30: "The Great Plan of Happiness" (July 27—August 2)
Okay, let's take a second to send a big, heartfelt thank you to Corianton. It's not easy to have a parent call you out for the sins you've committed, let alone have those sins immortalized in the scriptures—ouch. But because of Corianton, and other teachings recorded in Alma 39–42, we learn very important lessons about what it means to be converted to Christ. In this week's study group, we are going to dig into those lessons and learn the foundational doctrines we need nourish our testimony of the gospel.
What did Alma talk to his son Corianton about in Alma 39:1–5?
1 And now, my ason, I have somewhat more to say unto thee than what I said unto thy brother; for behold, have ye not observed the steadiness of thy brother, his faithfulness, and his diligence in keeping the commandments of God? Behold, has he not set a good bexample for thee?
2 For thou didst not give so much heed unto my words as did thy brother, among the people of the aZoramites. Now this is what I have against thee; thou didst go on unto boasting in thy strength and thy wisdom.
3 And this is not all, my son. Thou didst do that which was grievous unto me; for thou didst forsake the ministry, and did go over into the land of Siron among the borders of the Lamanites, after the aharlot Isabel.
Alma shares the gravity of Corianton's actions:
"Know ye not, my son, that these things are an abomination in the sight of the Lord; yea, most aabominable above all sins save it be the shedding of innocent bblood or denying the Holy Ghost?"(Alma 39:5)
Quote: "Setting aside sins against the Holy Ghost for a moment as a special category unto themselves, it is LDS doctrine that sexual transgression is second only to murder in the Lord’s list of life’s most serious sins. By assigning such rank to a physical appetite so conspicuously evident in all of us, what is God trying to tell us about its place in his plan for all men and women in mortality? I submit to you he is doing precisely that—commenting about the very plan of life itself. Clearly God’s greatest concerns regarding mortality are how one gets into this world and how one gets out of it. These two most important issues in our very personal and carefully supervised progress are the two issues that he as our Creator and Father and Guide wishes most to reserve to himself. These are the two matters that he has repeatedly told us he wants us never to take illegally, illicitly, unfaithfully, without sanction" (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, "Of Souls, Symbols, and Sacraments," speeches.byu.edu)
Quote: "Perhaps there is a common element in those two things—unchastity and murder. Both have to do with life, which touches upon the highest of divine powers. Murder involves the wrongful taking of life; sexual transgression may involve the wrongful giving of life, or the wrongful tampering with the sacred fountains of life-giving power” (Bruce C. Hafen, “The Gospel and Romantic Love,” New Era, Feb. 2002, 10).
What advice does Alma give Corianton?
9 Now my son, I would that ye should repent and forsake your sins, and go no more after the alusts of your eyes, but bcross yourself in all these things; for except ye do this ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God. Oh, remember, and take it upon you, and ccross yourself in these things.
10 And I command you to take it upon you to counsel with your elder brothers in your undertakings; for behold, thou art in thy youth, and ye stand in need to be nourished by your brothers. And give heed to their counsel.
11 Suffer not yourself to be led away by any vain or foolish thing; suffer not the devil to lead away your heart again after those wicked harlots. Behold, O my son, how great ainiquity ye brought upon the bZoramites; for when they saw your cconduct they would not believe in my words.
12 And now the Spirit of the Lord doth say unto me: aCommand thy children to do good, lest they blead away the hearts of many people to destruction; therefore I command you, my son, in the fear of God, that ye crefrain from your iniquities;
13 That ye turn to the Lord with all your mind, might, and strength; that ye lead away the hearts of no more to do wickedly; but rather return unto them, and aacknowledge your faults and that wrong which ye have done.
What are the glad tidings Alma shares with Corianton in Alma 39:15-19?
15 And now, my son, I would say somewhat unto you concerning the acoming of Christ. Behold, I say unto you, that it is he that surely shall come to take away the sins of the world; yea, he cometh to declare glad tidings of salvation unto his people.
16 And now, my son, this was the ministry unto which ye were called, to declare these glad tidings unto this people, to prepare their minds; or rather that salvation might come unto them, that they may prepare the minds of their achildren to hear the word at the time of his coming.
17 And now I will ease your mind somewhat on this subject. Behold, you marvel why these things should be known so long beforehand. Behold, I say unto you, is not a soul at this time as precious unto God as a soul will be at the time of his coming?
Definition: The word "gospel" comes from the Old English word "godspel," "god" meaning good and "spel" meaning story (see etymonline.com).
Quote: "The gospel of Jesus Christ is good news, glad tidings, and much more. It is the message of salvation as repeatedly announced by Jesus Christ and His apostles and prophets. It is my firm belief that all truth and light originating with God is embraced in the gospel of Jesus Christ" (Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Have We Not Reason to Rejoice?" October 2007 conference)
Quote: "We can hear a voice of gladness that brings exclamations of hope and joy into: our lives. The joy of our testimonies of the Savior can punctuate every aspect of our lives as we seek to come unto Christ” (Sister Coleen K. Menlove, “A Voice of Gladness for Our Children” October 2002 conference).
What was Corianton worried about?
"Now my son, here is somewhat more I would say unto thee; for I perceive that thy mind is worried concerning the resurrection of the dead" (Alma 40:1).
Alma sees that his son might not be truly converted to Christ and teaches him about the resurrection.
Quote: "I believe that a testimony of Jesus Christ hinges on a belief in the resurrection: If Jesus rose from the dead, he is the Son of God! If he is the Son of God, his gospel is true! If his gospel is true, men must believe or disobey at their peril! They must accept his truths and be baptized and live the law, or they will be damned! What this comes down to is that if the apostles in that day had the power and ability to convince men that Jesus rose from the dead, then they had established the truth and divinity of the work. And how do you prove the resurrection? As we are going to see, you prove it by testimony.
"Paul testified that Jesus Christ was 'declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead'” (Rom. 1:1–4). (Bruce R. McConkie, "Gaining a Testimony of Christ," Ensign, December 1980)
What did Alma want to know about the resurrection?
What was the answer to Alma's question?
Now, concerning the astate of the soul between bdeath and the resurrection—Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are ctaken dhome to that God who gave them life (Alma 40:11).
What does "taken home to God" mean?
Quote: “These words of Alma [40:11] as I understand them, do not intend to convey the thought that all spirits go back into the presence of God for an assignment to a place of peace or a place of punishment and before him receive their individual sentence. ‘Taken home to God’ [compare Ecclesiastes 12:7] simply means that their mortal existence has come to an end, and they have returned to the world of spirits, where they are assigned to a place according to their works with the just or with the unjust, there to await the resurrection. ‘Back to God’ is a phrase which finds an equivalent in many other well known conditions. For instance: a man spends a stated time in some foreign mission field. When he is released and returns to the United States, he may say, ‘It is wonderful to be back home’; yet his home may be somewhere in Utah or Idaho or some other part of the West” (Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., Answers to Gospel Questions, 5 vols. [1957–66], 2:85).
What else did Alma learn about what happens after we die?
12 And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of ahappiness, which is called bparadise, a state of rest, a state of cpeace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow.
13 And then shall it come to pass, that the aspirits of the wicked, yea, who are evil—for behold, they have no part nor portion of the Spirit of the Lord; for behold, they chose evil works rather than good; therefore the spirit of the bdevil did enter into them, and take possession of their house—and these shall be cast out into couter darkness; there shall be dweeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth, and this because of their own iniquity, being led captive by the will of the devil" (Alma 40:12-13).
What does it mean to be righteous?
"But, behold, the arighteous, the bsaints of the Holy One of Israel, they who have believed in the Holy One of Israel, they who have endured the ccrosses of the world, and despised the shame of it, they shall dinherit the ekingdom of God, which was prepared for them ffrom the foundation of the world, and their gjoy shall be full hforever" (2 Nephi 9:18).
1. Be a saint (a baptized member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).
2. Believe in the Holy One of Israel (Jesus Christ).
3. Endure the crosses of the world.
4. Despise the shame of it (despise the shame of the world).
Where is the spirit world?
“Where is the spirit world? It is right here. Do the good and evil spirits go together? Yes, they do. Do they both inhabit one kingdom? Yes, they do [that is, the righteous and the wicked occupy together one world of spirits, although there are separate venues in that world for each, and a chasm, gulf, or some kind of barrier separates them there; . . . Do they go beyond the boundaries of the organized earth? No, they do not. They are brought forth upon this earth.” (Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, 376, see also Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 230.)
What happens in the spirit world?
34 And all other principles of the gospel that were necessary for them to know in order to qualify themselves that they might be ajudged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit (D&C 138:32-34).
Has a resurrection already happened?
15 Now, there are some that have understood that this state of happiness and this state of misery of the soul, before the resurrection, was a first resurrection. Yea, I admit it may be termed a resurrection, the araising of the spirit or the soul and their consignation to happiness or misery, according to the words which have been spoken.
16 And behold, again it hath been spoken, that there is a afirst bresurrection, a resurrection of all those who have been, or who are, or who shall be, down to the resurrection of Christ from the dead.
17 Now, we do not suppose that this first resurrection, which is spoken of in this manner, can be the resurrection of the souls and their aconsignation to happiness or misery. Ye cannot suppose that this is what it meaneth.
What happens when a person is resurrected?
"The asoul shall be brestored to the cbody, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a dhair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and eperfect frame" (Alma 40:23).
Quote: “What comfort to know that all who have been disadvantaged in life from birth defects, from mortal injuries, from disease, or from the natural deterioration of old age will be resurrected in ‘proper and perfect frame’…the assurance of resurrection gives is the strength and perspective to endure the mortal challenges faced by each of us and by those we love, such as things as the physical, mental, or emotional deficiencies we bring with us at birth or acquire during mortal life. Because of resurrection we know that these mortal deficiencies are only temporary!" (President Dallin H. Oaks, “Resurrection,” Ensign, May 2000).
Quote: "The assurance of resurrection also gives us a powerful incentive to keep the commandments of God during our mortal lives. Resurrection is much more than merely reuniting a spirit to a body held captive by the grave. We know from the Book of Mormon that the resurrection is a restoration that brings back “carnal for carnal” and “good for that which is good” (Alma 41:13; see also Alma 41:2–4 and Hel. 14:31)" (President Dallin H. Oaks, “Resurrection,” Ensign, May 2000).
What does it mean to be restored?
3 And it is requisite with the ajustice of God that men should be bjudged according to their cworks; and if their works were good in this life, and the desires of their hearts were good, that they should also, at the last day, be drestored unto that which is good.
4 And if their works are evil they shall be arestored unto them for evil. Therefore, all things shall be brestored to their proper order, every thing to its natural frame—cmortality raised to dimmortality, ecorruption to incorruption—raised to fendless happiness to ginherit the kingdom of God, or to endless misery to inherit the kingdom of the devil, the one on one hand, the other on the other (Alma 41:3-4).
What is Corianton worried about in Alma 42?
And now, my son, I perceive there is somewhat more which doth worry your mind, which ye cannot understand—which is concerning the ajustice of God in the bpunishment of the sinner; for ye do try to suppose that it is cinjustice that the sinner should be consigned to a state of misery" (Alma 42:1).
Alma explains that God uses justice and mercy to judge His children:
And now, the plan of mercy could not be brought about except an atonement should be made; therefore God himself aatoneth for the sins of the world, to bring about the plan of bmercy, to appease the demands of cjustice, that God might be a dperfect, just God, and a emerciful God also.(Alma 42:15).
A picture of the scales of justice:
Definition: The Hebrew word for mercy, "rachamim," stems from the word "rechem," which means womb.
Quote: “You know, I believe that the Lord will help us. I believe if we go to him, he will give us wisdom, if we are living righteously. I believe he will answer our prayers. I believe that our Heavenly Father wants to save every one of his children. I do not think he intends to shut any of us off because of some slight transgression, some slight failure to observe some rule or regulation. There are the great elementals that we must observe, but he is not going to be captious about the lesser things.
“I believe that his juridical concept of his dealings with his children could be expressed in this way: I believe that in his justice and mercy, he will give us the maximum reward for our acts, give us all that he can give, and in the reverse, I believe that he will impose upon us the minimum penalty which it is possible for him to impose.
“I often think that one of the most beautiful things in the Christ’s life was his words on the cross, when, suffering under the agony of a death that is said to have been the most painful that the ancients could devise, death on the cross, after he had been unjustly, illegally, contrary to all the rules of mercy, condemned and then crucified, when he had been nailed to the cross and was about to give up his life, he said to his Father in heaven, as those who were within hearing testify: ‘… Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do’ (Luke 23:34)” (as quoted by President Thomas S. Monson, "Mercy, the Divine Gift," April 1995 conference).
Segment 1 0:00
Corianton, if you're listening from the spirit world, I would like to give a collective thank you from all of us who are about to learn from your example today. I assume that it was not easy being called out by your dad, and then included on the plates for all of us to read about. Today in Alma chapter 39 through 42, we're going to conclude Alma's instructions to his son, and specifically, to Corianto, regarding what he did. And we're going to learn about how Alma handled it. So thank you, Corianton. And thank you, Alma for showing us what it looks and sounds like when a parent has to have that hard conversation with their child about sin, and I might add, a conversation that we should really be having from the very first moment that a little one starts testing the waters.
Welcome to the Sunday on Monday Study Group, a Deseret Bookshelf PLUS+ original brought to you by LDS Living where we take the "Come, Follow Me" lesson for the week and we really dig into the scriptures together. I'm your host, Tammy Uzelac Hall.
Now, if you're new to our study group, we want to make sure that you know how to use this podcast so maybe you're an overachiever, unlike me, who likes to get your scripture study done all in one day. Well, you can listen to the full study group discussion all at once, but here's something cool, you can also listen to it in segments. One segment per day as you study. There's six segments total, and each one is about 10 to 12 minutes each. So you could study your scriptures for 10 minutes a day. How great is that?
When the segment is over, you're gonna hear a little bit of music, like one of those storybooks when we were kids, if you're as old as me, and then you'll know that that's the end of the segment. So listen for the music. Now, my favorite part of this podcast is, each week we're joined by two of my friends, and so it's a little different each week and you get a different perspective on what we're studying. So today, I have my good friend Tamu Smith and Abe Mills. Hi, guys!
Hey, how are you?
What is up Tammy? How you doing?
Good. I'm so glad... Now listen how excited I was when I was talking to Tamu and I learned that she knew you Abe, because Abe and I go way back. We grew up together in high school, church dances, busting it out there.
I would say that you were a pretty good dancer if I can remember right.
Yeah, I'm great. I mean listen...
Like better than Monica on "Friends" or...
No I'd say right about there. Now, Abe and Tamu, how do you know each other?
I moved to Utah and Abe was doing this show "Center Street." Was it "Center Street?"
At BYU. And everybody would stop me and say, "Hey, do you know Abe?" And I was like, "Who the heck is Abe?" And so then we ended up meeting each other, we did a play together, and it was before I had all of my kids, and one day I came home and my son looked at me and he's like, "Mom?" and I said, "Yes." And he goes, "Were you married to Uncle Abe?" And I said, "Was I married to Uncle Abe? No." And he was like, "I saw your video," and he just starts crying. I was like, "What video?" It was the video of us in a play and Abe was my abusive boyfriend in the play.
No, that was "The Blacker the Berry," right?
That was "The Blacker the Berry," yes. At BYU.
That's right at BYU.
Well, you know what, I'll dub the video and send it to you.
I gotta find it though first.
Definitely do that because I would love to see me trying to act.
You did a great job.
I was no Will Smith.
Well, I mean...
Who is really?
There's only one.
Yeah, that's right. That is true. I'm good with that.
So awesome. And we have to mention the fact that Abe was also in the original first Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints boy band "Jericho Road."
That's right. Woot woot. Watch out, "Tell me why..."
You got to include a picture because that's pretty awesome too. Okay, we'll put that in our show notes. You guys can go see that. For those of you who were the screaming girls of "Jericho Road," we got Abe Mills on the show.
Now they're the screaming mothers and grandmothers.
Don't that make you feel some type of way?
Whoa, you know what I'm saying? People are like, "Yeah, I used to listen to you when I was in grade school." I'm like, "Dang."
My mom knew you and it's a grown up.
Okay, well if you want to know what my friends look like and you want to read more information about them, you can read their bios at LDSLiving.com/SundayonMonday with our show notes. So I totally recommend it. Go and look at their pictures because it's fun. Okay, so here's what we need to know before we can get into the scriptures. So last week, we studied Alma's final counsel to Helaman and to Shiblon, and this week, we're going to read what he has to say to Corianton who's the youngest of the three. Each chapter addresses a doctrinal question and there is so much to cover. Like so much, I kind of just want to say to everybody, "You know, just go ahead and read the scripture block and we'll see you next week. Thank you and good night." I really did say a prayer that Heavenly Father would somehow slow down time so that we can get through all of this information that we have to cover in these chapters and it's such good stuff. So friends, grab your scriptures and let's dig in. Okay, Alma chapter 39. This chapter is heavy. Right, Abe? Right, Tamu?
I mean, no one wants to be called out, let alone exposed for the things that they've done. What are some of the thoughts you had as you were reading chapter 39?
The second I saw that that's what we were reading, I was like, "Oh, no, not this one. I remember this one."
I think in the other ones, at least when I remember it, it just seems like all these great and wonderful things and all of the sudden it comes to this guy and it's like, "Alright, we got to talk about this." Nobody likes to be in those kind of talks. It makes your stomach kind of tie up in knots and just... I feel for the guy.
Like it's one thing when you're sitting in the room and you're like, "Somebody in here is sinning, but then when you say what the sin is, and everybody's looking at you."
Yeah because they know it's you.
Yeah, super uncomfortable. Let's go into chapter 39, and let's just look at verses one through four. And as we read these four verses, let's talk about what Corianton did. Like what is the problem here. Abe, will you start for us and read verses one through four, and as we do, those of you listening, kind of look and mark what it is that he's being called out for.
"And now, my son, I have somewhat more to say unto thee than what I said unto thy brother; for behold, have ye not observed the steadiness of thy brother, his faithfulness, and his diligence in keeping the commandments of God? Behold, has he not set a good example for thee?"
"For thou didst not give so much heed unto my words as did thy brother, among the people of the Zoramites. Now this is what I have against thee; thou didst go on unto boasting in thy strength and thy wisdom."
"And this is not all, my son. Thou didst do that which was grievous unto me; for thou didst forsake the ministry, and did go over into the land of Siron among the borders of the Lamanites, after the harlot Isabel."
"Yea, she did steal away the hearts of many; but this was no excuse for thee, my son. Thou shouldst have tended to the ministry wherewith thou wast entrusted."
Thank you. What did you guys mark?
I actually was just urban translating that.
Do it for us.
"You're not as faithful as your brother. And your brother was faithful. He did the thing that needed to be done. And you, I sent you out there and what did you do? You went after this harlot who was stealing everybody's hearts. So I'm not surprised that she stole yours. But also, you didn't repent of it, and you didn't come back sooner."
I like how you put that into the urban language, Tamu. The idea of, "Not only did you leave for a harlot, but that you left your mission for the harlot." Then Alma his Dad, hits him with verse five. So Abe, I'm going to have you keep reading, will you please read verse five? Because this is the hitter.
"Know ye not, my son, that these things are an abomination in the sight of the Lord; yea, most abominable above all sins save it be the shedding of innocent blood or denying the Holy Ghost?"
Now, I want to be honest. I've always had a hard time with this idea that committing a sin against the law of chastity ranks in order of denying the Holy Ghost, murder, law of chastity. Like it just seems so harsh to me sometimes. Have you guys ever felt the same way?
I have, but I also grew up Pentecostal.
Yeah, what does that mean?
And that means that everything is a sin, everything. But then one time my uncle broke it down, the law of chastity, the law of chastity is the covenant and a commitment that you make that you keep with God. Like Mary, she kept this law with God, she kept this covenant with God and because of that, she was able to give birth to, you know our Savior. But if you look at it more than that, the law of chastity like it's a sin against generations because sometimes when you break the law of chastity, you do birth life. And when you birth life from that, I mean, you see what happened with David and Bathsheba. And a baby is kind of born into trauma. And so you can create a life that's born into love, you could create a life that's born into trauma. Now, this is just the Pentecostal version of that and it made sense to me.
Wow, thank you for sharing that.
It's interesting that you know, you think about it as a thing as murder and then that, right? Denying the Holy Ghost, murder, and then that. I think a lot of people if you ask them like, "Hey, you know, would you ever murder somebody?" I think a lot of people would say, "No," but I think that, you know, in society in general, it's kind of become more acceptable for people to not obey the law of chastity. So it is kind of amazing and eye opening for a lot of people to realize how close to the top that sin is.
You know, thank you, Tamu and Abe, for sharing your thoughts and feelings on that. It's really good to know that other people have thought about this, and the hierarchy of sin that the Lord has set out. And Abe, I like that you said, "Here's the way that God has put it." But when we break that law, to say that it comes in the same order of, you know, denying the Holy Ghost, murdering, law of chastity. I struggled with that for a while. And then I read this quote by Elder Holland in his talk of "Souls, Symbols, and Sacraments," and I love how he set this up because it helped me fully understand. And so I want to read this quote.
"Setting aside sins against the Holy Ghost for a moment as a special category unto themselves, it is LDS doctrine that sexual transgression is second only to murder in the Lord’s list of life’s most serious sins. By assigning such rank to a physical appetite so conspicuously evident in all of us, what is God trying to tell us about its place in his plan for all men and women in mortality? I submit to you he is doing precisely that—commenting about the very plan of life itself. Clearly God’s greatest concerns regarding mortality are how one gets into this world and how one gets out of it. These two most important issues in our very personal and carefully supervised progress are the two issues that he as our Creator and Father and Guide wishes most to reserve to himself. These are the two matters that he has repeatedly told us he wants us never to take illegally, illicitly, unfaithfully, without sanction" (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, "Of Souls, Symbols, and Sacraments," speeches.byu.edu)
And when you put it into that, terms for me, I thought, "Oh, okay, that makes sense. He wants to have the ability to take life and to give it," and so we would never jokingly say and he gives us as an example in the talk, he says, "You would never jokingly take a gun up to someone and shoot it without the bullet hitting anyone," and going, "Wow, I really came close to the line on that one," or, "We got really close to that." And he says sometimes the law of chastity will do that, "We really got close to the line." And he's saying, "Just don't even go near the line. It's not worth it." And so that kind of helped put it into perspective of why that law of chastity is so important to our Heavenly Father. Any thoughts? Anything?
Here are my thoughts on the law of chastity. An explanation that I heard when I was younger, my uncle said, basically, sexual sin is a sin against your own consciousness. And so it's one of the only sins that is against yourself, internally, within your body, and most sins are external sense.
Oh, I totally get it. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Because we think about the 10 commandments, a lot of times they're what we're doing to other people, but the law of chastity is what we do within ourselves.
And because it changes you and even the way that you view the world and perceive yourself.
I like that Tamu. That's good. And here's Corianton being called out for this law of chastity infraction, but what I do appreciate so much about it is that Alma the Younger, the dad's speaking to his son. When Alma's talking to Corianton, it isn't futile, he doesn't just go, "And that's it. So good luck. And you're going to need to repent." He takes this opportunity to really teach his son about his relationship with Jesus Christ and why that's the most important thing that Corianton needs to understand. In fact, as hard as this conversation may seem that Alma is about to have, in verses nine through 14, you can read those on your own, but he gives some great ideas that we could be doing also to not sin again. And so I recommend everyone read verses nine through 14 and mark some of the great advice that is given to him. But what we're going to really focus on is Alma points out what Corianton was called to do on his mission, and we're going to talk about that in Alma chapter 39, which I think is going to help set Corianton up to understanding why what he did was so bad. And we're gonna talk about that in the next segment.
If someone says to you, "Hey, I have good news." What's your immediate reaction?
I wanna know what it is, man. What's the news?
You guys give me a specific time when you receive some good news.
So yeah, so we live in Florida, and my wife and my daughter went to volcano Bay. It's a big waterpark here in Orlando. And they were having a great time. They went on a day when it was kind of a cold day, especially for Florida, and when they went, they were one of maybe 10 people in the whole park. So they basically had the park to themselves. And so she got to talking to somebody and ultimately, he said, "You know what, I have these tickets that I want to give you." And so anyway, ultimately, she ended up getting tickets to go back to Volcano Bay from this person who just wanted to be nice to us. And when she came home, she said, "I have this news. It's good news. Have a seat. I want to tell you this story." And then she told us all and like the second that she told us all that we were going to Volcano Bay as a family, we all went absolutely crazy. Jumping up and down and ah.
That's some good news. I love it.
Well, for me, it was, we were helping out with the 40th anniversary for the blacks in the priesthood. And it was myself and six other women, we sat down, we wrote out a script, and we just thought, "Let's send it to everybody we know, all the General Authorities," and at the time, there was nothing for weeks, and we were meeting and making plans and then to be summoned by leaders of the Church. You know, I'm super optimistic about everything, and some of my friends are kind of pessimistic. So you had the super optimistic one, and then the one that was like, "This is not gonna happen because they could just send us an email and say, 'Hey, it's gonna happen.'" Like, we'd have to drive to Salt Lake for this. So we were sitting in this room, and a general authority came in and he was like, "You guys, I have great news." And his face was so excited, and so of course, I got excited, and he told us, you know, "The Church is on board. We're going to do it. We want to do it big." Because we were thinking like, "Bountiful Regional Center." And he was like, "We want to do it big. We want to do it in the conference center." And I was like, "Oh, oh my..." It was like I just won the lottery. And of course, she and I are holding hands up under the table, squeezing hands, and I mean, it was big news. That was good news. Like I get chills every time I think about it.
That's better news than going to Volcano Bay.
No. My kids wouldn't say so. And there's no comparison, good news is good news.
Thank you. Absolutely. So let's see what good news has to do with Corianton and Alma in chapter 39. Let's just read verses 15 and 16, Tamu will you read both of those verses for us?
I sure will, 15 and 16.
"And now, my son, I would say somewhat unto you concerning the coming of Christ. Behold, I say unto you, that it is he that surely shall come to take away the sins of the world; yea, he cometh to declare glad tidings of salvation unto his people."
"And now, my son, this was the ministry unto which ye were called, to declare these glad tidings unto this people, to prepare their minds; or rather that salvation might come unto them, that they may prepare the minds of their children to hear the word at the time of his coming."
Thank you. In verses 15 and 16, mark the two words "glad tidings." Glad tidings literally means the gospel. And the word "gospel" is "good news." That's what's so cool is that in Old English, "good" is spelled "God," but the "O" is long so it's "good." Does that sound good?
Good spell. That's what good news or the gospel of Jesus Christ is, good spell, which means "good news" or "good story." Elder Uchtdorf said that, "The gospel of Jesus Christ is good news, glad tidings, and much more." And we'll have that quote in our show notes so that you can see it. And so these glad tidings we're reading about, it is the good news, it is the gospel of Jesus Christ. So in verse 16, we could read it and have it say, "And now, my son, this was the ministry unto which ye were called, to declare of this good news, or to declare of this gospel unto this people, and to prepare their minds that they're salvation might come onto them."
Somewhere on that page next to the word "glad tidings," put exclamation points. Are you guys guilty of using exclamation points in your text messages or emails?
All the time.
Yes. A little bit.
Oh all the time. Oh my gosh.
Bold typing all the time.
I know, I'm like, "I'm not yelling. I'm just super excited. Exclamation. Exclamation." I'm super excited. There is a great scripture reference in Doctrine and Covenants section 128. And it's verses 19 and 23 that's filled with exclamation points that describes the good news or the glad tidings. So go to Doctrine and Covenants section 128, and let's look at verse 19. Abe will you read that for us, and read it with the exclamations.
"Now, what do we hear in the gospel which we have received? A voice of gladness! A voice of mercy from heaven; and a voice of truth out of the earth; glad tidings for the dead; a voice of gladness for the living and the dead; glad tidings of great joy. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that bring glad tidings of good things, and that say unto Zion: Behold, thy God reigneth! As the dews of Carmel, so shall the knowledge of God descend upon them!"
Do verse 23 for us because that was so good and verse 23 is a continuation.
I'm all on that.
"Let the mountains shout for joy, and all ye valleys cry aloud; and all ye seas and dry lands tell the wonders of your Eternal King! And ye rivers, and rooks, and rills, flow down with gladness. Let the woods and all the trees of the field praise the Lord; and ye solid brocks weep for joy! And let the sun, moon, and the morning stars sing together, and let all the sons of God shout for joy! And let the eternal creations declare his name forever and ever! And again I say, how glorious is the voice we hear from heaven, proclaiming in our ears, glory, and salvation, and honor, and immortality, and eternal life; kingdoms, principalities, and powers!"
Amen. Amen. Amen.
That was awesome. Sister Coleen K. Menlove had this to say about glad tidings, exclamation point, and I'm going to have you read that for us, Tamu.
"We can hear a voice of gladness that brings exclamations of hope and joy into: our lives. The joy of our testimonies of the Savior can punctuate every aspect of our lives as we seek to come unto Christ” (Sister Coleen K. Menlove, “A Voice of Gladness for Our Children” October 2002 conference).
Thank you. Okay, my question is, for you guys, what aspect of the gospel of Jesus Christ is an exclamation point for you?
I believe, you know, that part of the Gospel is being optimistic and having great excitement. There's a lot of things about life that can be difficult and hard and especially when you're in sin or you are having difficulties and struggling with sin, but I do believe that the whole key to the gospel is that if you believe in God, if you believe that Christ really is Christ, and that he did what he did, then you can live with hope and joy that your life can get better.
Yes. I like that.
Yes. Now for me, it just takes a little bit, right? So Jesus, "Jesus" means "I'm saved." The name Jesus, I mean, like there's a song called "There's Something About the Name Jesus:" Oh how I love you, Jesus." It's the sweetest name that I know. And it's the sweetest name I know because it means "I'm saved." It means "I'm forgiven." It means "I'm atoned for." It means "someone has my back." And so when somebody says to me, in the depths of whatever the thing is I'm going through, "Have you talked to Jesus?" He is my exclamation point. Just saying his name for me is enough to help draw me out of that darkness back into light and back into community because I'm loved there, that's where I'm loved is through him.
And I love that you brought that up, Tamu, about Jesus, for me to live as Christ, exclamation point, to talk about Jesus. And I kind of wonder if Alma is understanding his son right now at this point because in Alma chapter 39, verse 17, he says, "Listen, I'm going to ease your mind somewhat on the subject that I've been talking to you about." And I'm starting to think that, you know, maybe Alma realizes Corianton isn't quite converted to Christ yet based on what we've learned about him so far.
So then, in verse six, when he's talking about, he denied the Holy Ghost, and that you know, it was the unpardonable sin, but then he goes on to say, "Whosoever murdereth against the light of the knowledge of Christ..." So what is the life and knowledge of God?
So that's a good question, Tamu. So he didn't, specifically in verse six, Corianton didn't deny the Holy Ghost. He was not a son of perdition. If you want to read more about that, that's in Doctrine and Covenants section 76. You can read about a son of perdition. And so Corianton is not qualified as that. Alma just uses that to say, "Look, here's the most serious sin you can commit — denying the Holy Ghost, then murder, then breaking the law of chastity."
I almost feel like he wanted to like scare him really bad. You know, you start talking to your kids and then you kind of go off because you really got all this stuff in your mind you got to get out.
Like, "You on the edge. If you did this, then you will do this."
Yeah exactly. "Now don't get me talking about the Holy Ghost now because if you did that, then that ..." You know.
Yes. "If you knew it was in you..." And so that's what I thought he was saying like, "You had all of these things and you're out there teaching the gospel, and not only did you sin, but you sinned and because of your sin, people will fall away."
Verse seven is totally, Tamu. Verse seven is like, "Oh, and I pray to Jesus that you did not commit that crime." Like, "Let's hope you didn't go that far. Okay, so we're gonna back the truck up."
"Don't tell me. Don't tell me."
"Please, I know you did not do that. So back it up, and let's talk about what you did do." In fact, in verse 19 is, "I would that ye would repent and forsake your sins and go no more after the less of your eyes but cross yourself..." That means, "You better get some self-mastery. Cross yourself, check yourself," is what he's saying.
"Check yourself before you wreck yourself."
Yeah, that's exactly what Alma's saying. We're going to urbanize this whole chapter and I love it. Alma's saying, "Check yourself before you wreck yourself, and don't do it ever again." Because yes, I love that you brought that up.
Because going down a siren is bad for your health.
Yes. Well, and then go to verse 17 because they have this conversation and then I love that Alma's like, "You know what, I'm going to ease your mind somewhat on the subject," because he understands that Corianton's still dealing with some things. He's got some questions because Corianton doesn't understand like, "Why are we even teaching this right now to these people, if they're alive? Like, why does it even matter?" And so as we go into the next segment, we're going to talk about the one thing that Corianton needs to become converted to Christ.
Segment 3 26:16
So I mentioned that Corianton wasn't truly converted, and I'm going to tell you why I said this because when I was preparing this lesson, I was reminded of a very humbling experience that I had when I was serving as a Relief Society president in a singles ward. And I couldn't fully understand why the people in my singles ward were continuing to make the same choices. It seems like they were always in the bishop's office for the same sins that they had just currently been forgiven of. And I was complaining about this to my bishop who was a very wise man. He happened to be the son of a sitting apostle at the time, and he shared with me some words that his father taught him and I'll never forget this. In a very loving and simple way, and he kind of even put his hand on my shoulder, and he said, "Oh, well, it's because they aren't truly converted, and as the Savior's servants, that's our job to aid in the conversion process to bringing people to Jesus Christ." Those words sunk so deep into my heart. I had never considered that they weren't converted. Like I figured everybody was, and those words change the way I taught lessons, the way I prepared lessons, and the way I served the people in my singles ward, and the way I loved people because boy, I was a judgmental jerk. So... go ahead Abe.
Yes, so you were being converted too. So it's one of those things where we just continue to be converted, right? Even though we say, "Well, we're a little bit farther along the path," you know, but we're all in different places, but we're all kind of moving towards a greater conversion to the Savior.
Thank you, Abe. And I like how you said that we think we're a little bit further on the path because I thought I had like, completely, I was done with the race. Like I was already at the end, waiting for everyone to catch up with me. That's how big of a jerk I was.
That's where Abe was so good because I was just gonna let you sit in your unrighteous judgment. I was like, "Yeah, you actually were being self-righteous," and Abe you were right, you're right Abe, I'm sorry.
I'm glad I have Abe on this. Thank you. Let's go to Alma chapter 40 verse one, and Abe, will you read Alma chapter 40 verse one.
"Now my son, here is somewhat more I would say unto thee; for I perceive that thy mind is worried concerning the resurrection of the dead."
Okay, now why of all the things he can start with to convert his son, why is he going to start with the resurrection?
Well, first of all, I just want to say, I wonder if the dude was even worried about the resurrection of the dead. I think this is a little move that I use in parenting. "I perceive that you must be worried about resurrection of the dead," like he's probably thinking, "I wasn't thinking about resurrection at all, but I better start listening," right?
Right. "Let me plant this seed. Let me plant this seed."
I think that he started with resurrection of the dead because without resurrection of the dead there's no need to repent because the mission was not complete. You know, Jesus's resurrection, that's the final act that he needed to fulfill so that we could have eternal life, so that repentance would be possible.
Oh, I like that. That's a great connection, Tamu.
Exactly. Yeah, that's great.
Abe, read this quote for us. This is by Bruce R. McConkie and this is what he had to say about resurrection and conversion.
"I believe that a testimony of Jesus Christ hinges on a belief in the resurrection: If Jesus rose from the dead, he is the Son of God! If he is the Son of God, his gospel is true! If his gospel is true, men must believe or disobey at their peril! They must accept his truths and be baptized and live the law, or they will be damned! What this comes down to is that if the apostles in that day had the power and ability to convince men that Jesus rose from the dead, then they had established the truth and divinity of the work. And how do you prove the resurrection? As we are going to see, you prove it by testimony. "Paul testified that Jesus Christ was 'declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead'” (Rom. 1:1–4). (Bruce R. McConkie, "Gaining a Testimony of Christ," Ensign, December 1980)
Thank you Abe for reading that. Isn't that interesting that what Elder McConkie said is the same thing that Alma's understanding about his son. Like, "We need to start with something basic. I need him to be converted to Christ so we're going to talk about the resurrection." What I want us to look at before we dive in, is in Alma chapter 40, verse seven. This is a really tender moment, and I like that Alma is going to share this experience with us. So in verse seven, it says, "And now I would inquire what becometh of the souls of men from this time of death to the time appointed for the resurrection?"
Like Alma is inquiring, he wants to know, he's like, "I have no idea what happens from the minute you die until the resurrection." And so just this idea of asking question to the Lord about something you don't know about is really powerful, and we believe that you can do this in our church. We believe this. And so before we met Tamu and Abe, I asked you guys to think about a time, have you had that experience where there was a gospel question, and you wanted to know more about it and so you prayed, you inquired of the Lord. Do you have experiences you could share with us?
For me, it was inquiring of the Lord prior to joining the LDS Church when I was 11. I had a friend that died when we were 10. She was hit by a car. I went to my uncle who was the patriarch of our family and also a pastor and I asked where she was because in the faith that I grew up in, it was either heaven or hell. And if you went to church and were saved and sanctified and the Holy Ghost fills you, you went to heaven, and if you didn't, you went to hell. But she didn't have a church that she belonged to and went to regularly, so I asked my uncle and he said, "Well, maybe if she accepted the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ right before she died, then she was saved." And I thought, "How would she know to do that?" And so I kept asking, you know, "Is there just heaven and hell?" And I prayed about that and it was just something that I constantly thought about.
And then it was, within a year, we found the missionaries and long story short, I'm here, I joined the Church. And I was sitting at church one Sunday, and someone was giving a talk about these three heavens, and I just remember how excited I got. And then afterwards, when the next time the missionaries came to my house, I was asking about these three heavens, and they shared with me, you know, the celestial, terrestrial, and telestial kingdoms. And that was so exciting for me because first of all, I grew up believing in heaven and hell. And also I was like, "If I could just make it to one of the other ones," like this is my little kid thinking back then, "but if I could just make it to one or the other ones," cause I, you know, I stole coins out my momma's purse and that made you go to hell, right? We had an arcade around the corner, but I was like, "If I can make it to a different heaven, that'd be good too. I don't even want to be in the heaven that my momma's in." So... that's the little kid brain. So yes, my question was answered and it was answered by God. Like I felt like it was really by God that it was answered.
Well what I love about your story is that you were little. Your little kid brain. Like even kids can ask questions. You can inquire. Kids can inquire and ask the Lord, thank you for sharing that. That was a great story.
Abe, what about you?
So when I was getting ready to go on a mission, I kind of felt like I just needed a firmer testimony of everything that I was going to be going out and teaching about. So I was praying and I had been praying and reading and just trying to develop a greater testimony of the Book of Mormon, of Joseph Smith as a prophet, all of those things that I knew that I was going to have to go out and teach people. I was actually in Massachusetts at the time, we lived in Massachusetts, and my father was the Branch President for Southeast Asian branch, and so the languages that were spoken there were Cambodian, Laotian, Vietnamese, but the missionaries would go out and I was getting closer to my mission, they kept asking me to go out with them.
And so I would drive and one of the days I was out with one of the missionaries, and we went up and met with the lady, and I didn't speak Cambodian or Laotian, and so I didn't really have to do much, I would just usually show up and then go in there with them and just nod and smile and then we would leave. And one day I went with them, and we went into a home, and this was a lady, I don't know if she was Laotian or Cambodian, but we sat down and he was speaking to her in the language that he was speaking. And in the middle of it, he turned to me and he said, "Tell her about Joseph Smith and what he, you know, what he experienced."
And so I was looking at him kind of like, "Well, I don't speak that language." And he said, "That's okay. Just say it in English. Just tell her about what happened with Joseph Smith in the first vision and all that." And so I started saying it, you know, basically just like I was in Sunday School. This is what happened. And as I was going through the story, I was looking at this lady, and her face started to change, and then she started crying. And then she started to cry, it was like the spirit inside of me was just like, reaching in there and being like, "This is true." And I was like going, "Whoa." It was just like, the kind of thing that you know that you can't deny, right? And so, I was just in awe. And so he started talking again, and he talked to her, he left the book with her, and then we left, and I was like looking at that missionary like, "What just happened man?" Like I was just, "Did she understand what I was saying?" And he was like, "Listen," he's like, "The Spirit works in interesting ways. I was told to ask you to tell that story, and as you told the story, she felt exactly what you were saying." And, wow, that's true and I was like, "Wow." And that right there, that was one of the things that I go back to a lot when things are getting tough.
And that's the touchstone.
Yes, that's the touchstone man. And I was like, I can still feel it now. I'm like, I know for sure I was like, there's no way that lady could have been crying if that wasn't right, you know, because it was all about the spirit that she understood anything that I said, or felt what I said. That was a big one for me, and I had been praying like I said for a long time, and that was a big answer for me.
Wow, Abe, thank you. Thank you for sharing. That was beautiful. Tamu, Abe, thank you, both of you for sharing those experiences because it's true, you can inquire of the Lord and you can get an answer, and that is exactly what Alma did. He's telling his son, "Hey, here's a piece of doctrine I don't understand, and I went to the Lord to get an answer," which I love that he's teaching that because he knows Corianton has questions. So he's using his own example, "I've had questions and here's the answer I got." And in the next segment, we're going to read the answer.
Segment 4 37:14
Alright, let's just jump into Alma chapter 40 and find out what the answer is that Alma got, he wants to know, what happens between the space of time when someone dies, and before they're resurrected because nothing has been written and he doesn't know where the spirit goes. So let's go into Alma chapter 40, and we're going to read verse 11, and I'll read that. Verse 11, says, "Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection—Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life."
Okay, so this is sort of like a mini judgement day right there. You could even put that next to the verse of scripture — "mini judgment." But let's make sure we understand that where it says that they go home to that God who gave them life, it does not literally mean they go back into the presence of our Heavenly Father, that day is reserved for judgment day. So we have to have this verse of scripture joined with a quote by Joseph Fielding Smith, and Tamu, will you read it for us please?
“These words of Alma [40:11] as I understand them, do not intend to convey the thought that all spirits go back into the presence of God for an assignment to a place of peace or a place of punishment and before him receive their individual sentence. ‘Taken home to God’ [compare Ecclesiastes 12:7] simply means that their mortal existence has come to an end, and they have returned to the world of spirits, where they are assigned to a place according to their works with the just or with the unjust, there to await the resurrection. ‘Back to God’ is a phrase which finds an equivalent in many other well known conditions. For instance: a man spends a stated time in some foreign mission field. When he is released and returns to the United States, he may say, ‘It is wonderful to be back home’; yet his home may be somewhere in Utah or Idaho or some other part of the West” (Joseph Fielding Smith Jr., Answers to Gospel Questions, 5 vols. [1957–66], 2:85).
Thank you. So that idea where it says, "Taken home to that God who gave them life," he's not really going back to God, but he is going home. That really made me think a lot about that phrase "going home" because we're going to read now about what that home will be for these spirits, but before we do that, here's what I want to know from both of you. I'm just curious, what does "home" mean to you?
It feels like love to me.
Yeah, surrounded by love. When we talk about home, it's all about the people there being loving to one another. A place of comfort, a place of peace.
For me, it's where I'm like the most comfortable. I can go in my pajamas to family dinner, and I don't even care. Like, you're just super comfortable there. And it's interesting to me when we talk about this idea of home because when we die, we're going to go to where we are at a place of love or where we're the most comfortable. And there are different places we can go, which is so interesting. So let's look at these two places in Alma chapter 40, verses 12 through 14. That's going to talk about the options. Here's where you might end up after you die. And so we'll start in verse 12. And I will read 12. Abe, will you read verse 13, and Tamu, verse 14, Okay, here we go.
"And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow."
Mark the word "righteous" in verse 12. I'm going to give you a cross reference because here's what the word "righteous" means. Because you read that and you're like, "Oh, you probably have to be perfect or" you know, "What does righteous mean?" Put Second Nephi, chapter nine, verse 18 next to it. And then turn there. Turn to Second Nephi, chapter nine. So if you're wondering, "Am I righteous enough to inherit paradise or a place of rest?" Here's the qualification. Second Nephi chapter nine, verse 18. This is what it says, "But, behold, the righteous," number one, "the saints of the Holy One of Israel," so to become a saint, you have to be baptized. Number two, "they who have believed in the Holy One of Israel," they believe in Jesus. Number three, "they who have endured the crosses of the world." I love that, like all the heartache, all the sorrow, all the yuck, you've just endured it. And number four, "and despise the shame of it." The word "it" in that verse is the world. You've despised the shame of the world. You don't care what the world thinks, you're going to love Jesus, you're going to believe in him. It then says, "...they shall inherit the kingdom of God which was prepared for them from the foundation of the world, and their joy shall be full forever." So the righteous will be entered into a state of happiness or paradise. That's where they are the most comfortable, that is their home. Now, it's interesting, because on the opposite side of that, though, are verses 13 and 14, so Abe, will you read 13 and then Tamu 14.
"And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of the wicked, yea, who are evil—for behold, they have no part nor portion of the Spirit of the Lord; for behold, they chose evil works rather than good; therefore the spirit of the devil did enter into them, and take possession of their house—and these shall be cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth, and this because of their own iniquity, being led captive by the will of the devil."
Mark "outer darkness" in this verse, verse 13, because immediately when we think "outer darkness," we're like, "Oh, that's perdition." That is not what it's referring to. So underline "outer darkness" and then draw a line out to the side and put "spirit prison." This right here "outer darkness" is actually referring to "spirit prison." So now we know there's two places we could go — paradise or prison. Tamu, read 14.
"Now this is the state of the souls of the wicked, yea, in darkness, and a state of awful, fearful looking for the fiery indignation of the wrath of God upon them; thus they remain in this state, as well as the righteous in paradise, until the time of their resurrection."
Okay, this is where it gets so fun because then we want to know, and I always have students say, "Well, where is the spirit world? And what's that like? And is it divided into two halves where all the righteous are over here and the not righteous over here?" So we're going to start with this quote by Brigham Young because the first question is, where is the spirit world? And I love this. So if you're wondering, "Where is it?" Let's read this quote, and Abe, will you read this for us, please?
“Where is the spirit world? It is right here. Do the good and evil spirits go together? Yes, they do. Do they both inhabit one kingdom? Yes, they do [that is, the righteous and the wicked occupy together one world of spirits, although there are separate venues in that world for each, and a chasm, gulf, or some kind of barrier separates them there; . . . Do they go beyond the boundaries of the organized earth? No, they do not. They are brought forth upon this earth.” (Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, 376, see also Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 230.)
So crazy because here we are, and I like the idea as if the veil were to be lifted, we'd see spirits all around us, but what is going on in the spirit world? Let's go to Doctrine and Covenants section 138. This is so fun because as I am speaking to you and teaching you this, look what's being taught in the spirit world. So section 138. The righteous are teaching Institute or seminary classes to those who are the wicked, to those who are still needing to repent, and to those who haven't learned the gospel of Jesus Christ. They all have to be taught. So this is really cool. In Section 138 of the Doctrine and Covenants, we're going to read verses 32 and through 34. I'll read those.
"Thus was the gospel preached to those who had died in their sins, without a knowledge of the truth, or in transgression, having rejected the prophets."
"These were taught faith in God, repentance from sin, vicarious baptism for the remission of sins, the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands,"
"And all other principles of the gospel that were necessary for them to know in order to qualify themselves that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit."
Now, look at verse 33 because this is interesting, it's Article of Faith number four, except there's one word that's different for them than for us. What word is that?
Starts with a "V."
Yeah. What does that word mean?
I don't know.
I think it means in place of someone?
Like when you live vicariously through someone else.
So it's kind of fun because when you teach this to teenagers, you say, "Right now, as I'm speaking to you, in the spirit world, someone's being taught the gospel and they say 'I believe,' and then they say, 'Okay, well now you just have to wait for someone to do the work for you.'" And I look at those teenagers and I go, "That's you. You get to the temple and do baptisms for the dead."
But think about that, like they believe but they are just waiting for us to do the work. That, I just think is so neat. So right now in the spirit world, this is being taught, these people are getting chances. We've talked about this before, that no one's been cut off. So even people in the spirit world are still getting a chance to repent and do right so that they can then be judged by God and live with him again. He's giving everybody a chance even after this life. Give me your thoughts. What are you guys thinking? I love your faces right now. Hit it Abe.
Well, I think that is awesome because I think we need each other. We need other people, not only our Savior Jesus Christ, but we need each other; others who are living at this time, and we need others who have gone before us. I think it's kind of amazing that the most holy place that we can go on this earth is the temple. And at the temple, what do we do? We are able to do something for someone else who has gone before us. And of course, they're there and they need us to do those things for them. So it's perfect because we get a chance to help each other to reach where we need to reach and improve what we need to improve.
That's glad tidings, exclamation point.
We getting there and we getting there together, or we ain't geting there at all, you know.
Absolutely. And it's to me it's just a reminder of that this is the gospel of restoration. We restore, and I think that sometimes we lose sight of that, but when I look at top leaders over the global church, I think of all the things that they do restore. Like we restore life here, we restore life after this life, and we restore life and help to sustain it while it's here. And so when the world is being loud, that is something that for me has just now become touchstone.
Wow, Tamu, thank you for bringing that up because you are 100% right. In fact, in the spirit world in Section 138, verse 50, it says that the spirits in the spirit world looked upon the long absence of their spirits from their bodies as bondage. Like they want their bodies back. And so in the next segment, we're going to talk about what you just said about being restored and an aspect of restoration.
Segment 5 48:43
Did you guys know that a resurrection has already happened? Now I remember learning this and I thought it was so cool, and then I thought, "How come no one ever taught this to me?" And then I remembered, "Yeah, you know what, I didn't even know Christ came to America until I was in the MTC." So, Abe, will you read these verses about this resurrection in Alma chapter 40. And I'm just going to kind of stop you here and there. Start with verse 15.
"Now, there are some that have understood that this state of happiness and this state of misery of the soul, before the resurrection, was a first resurrection. Yea, I admit it may be termed a resurrection, the raising of the spirit or the soul and their consignation to happiness or misery, according to the words which have been spoken."
"And behold, again it hath been spoken, that there is a first resurrection, a resurrection of all those who have been, or who are, or who shall be, down to the resurrection of Christ from the dead."
Okay, stop. So highlight in verse 16, "first resurrection." There is a first resurrection and there's some great cross references to put next to that. You can put Matthew chapter 27, verses 52 through 53. And then third Nephi chapter 23, verses nine through 13. So the first resurrection that happened was when Christ was resurrected. And this is so cool because in Matthew, it states, "All those who were righteous that had lived before the time of Jesus Christ were resurrected when he was resurrected." So how great is that, and I love how in Matthew, it says that, that all of a sudden the dead came out of their graves, and you're like "Grandma?" You know? They didn't know it, they didn't expect it.
So Christ began the First Resurrection. When he comes again, it will usher in the morning of the First Resurrection, and that is those who will inherit the Celestial Kingdom. When we get to Doctrine and Covenants next year, we get to spend a lot of time on section 88, which is going to go really deep into all the different resurrections that we will experience. So we don't have the time to do it right now, but it's just important for us to know that Christ began the resurrection, and that people were resurrected who lived before him. So that's why John the Baptist was able to come and give the priesthood with his physical body because he had been a resurrected being. So that's kind of cool. I love that.
The second teaching in Alma chapter 40, is that resurrection is the restoration of the spirit to the body. So let's go to Alma chapter 40 and read verse 23. And Tamu, will you read verse 23 for us?
"The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame."
Praise the Lord.
Tam, I'm curious. What does your Pentecostal upbringing believe about the resurrection?
That on the morning of the resurrection that God will call forth the souls of the righteous, and that we will live and dwell with God and Jesus in heaven, and that those who were not righteous, there will be a damning and a shaming kind of, and that Lucifer will come for them, and that God and Jesus and us, we will watch as he drags their souls to hell forever.
Grab some popcorn and a coke. There's a show.
Some popcorn girl, I'm going to be praying like, "Thank you, Jesus, for not sending me with them." By the grace of God and the skin of my teeth.
Like does everyone get resurrected?
Everyone gets resurrected.
Everyone does. I love that. Let's read this quote by Elder Oaks. I like how he describes what will happen in verse 23. And especially, you know, I always had seminary teachers that would joke, "Not even a hair of our head shall be lost. Those bald guys are really counting on verse 23."
People wouldn't recognize me to be honest.
Abe you're gonna have a lot of hair.
You got a afro.
I'm like, "Yes, it's me. What you think?"
Well if Jenny got hair like her daddy, he gonna have an afro too. So she got that tight curl.
This is great. Let's read this quote. So this is my elder Oaks. Tamu, read the first one. I'll read the second one.
“What comfort to know that all who have been disadvantaged in life from birth defects, from mortal injuries, from disease, or from the natural deterioration of old age will be resurrected in ‘proper and perfect frame’…the assurance of resurrection gives is the strength and perspective to endure the mortal challenges faced by each of us and by those we love, such as things as the physical, mental, or emotional deficiencies we bring with us at birth or acquire during mortal life. Because of resurrection we know that these mortal deficiencies are only temporary!" (President Dallin H. Oaks, “Resurrection,” Ensign, May 2000).
Tamu, tell me what your thoughts are about that quote that we just read?
I'm just sitting here and I'm thinking about a lot of other things that I had heard linked to life in the preexistence or life in the hereafter, and one of those things is skin color. Our color, our complexion has greatly disadvantages in this world. And so sometimes people will equate my skin, our skin color, with being unrighteous in the preexistence, and so those are just kind of like myths and kind of folklore stories that I've heard around the Church, not like... people don't come up to me and say, "Your cursed," but they do tell me how other people, "They were blessed. And it's a blessing that they came to the world like this because they must have done something righteous." I don't have an expectation that when I am resurrected, I'm going to be white, but I also don't believe that I did anything wrong in the preexistence to come here like I am.
I love that you just pointed that out. It astounds me to think that people would think you'd be white. And I love that you pointed out you're not going to be, and there's no doctrine that proves you will be, and that it is a deficiency at all.
You know, and it's always hard when there's a misconception about something. So we're very curious people and I do believe that we try to find answers to things, and when there are not clear answers, we do the best that we can and studying and then fill in the blanks. And, you know, thank the Lord that we have a prophet, and we understand the truth, and we're not you know, about blacks in the priesthood and about skin color and the preexistence. We don't have to guess about those things anymore. So I'm with Tamu. I think that you know, there are still those people who will have things to say about that. There are many people who are still filling in blanks, but, you know, we know the truth and then you realize that we will not be resurrected and have a skin color change in order to correct some mistake that God made.
God made us and created us in his image, which might be confusing for some, but he created us in his image and we are blessed because of it. And whether we have disabilities or whether people want to see, you know, your skin color as being a disability to you. Either way, as God made us the way that we're supposed to be made, and he made it so that we can return to him. So that's really what this whole lesson is about, is how do we return to him? We couldn't do it without Jesus Christ, and we couldn't do it without each other.
You know Abe, I appreciate so much everything you just said. As you were talking, the scripture mastery scripture, Genesis chapter one, verse 26 and 27 popped into my head because you are right. We were made after his image. And you kept talking and you said something about how people are going to think things about the color of your skin and that they like to fill in the blanks, and sometimes unkind things are said. It plays into this whole idea of the resurrection because it's not just about reuniting our bodies and our spirits together, but it's so much more. And Elder Oaks says this about the resurrection. I want to read this quote to you.
"The assurance of resurrection also gives us a powerful incentive to keep the commandments of God during our mortal lives. Resurrection is much more than merely reuniting a spirit to a body held captive by the grave. We know from the Book of Mormon that the resurrection is a restoration that brings back “carnal for carnal” and “good for that which is good” (Alma 41:13; see also Alma 41:2–4 and Hel. 14:31)" (President Dallin H. Oaks, “Resurrection,” Ensign, May 2000).
So we cannot talk about resurrection without talking about the law of restoration and the role that our words and our deeds and the way we treat each other, how that plays into the resurrection. So here's my question for both of you. Have either of you ever restored anything like furniture or a car or anything?
What did you restore? And what was that like?
It was a tedious process. I've been to one of the "Super Saturdays" and learned about sandpaper and staining. And so I had a piece of furniture and I was like, "Oh my gosh, I'm going to do this and it will be easy and it will be fast." And it really wasn't. I had to put some sort of a varnish remover or like a paint remover on this piece of furniture, and then I had to scrape that up, scrape the old paint off, and let it sit and air out. And then I had to sand it, and then paint some of the parts that I wanted painted, and then stain it and wait. And so it took a long time. It took longer than I wanted it to and it was harder than I wanted it to be, but I like the finished product.
Oh my gosh. Okay, so I wish that I had a blackboard because on my piece of paper, I wrote down everything you said, and this is what you've said. You said, "It's tedious." That you had to let the stuff set in and you had to wait for it before you could finally make the next move. It took forever. You said, "The work was hard but the finished product was worth it." Everything you just said, as you described how to restore something is perfect for the bigger umbrella of restoration. Let's look in Alma chapter 41, verses three and four, and find out what's going to be restored in these verses because this chapter is hard. And it does take forever for a lot of us and some of us you have to just let things sit. And this is where we come back with what you said, Abe, that there are going to be some blanks and you have to just let there be blanks with some of these questions we have, but the law of restoration will fill in those blanks if we allow it to. So Alma chapter 41, verses three and four. And Abe, will you read those two for us please.
"And it is requisite with the justice of God that men should be judged according to their works; and if their works were good in this life, and the desires of their hearts were good, that they should also, at the last day, be restored unto that which is good."
"And if their works are evil they shall be restored unto them for evil. Therefore, all things shall be restored to their proper order, everything to its natural frame—mortality raised to immortality, corruption to incorruption—raised to endless happiness to inherit the kingdom of God, or to endless misery to inherit the kingdom of the devil, the one on one hand, the other on the other—"
Now go down to verse 13, and read that for us.
"O, my son, this is not the case; but the meaning of the word restoration is to bring back again evil for evil, or carnal for carnal, or devilish for devilish—good for that which is good; righteous for that which is righteous; just for that which is just; merciful for that which is merciful."
Now look at that verse, Tamu and Abe, and everything you described Tamu, how does it fit in with verse 13, and we think about that "good for good, righteous for righteous, merciful for merciful." That can be hard.
It can be hard and when you think about restoring something, a piece of furniture, every step that I took, had already been taken, like it had already had a finish on it, it had already been painted, it had already been sanded. It had already done all of those things, and so as I was restoring it, I had to undo each process and then go back through and redo those processes. So to go back like evil for evil, paint for paint, varnish for varnish, finish for finish, stain for stain, it was a different color, but it was the same piece of furniture.
And it's really interesting because my dad used to always tell me and my dad, I remember certain sayings that my dad had, and this was one of them. He always used to say, "You reap what you sow," and he would say it exactly like that. "You reap what you sow," like, "What you mean by that Dad?" You reap what you sow. And when you plant those seeds, you can't plant corn and expect and it says this in the scriptures I believe in Corinthians somewhere, but it says, "You can't plant seeds of corn and expect to get grain out of it." And so as we go through this life, if we're looking for mercy, then we need to be planting mercy, and if we're looking for righteousness we need to be planting righteousness. Now, obviously, we know that we're not all perfect, but we do the best that we can, and that's where Christ comes in to make the difference.
Yeah, you know, and I understood all of this. I'm like, "Oh, yeah, I totally get that good for good, bad for bad. I better be good." You know, in verse 10, of Alma chapter 41, Alma says to his son, "Wickedness never was happiness." I'm like, "Yeah, I know, I totally get that." Then I had one experience where I was at a CES seminar training for seminaries and institutes. And they asked this man to teach us and he, in my opinion, is one of the most brilliant Institute, religious theologians of our time, and he has paid the price to know stuff. And he got up and he started to teach us about the law of restoration. And he had us turn to Alma chapter 41, verses 14 and 15, and he read those to us. And he told us a story about how he got to church early with his son and the priests were preparing the sacrament and they needed somebody else to help get the sacrament ready.
And so, this institute teacher said to his son, "Hey, you should go up and help them get the sacrament ready." And the son just kind of like, "I'm not doing it, Dad, because I do it every Sunday. I'm always the one that gets the sacrament ready." And the dad looked at him and said, "Yeah, but it needs to be done. Like just go up and help. Help them prepare the sacrament." And this boy was really frustrated. He's just like, "Dad, I do it every week. Like I'm sick of it, let somebody else do it. I just I'm tired of always doing it." And then he shared this moment he had with his son and he looked at his son and he said, "Son, the minute you begin to measure your service in the kingdom of God, is the moment that God will measure back what you gave. So if you're only willing to give a fourth a cup of service, then expect that that's what God will give you back at Judgment Day." And I sat there and I thought, "Oh my gosh. How many times have I been guilty of saying, 'it's the same five people, I'm always the one that's showing up early for things,'" and then at that moment it struck me in my heart. Can you imagine if God's going, "Well, I'm only gonna give you back what you gave so here's your half cup of goodness. Now beyond with your bad self. Like good luck." And I thought, "Wow, the law of restoration. It really does." We're going to get exactly what we gave out, right?
I hope not.
We'll get much more back but if we have the right attitude, right?
I hope God would not teach us a lesson because I was like, "God, please don't be as petty as me. Please. I don't want you to be petty."
But's that's what goes back to being restored. Think about how it is hard, it is painful. Like this process of this life — giving, sometimes letting things just sit, sometimes letting there be blanks, it's okay because as we get better and as we do more and as we grow and progress and become more converted, going back to me not being a big jerk, but in my conversion process, thank goodness that it's on this long continuum that it's not one isolated moment that God's going to judge us on. I'm going to give you two cross references to verse 15. Put Doctrine and Covenants six, verse 33, and then Doctrine and Covenants one, verse 10. And these two verses are going to support this idea of restoration and being restored to what we give, and you can just read those verses on your own. But I like how he points out "mercy will be restored unto mercy." And in the next segment, Alma is going to talk a lot about mercy, and we're going to dig in to what this word means and how important it's going to be at that final judgement day.
Segment 6 1:05:57
In Alma 42, Corianton, he's worried about something. And let's look at verse one. Chapter 42, verse one, and Tamu, will you read that for us.
"And now, my son, I perceive there is somewhat more which doth worry your mind, which ye cannot understand—which is concerning the justice of God in the punishment of the sinner; for ye do try to suppose that it is injustice that the sinner should be consigned to a state of misery."
In regular person terms, what we're dealing with is Corianton's basically like, "Wait a minute, is it really right that God would punish his own children if he loved them? Like I don't get this." And so I like how in this chapter Alma hears his son. Like he hears what he's saying, and so he's going to teach him something very prolific about how God uses justice and mercy during Judgment Day in Alma chapter 40, verse 21. Abe, will you read that for us, please.
"But whether it be at his resurrection or after, I do not say; but this much I say, that there is a space between death and the resurrection of the body, and a state of the soul in happiness or in misery until the time which is appointed of God that the dead shall come forth, and be reunited, both soul and body, and be brought to stand before God, and be judged according to their works."
Thank you. So there will be a judgment. We all know that. A final great judgment. Now I brought a picture to show you guys, so tell me, what is this a picture of.
The scale of justice.
Scales, yeah. And Abe, you said the “Scales of justice," why did you say that?
I don't know because that's what the ladies... she's blind, she's like blindfolded and she's holding that scale.
Totally. When I saw the scales, I remembered this quote, well, not even a quote, but the idea is our lives will be weighed on the scales of justice. And we'll put a picture of these scales so you can see them in the show notes, but they have to balance out at judgment day. Is that possible? Even right now in our life, do those scales balance out?
Why not Abe?
I always look at it like this. When we talk about the grace of Christ, and no matter what we do, there's no way that we can ever catch up because even our ability, the blessing to be able to have another day of life, or the strength in our bodies, or the strength in our spirits to be able to do any of this stuff comes from Christ. So we're just always behind, we're always playing catch up.
Exactly, always playing catch up. And so let's go to Alma chapter 42 because I think that's what Corianton is thinking like, "Well, if we have to have this justice met, how in the world is God going to punish those children that he loves?" And here's what Alma teaches his son in Alma chapter 42, verse 13. "Therefore, according to justice, the plan of redemption could not be brought about, only on conditions of repentance of men in this probationary state, yea, this preparatory state; for except it were for these conditions, mercy could not take effect except it should destroy the work of justice. Now the work of justice could not be destroyed; if so, God would cease to be God."
So he says, "Yes, you're right. Justice has to be met, but there's also this word called mercy." And I love the idea of this word mercy. Highlight it every time you see it in Alma chapter 42 because he's going to tell him, "Look how beautiful mercy then sweeps down in, and it's going to balance out those scales because God is also a very merciful God." Let's go to verse 15, and Tamu, will you read verse 15, please.
"And now, the plan of mercy could not be brought about except an atonement should be made; therefore God himself atoneth for the sins of the world, to bring about the plan of mercy, to appease the demands of justice, that God might be a perfect, just God, and a merciful God also."
I thought about this because I'm like, "Well, what's the difference between mercy and grace?" And I appreciated this idea that grace is a gift we don't deserve, but Mercy is not getting the punishment we do deserve. That's where mercy comes in and makes up the difference. So we don't have to suffer from all of that. But here's something cool about the word "mercy" that I wanted to think about for a minute. It's the word in Hebrew, and I think this might be my favorite Hebrew word because the word for mercy in Hebrew is "rachamim," and it stems from the same word of "rechem" which means a "womb." The most motherly organ in the whole human body is the word "womb," which also means mercy.
I think when I think about a womb, I think about protection. You know, and when I think about justice and mercy, especially when I'm dealing with my own biological mother who has created for me a lot of pain and a lot of frustration, and I had a friend once said, "Why do you still even engage with her?" For one, that's my mama. I mean, I didn't give birth to myself. And so I mean, I'm always gonna forgive her. And I engage with her because I know that she suffers from mental health issues that keep her from being the best of herself. And I feel like in her heart, that's what she really desires, and because of that, I can be merciful to her, I could show her mercy, and I want my kids to see me extending mercy to my mother because I don't have... when people look at me, I look whole, but I know a little bit I got some issues that I deal with. So my kids don't know it, but I want them to see me give mercy to my mother because I know that I'm an imperfect parent, and I know that I do things or have said things that can be damaging. And when I ask them to be merciful or to show tenderness or kindness to me, I want them to remember that they saw me give it to other people.
Wow. As you're saying that I'm thinking, "Is there any other stronger connection of compassion between the bond of a mother and a child?" And when you extend that mercy, Tamu, you're showing that. That great compassion that you have for someone who's hurt you. Tamu, we will you read Alma chapter 42, verses 23 and 24.
"But God ceaseth not to be God, and mercy claimeth the penitent, and mercy cometh because of the atonement; and the atonement bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead; and the resurrection of the dead bringeth back men into the presence of God; and thus they are restored into his presence, to be judged according to their works, according to the law and justice."
"For behold, justice exerciseth all his demands, and also mercy claimeth all which is her own; and thus, none but the truly penitent are saved."
I love that Alma is really just kind of breaking it down, right? He's being a parent first right here, you know? And he's looking at his eyes and he's like, "You don't get it. Okay, let me keep explaining it to you. Let me say it a different way."
Yeah, you're absolutely right.
Let me say it like this.
And that he never shamed his son because when our kids do wrong, don't you love that the first place he goes to is, "Let me talk to you about Jesus."
Right. That's not the first place I go.
Exactly. Instead of like, "Look what you've done, you've ruined your mission. Now people don't believe anymore," but he just didn't. He started with Jesus. That's so great. I like that you brought that up. There's such a cool, powerful quote by President J. Reuben Clark. I like how he ties it into our relationship and to Jesus. Abe, will you read this for us.
“You know, I believe that the Lord will help us. I believe if we go to him, he will give us wisdom, if we are living righteously. I believe he will answer our prayers. I believe that our Heavenly Father wants to save every one of his children. I do not think he intends to shut any of us off because of some slight transgression, some slight failure to observe some rule or regulation. There are the great elementals that we must observe, but he is not going to be captious about the lesser things. “I believe that his juridical concept of his dealings with his children could be expressed in this way: I believe that in his justice and mercy, he will give us the maximum reward for our acts, give us all that he can give, and in the reverse, I believe that he will impose upon us the minimum penalty which it is possible for him to impose. “I often think that one of the most beautiful things in the Christ’s life was his words on the cross, when, suffering under the agony of a death that is said to have been the most painful that the ancients could devise, death on the cross, after he had been unjustly, illegally, contrary to all the rules of mercy, condemned and then crucified, when he had been nailed to the cross and was about to give up his life, he said to his Father in heaven, as those who were within hearing testify: ‘… Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do’ (Luke 23:34)” (as quoted by President Thomas S. Monson, "Mercy, the Divine Gift," April 1995 conference).
What stood out to you in that quote?
I think that even if we're not perfect, and we can't do what Christ did, I think that if we try to act that way, at some point, it will meet us all in the middle somewhere because there'll be times where I'm able to do it, and maybe the person that I'm dealing with is not able to do it. And there'll be times where that person will be able to do it and I won't be able to do it, but I think if we're trying all the time, I think that as we go through these experiences, that you know, can really divide us from one another, that trying to follow what Christ lived and his perfect example, particularly in this instance, if we follow his example, then we will meet in the middle. I think that will make the world a better place because the world cannot become a better place if individuals cannot live more like what we see here.
Perfect. Abe, this is awesome. End us then. Why don't you read these last three verses and let's end Alma's sermon to his son. Verses 29 through 31. Hit it.
"And now, my son, I desire that ye should let these things trouble you no more, and only let your sins trouble you, with that trouble which shall bring you down unto repentance."
"O my son, I desire that ye should deny the justice of God no more. Do not endeavor to excuse yourself in the least point because of your sins, by denying the justice of God; but do you let the justice of God, and his mercy, and his long-suffering have full sway in your heart; and let it bring you down to the dust in humility."
"And now, O my son, ye are called of God to preach the word unto this people. And now, my son, go thy way, declare the word with truth and soberness, that thou mayest bring souls unto repentance, that the great plan of mercy may have claim upon them. And may God grant unto you even according to my words. Amen."
Good stuff. Wow. Well, that's what he has to say to his son Corianton. And so thank you, Corianton for helping us get to where we got today learning about resurrection and mercy. Hopefully it was worth it for you because it we I learned so much. So Abe and Tamu, tell me what your takeaway was from today. What is something that stood out to you?
I think, for me, as a parent, I need to start when I have to talk to my kids about something important, I need to start with Jesus Christ and teach them the doctrine about forgiveness and mercy. And I personally need to practice mercy in my life better than I do now. Those are my two takeaways.
Sometimes I feel funky about stuff that happened, or that happens within our Church, our Curch organization, and I think that for me, one of the takeaways of this lesson is to show mercy where I can. And also that restoration is a part of the . . . the mercy process. And so just when there is harm, and there have been pain throughout the world, this organization is restorative. And so if it can restore there, there is a portion of it that I can I can say, "Hey, I've been hurt," and have it be restored for me too, have it restored me too, and have that expectation that it will come and it will happen.
Yeah, thank you, Tamu. Mine was all the feels when, Abe, you shared your story about how you shared your testimony in English and the Asian woman fully understood it. Thank you. Thank you, both of you for being here, for that good experience. I love talking about this stuff.
For those of you listening, we would love to hear what your big takeaway was from this episode. If you haven't already joined our discussion group on Facebook, and if you're not following us on Instagram, you totally should because it's been so fun. Throughout the week, people will ask questions from the podcast, and I try to answer all of those questions. And then at the end of the week, usually on Sundays, we put a post up asking for your big takeaway. And I read every single one, I truly do, and I love it so much because I love learning from what you're learning. So please share what you've learned throughout the week.
You can get to both our Facebook and Instagram by going to the show notes for this episode on LDSLiving.com/SundayonMonday, and it's not a bad idea to go there anyway. That's where we have links to all the references and the transcript of this whole discussion. So 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 awesome study group participants were Abe Mills and Tamu Smith. You can find more information about my friends at LDSLiving.com/SundayonMonday. Our podcast is produced by KaRyn Lay with post production and editing by Katie Lambert. 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 remember, you are God's favorite.
I wasn't Abe, now picture it, oh my gosh, I can't remember the song, but it was a great rap song, comes on...
It was, "I want to rock right now!" I knew it because that's the only rap song they ever played!
Yes! You're right. That's the one. I cannot believe it. Yes, you're totally right. And the crowd would move out and form a circle and then Abe would get in the middle and bust it out. Like everyone stared, and yeah, I couldn't do that. But that's exactly it.
I still do that at church dances though. You know that.
They still play that one rap song.