel." And then in verse 16, there it is again, highlight it. "Thus saith the Lord." And then we go to verse 18, and there it is again. Highlight "Thus saith, the Lord". And I'm numbering these in my scriptures, so I've put a number one at 15 and number two at 16, and number three at 18. And then we go to the very end of verse 19. And it says, "also have heard thee, saith the Lord." Four times she's going to speak to Josiah's men by saying, "Thus saith the Lord". What does this phrase teach us about her words?
Katrina Maxton 56:25
She was inspired to speak for Lord.
Sharon Staples 56:28
Well, apparently she went to Him and got His, got the information. I mean that, you know, she, she realized that she had a conduit to the Lord. And He was telling her, this is what you need to say, this is what you need to do. So obviously she was very prayerful.
Katrina Maxton 56:45
And she was also known for receiving God's inspiration. Because why would they go to her? She must have been known for being God's mouthpiece.
And it's not because we didn't have prophets. Look back at your sheet. We have several prophets at this time of life that Josiah could have gone to. And Josiah said, 'Go to Huldah the prophetess. She's who we need to hear from.' And her words are beautiful. Let's read what she has to say to him. And remember, Josiah isn't there, and she's prophesying to him. And we're going to read verses 19 and 20, specifically. And so, Sharon, will you please read verse 19. And then Katrina, verse 20.
Sharon Staples 57:25
22:19 "Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the Lord, when thou heardest what I speak against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee, saith the Lord.
Katrina Maxton 57:46
20 "Behold therefore, I will gather thee unto thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered into thy grave in peace; and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring upon this place. And they brought the king word again."
I was struck by the words of Huldah the Prophetess to a person who is not there. I think that was what made me think, Oh, my gosh. It's, it's incredible to me. And I often don't really realize this, but at General Conference time, I get, I get to hear the Prophet speak when he's speaking. But there are so many of our brothers and sisters who do not get to hear the Prophet when he's speaking, who will later have to read it, or watch it later. And I just wanted to know any of your thoughts or ideas about this, when being blessed for our faith, when we don't get to be blessed immediately from the Lord or have an apostolic blessing, when those take place and you're not there for it? What does that tell us about the Lord and the role of faith in all of this, and the role of Josiah's faith?
Katrina Maxton 58:48
There's an elderly lady with a daughter who don't hear the Prophet speak when he's speaking, which I always find really quite sad in a way, because they're part of our church, but they don't have the technology to hear them speak. They've only got a phone. So what I generally do is I text them bits of the Prophet, generally speaking. They really like Elder Holland, so I'll text some bits of him. And you know, just bit and you know, it's like gold to them, because they're waiting on the magazine coming through the door. But in that moment, they're getting a chance to read it as close to when it came as I send it to them. So it is really an incredible thing to be watching it live. And I can't imagine myself going to the shops when he's speaking. I would just actually feel it would be, you know, wrong, even on the Saturday.
I just want to hear them live. I want to be there in the moment when he's speaking, and not be the one that's trying to catch up the next day or the middle of the week because I was busy doing something else. But that's just my, the way I feel. And I just think those words are there to be listened to in the moment, because when he's speaking live, there is definitely a beautiful connection. When he, when President Nelson, for example, when he opened the welcome talk that he gave, and he looked straight in the telly and you almost felt that love come from him. And I felt he really does love us all. I mean, how is, it, that's hard to believe, but you can feel it, you can absolutely feel it. So, yeah, I think connecting with the Prophet when he's speaking, is a big step in the right direction. If it is at all possible, listen to it live and hear him speak to you, because it's not the same through the words, although it is there for everybody to hear after the fact.
Wow. Well then, I'm just picturing you as the prophet's messenger. You're texting all these great words. And, and I'm thinking back to these servants who have to remember everything Huldah is saying and, and in the, in the emotion of it and the feeling. Because they're going to run back and tell Josiah, 'Okay, here's what she said,' and how important that will be. And so I love that, Katrina, how important your text messages are to the people who can't hear. That's pretty cool. I didn't know that. Wow, beautiful. Fantastic.
So after Huldah speaks, then Josiah, he does. He receives the words back from the leaders. And then in 2 Kings chapter 23, you could just mark it "Josiah's reforms." It's where he comes in, and he restores the Passover. He rules for 31 years, and then he's killed in battle. And after his death, two of his sons, Jehoahaz and Jehoiakim, they rule in wickedness, and they lead the people into idolatry. And then we continue with a succession of son after son and wicked king after wicked king. And so in the next segment, we're going to reveal what the result was, and an incredible connection to the Book of Mormon.
Segment 6 1:01:49
So just like the Assyrian captivity, because there were so many wicked kings, the Lord was like, 'we're done. I can't protect you anymore.' And now that's happening with the southern kingdom of Judah, because the people were no longer willing to listen to the words of the prophets. The Lord could not protect the southern kingdom. So let's go into 2 Kings chapter 24. And in Second Kings, chapter 24, we're introduced to the king of Babylon. Highlight his name and what is his name, you two? Chapter 24? Verse one,
Sharon Staples 1:02:58
Nebu kad nezzer.
Yes, Nebuchadnezzar. Now, some of you're like, That sounds familiar. It should. We're going to continue on. He's the king of Babylon. And in verses 10 and 11, highlight those and write to the outside 'Babylonian captivity begins"; here it is. Now with this Babylonian captivity, the king of Babylon wants to put somebody in authority over in Jerusalem because he's got to take care of Babylon. So he decides, I know. I got somebody I can put in charge. And that is found in 2 Kings 24:17. Sharon, will you read who King Nebuchadnezzar put in charge over all the Jews in Judah and Jerusalem.
24:17 "The king of Babylon made Mattaniah his father's brother King in his stead and changed his name to Zedekiah."
All right, so who is that familiarly?
Sharon Staples 1:03:49
Yes. An uncle. So he's like, I'll make my uncle, Mattaniah - but we're gonna change his name to Zedekiah - King Zedekiah. And he's going to rule over the southern kingdom. And in verse 18 it says he's 21 years old and he reigned 11 years. And then look at verse 19. Good guy or a bad guy?
Sharon Staples 1:04:05
Evil, yeah, bad, no good. And even in verse 20 as you continue to read it, it says, "For through the anger of the Lord it came to pass in Jerusalem and Judah, until he had cast them out from his presence, that Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon." So let's cross reference verses 17-20, with 1 Nephi 1:4. And when I made this connection it was so awesome, because all I kept thinking was, Church is true, just gotta be true. Like, I love this so much. So we have in 1 Nephi 1:4, also, go back to the map we drew at the very beginning. Remember how I had you leave a little blank space for a prophet's name in the southern kingdom? We're gonna put someone's name there. So let's do this. Katrina, do you have 1 Nephi 1:4? Will you read that for us. And for those of you listening, we are 1 Nephi 1:, "I Nephi, having been born of goodly parents". You've all read this, now and listen to verse 4. Go ahead.
Katrina Maxton 1:05:04
1 Ne 1:4 "But it came to pass in the commencement of the first year of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah, my father Lehi, having dwelt at Jerusalem in all his days and in that same year, there can many prophets, prophesying unto the people that they must repent, or the great city, Jerusalem must be destroyed."
Did you just get chills? In that blank space with the prophets, write Lehi. He was a contemporary with Jeremiah. That's, he was a prophet in Jerusalem at this time warning the people, We better get out or we're going to be destroyed. The Lord's going to wipe us out like a dish and put us upside down if we don't take care of our sins. And so here's this connection between the Book of Mormon and the Bible. So let's go to Omni 1:14-16. Verses 14-19, you're going to be solely in the Book of Mormon right now. The book of Omni gives us the story about how they found the city of Zarahemla in the Book of Mormon. Here we go.
Omni 1:14 "And they discovered a people who were called the people of Zarahemla. Now, there was great rejoicing among the people of Zarahemla; and also Zarahemla did rejoice exceedingly, because the Lord had sent the people of Mosiah with the plates of brass, which contained the record of the Jews.
15 "Behold, it came to pass that Mosiah discovered that the people of Zarahemla came out from Jerusalem at the time that Zedekiah, king of Judah, was carried away captive into Babylon.
16 "And they journeyed in the wilderness, and were brought by the hand of the Lord across the great waters, into the land where Mosiah discovered them; and they had dwelt there from that time forth."
Okay, we're gonna cross reference now to the outside of that scripture, and I'm gonna put Mosiah 25:2. Mosiah 25:2. So who are these people in Zarahemla and what is their genealogy? Mosiah 25:2. This is so cool! Katrina, will you read verse for us.
Katrina Maxton 1:07:05
Yes, hold on. I'm just there,
Katrina Maxton 1:07:10
Mos 25:2 " Now there were not so many of the children of Nephi, or so many of those who were descendants of Nephi, as there were of the people of Zarahemla, who was a descendant of Mulek, and those who came with him into the wilderness."
Okay, now, huh? Let's put a cross reference to that. Let's find out who Mulek is. Put Helaman 6:10. Helaman 6:10, and Sharon, can you read verse 10 for us.
Sharon Staples 1:07:53
As soon as I find Helaman 6:10. Okay, we're almost there.
Sharon Staples 1:08:03
So we just learned that the people in the Book of Mormon from Zarahemla, we just learned genealogy that they came from someone by the name of Mulek. Now who is Mulek? Sharon, hit it.
Sharon Staples 1:08:15
Hel 6:10 "Now the land south was called Lehigh, and the land north was called mu lick, which was after the sun of Zedekiah. For the Lord did bring you look into the land north and Lehi into the land south.
Now put another cross-reference next to that. Let's put Helaman 8:21, 22. Helaman 8:21, 22. And here we go.
Hel 8:21 "And now will you dispute that Jerusalem was destroyed? Will ye say that the sons of Zedekiah were not slain, all except it were Mulek? Yea, and do ye not behold that the seed of Zedekiah are with us, and they were driven out of the land of Jerusalem? But behold, this is not all-
22 "Our father Lehi was driven out of Jerusalem because he testified of these things. Nephi also testified of these things, and also almost all of our fathers, even down to this time; yea, they have testified of the coming of Christ, and have looked forward, and have rejoiced in his day which is to come."
So then next to Helaman 8:21, 22, write this cross reference: 2 Kings 25:7, and that's where we started, and it'll bring back full circle. I mean, how cool is that scripture chain?
Sharon Staples 1:09:29
Katrina Maxton 1:09:30
Sharon Staples 1:09:31
It is. It just connects, it connects
Katrina Maxton 1:09:35
Course it does.
Sharon Staples 1:09:35
Katrina Maxton 1:09:36
The church is truth.
So true! Oh my gosh. I yeah, I remember sitting in my seminary office, connecting all of these, looking at the footnotes and making all these connections and just shocked. Wow, here's Zedekiah in the Old Testament. Here, what? Lehi was alive at this time? No wonder and complaining and then you kind of get this feeling. You understand why Laman and Lemuel were like, Phhht, you can't destroy this big of a, like no way. This kingdom's huge, the entire southern kingdom is in captivity? I don't think so. And it just gives you a place now for how the language in the Book of Mormon came about, and the wording and the stories and everything. So when you go and read that, you have a history map now that you've created, that helps make sense of all of the things that you read in the Book of Mormon. And like you said, Katrina, the church is true. I just love it so much.
Sharon Staples 1:10:27
I do too. It's wonderful. It's a great chain.
I just think the church is true. I love it.
Sharon Staples 1:10:33
I do too. And I just love, well, it's true. How can you read this and not think it's true? I don't understand. It just
Katrina Maxton 1:10:42
And, and you feel. Well, I think to myself, I'm not very smart. Even I can figure this scripture chain out. And it is impossible to put this together; who could do that, you know?
Yeah, that's the thing.
Sharon Staples 1:10:58
I just need a good teacher.
Katrina Maxton 1:11:00
Who could do that?
Joseph Smith was, he was, listen, he was smart. But to be this smart? I mean, to connect it, I just, it, and consistently throughout the storyline of the Book of Mormon? Those scriptures are from God; that is what I will testify of. I will testify that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. And the Bible is the Word of God as far as it is translated correctly. Because when we learn the Hebrew, and we study it in connection with the Book of Mormon, God is real. He is a living God, as we've read many times in this, in the Bible this year. And He loves us. That's one of the things I loved about your testifying, Katrina, is how many times you told us that God loves us. He really does. And He is just, I love it. I love everything we talked about. And I can't wait to start the takeaway, because I just have one that was so strong. So here's what I want you to do: gather your thoughts, everything we studied, and tell me what is your takeaway from today?
Katrina Maxton 1:11:55
Well, my takeaway is just right at the last breath, there. It has to be a connection between the Old Testament and the Book of Mormon. It just has to be. And the Scripture chain, that takes you on a journey. But I felt really sad when I read 2 Kings 25:7, that that was the last thing that he saw. What he didn't know, - well he knows now, obviously - but then maybe he saw those two sons of the, you know, because you know that that was the last thing he saw. But there was one that came out, that was a remnant of that tragedy, and that he was saved. And that Heavenly Father will save that one. And He will provide a way. And it may seem impossible, but there's always a way that He will connect someone to bring them back in line with His plan. And I testify that this is His plan, to bring to pass the eternal life of His children.
Sharon Staples 1:13:10
Amen Katrina. Thank you for that takeaway. What about you, Sharon?
I think for me, it's the importance, the essential significance of studying the scriptures, not just reading them, reading them helps and that's great. If you have the spirit with you, that's great, too. But to understand the context, the history, the people, the languages, the idols, the brass, all those things that are in this particular segment, just this segment. We've just only read eight chapters, 2 Kings, and but look what we've learned just by studying and opening the books, and I'm just grateful for the gospel. And I believe in my Heavenly Father, I believe in my Savior, Jesus Christ. And as has been spoken about today, They love us and love is significant, and I'm grateful for that. And I offer that prayer and that testimony, in the name of my Redeemer Jesus Christ, Amen.
Amen. Thank you, Sharon. What struck me was in 2 Kings chapter 19. And I'm so grateful that you both discussed this. In verse 3, "...for the children are come to the birth, for there is not strength to bring forth." I just had this imagery of us in the last days, and how hard it has gotten, and it's going to continue to get harder and harder and, and Satan is just unrelenting. And I just sometimes feel like we don't have, it feels like some days I don't have enough strength, like I'm just so tired, I can't keep pushing on any longer. And I just think it's beautiful this imagery that the Lord will be there for us. And you, the imagery when you were like, it's the most dangerous time for a child and a mother, that last final push. It takes everything you have and sometimes you just don't have enough because you're so tired.
And that just testified to me that the Lord is the one who will help me; He is going to help in that last final push, the last push. And that's where we are - the winding up scenes for the Second Coming of the Lord. And it's a privilege to be here. It's a privilege to talk about these Scriptures with the two of you, to have felt the Spirit today as you've testified of these things that are true. I've loved it and I think those are the things that are going to help us in this last push - are those who are willing to testify. So, thank you ladies. It was an awesome discussion. Boy, I love you both!
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 do it. It's such a great place to ask questions, and to share what you're studying throughout the week and what you're learning. And then at the end of every week, usually on a Saturday, we do a post for your big takeaway. So comment on the post that relates to this lesson and let us know what you've learned. And I read them all. It's, I just love learning from all of you.
You can get to both our Facebook and Instagram by going to the show notes for this episode on LDS living.com/sundayonMonday and go there anyway because it's where we're going to have a link to the references that we used as well as a complete transcript of this whole discussion and my picture that I drew. 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 fabulous study group participants were Sharon Staples and Katrina Maxton. And you can find more information about my friends at LDS living.com/sundayonMonday. Our podcast is produced by me and Katie Lambert. It is edited by Haley Higham and recorded and mixed by Mix at Six Studios, and our executive producer is Erin Hallstrom. Thanks for being here. We'll see you next week.
And please, please remember, you are God's favorite!