30: Where "Much Is Given Much Is Required" (Doctrine and Covenants 81–83)
“The key to happiness,” “Keys to success,” “The key to your heart”—let’s face it, keys are an important part of a lot of metaphors. In fact, they are used so often, we may not even really think about what they represent. But what if we paused to consider why the Lord uses the word "keys" when describing the keys of the kingdom or the keys of the priesthood? This week as we study Doctrine and Covenants 81–83 we’ll dig into what these keys represent, who can use them, and what they mean for us.
Okay, everybody, I want you to listen very carefully. I have a secret sound. I want to see if you can guess what this secret sound is, here we go. . . .
Alright, any guesses? To some of you it may be very familiar and to others, you may have no idea what that sound is. And if you're listening as a family, go ahead and talk about it and see if anybody can get it right. Because today we are going to talk about that sound and the significance of it, as well as a few other cool topics as we discuss Doctrine and Covenants Sections 81 through 83.
Welcome to the Sunday on Monday Study Group, a Desert 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, I just want to make sure that you know how to use this podcast. So follow the link in our description. It's going to explain how you can best use this podcast to enhance your Come Follow Me studies, just like my friend, Dennis Agle, who we adore here at Sunday on Monday, and we appreciate all that he does for us and helps behind the scenes. So hi, Dennis, we're so glad you're listening to our podcast.
Now another awesome thing about our study group is each week we're joined by two of my friends. So it's always going to be different and it is different today. We have, well, you know Shar, so it's not that different. We have Sharmaine Howell. And then we have her friend Melinda Shaha. Is that the best last name ever? Hi, Melinda.
ShaHAY . Oh, yeah, that's how I'd want to say. Do people ever say it like that, Melinda?
Oh, I would, oh my gosh. If we ever meet in public I'm gonna yell your last name that loud in public. Oh, that is awesome. Sounds awesome. Okay, how do you two know each other though, because I know Melinda through Shar but I want to know how you two met.
Yeah, Melinda and I met - we were trying to remember - 11 years ago. And Melinda moved into the ward I was living in and I was living in my parent's, my in-law's house while they were on a mission. And Melinda, why did you move in there?
I was living with my in-laws while my husband was deployed to Afghanistan. Okay, that time? Yeah. It was a ward that was a little bit older. And so we were kind of some of the only young ones, you know, with young kids. And it was just 'friendship at first sight'.
Yeah, I remember hearing about Melinda moving in. And I thought, somehow I need to like, ask to be her visiting teacher. Like, I have to get to know her somehow. And she's just been like one of my best friends ever since. I don't, I never was assigned to her. I just kind of showed up on her doorstep, I think with like, something and I was like, Hi, you're going to be my friend. (laughter) Like, all right, let's do this.
Oh, that's so cool. Well,hHow long were you in the same ward before you moved again, Melinda? 'Cuz Melinda, you said you've lived in 11 different places in 14 years. Is that right?
Yeah. So some of the places were repeats. But I think that time I was here for a year, um, during my husband's deployment. And then, but what's been really cool is since then, you know Shar and I have kept in touch. And even, and every week we actually have a dedicated call that we, it's our accountability group. And we talk to each other every Tuesday at 12:30. And we go over our, our goals. They're just our personal goals. It's amazing.
Yeah, that is so cool. I've never even heard of anything like that.
It is been so incredible to see it happen with us being in different time zones and across the United States or across the world, and still doing it. And some weeks we just cry and say how tough it's been and just be there for each other. And then some weeks, we set some cool goals and we get a lot done. So it's awesome.
It really is.
I'm curious to know, is there one specific goal that stands out for either one of you that you remember?
I felt like we had the same goal for over a year, right? It was to wake up and read our scriptures, right Shar?
Yeah. A year later. I'm like, am I still telling you Melinda that I need to do this? But yes.
That's a good goal, too. I like it. Well, if you want to know more information about my friends and see cute pictures of them, you can find those in our show notes which are at LDS Living. com slash Sunday on Monday. Okay. I can't wait to hear what you guys have to say. Okay.
I can't wait to hear what you have to say, Tammy. Let's be honest. You're the one here that's teaching us.
That's why I'm hear.
Don't even give the pressure to me, stop that right now. (laughter)
Nice try. You better have prepared something.
Oh my gosh, well, this is gonna be so much fun today, so for those of you who are with us, friends, grab your scriptures and let's dig in. It's gonna be fun. Okay, I have three pictures of men and I want to see if you can name them and what do we call them collectively? President Oaks, President Nelson, President Eyring. Nice job and Melinda, what do we call them collectively?
The First Presidency.
Nice work, ladies., you passed that test. Very good. Very good. Okay. Now, I want to ask you this regarding the First Presidency: how long do you think someone should be a member of the church before being called into the First Presidency?
Seems like a pretty hefty calling. Seems like they should be, you know, pretty tenured in our church in order to, to hold that calling. So, you know, at least three or four years, just kidding. (laughter)
Well, let's look at Doctrine and Covenants Section 81.. Part of the section heading gives us a little information as to why I asked you this question. So, go to Section 81 and I want you to count down three lines in the section heading and go to the line that begins with the words "the historical records". So 123...., there it is. And Shar will you read for us that sentence, it says historical records.
"The historical records show that when this revelation was received in March 1832, it called Jesse Gause", maybe?
Yeah, I think that's it.
"to the office of counselor to Joseph Smith in the Presidency."
Okay, highlight his name, Jesse Gause, Gaus, Gasee, I really don't even know. Well let me tell you a little information about this. This is so interesting to me. So Section 81 was originally directed to him, and he was a member of the Shaker religion. I remember we had a lesson about the 'shaking Quakers', we kind of call it that. He moved to Ohio in 1831, seven months after Doctrine and Covenants Section 49. So 49 was the 'shaking Quaker' section that we talked about, where they went on a special mission to teach all of those Shakers.
Well, he somehow came in contact with the LDS faith, got baptized, and less than five months after moving to Ohio on March 8, 1832., he was called to the First Presidency. Yeah. Not even the Primary. (laughter) Not even, you know, a starter calling. How about that? Yeah, Melinda, you're right. It's so quick. And he was, I thought this was unique: he's 20 years older than Joseph Smith. He's 10 years older than Sidney Rigdon. And that's who makes up the First Presidency, according to this section. So the Lord called Jesse to serve as a member of the First Presidency. But if you look down at the very bottom, what does it tell us about him at the end?
Brother Gause served for a time but was excommunicated from the church in December 1832.
Yes, and really, no one knows the reason for his excommunication. But part of his story is that he actually went back to his Shaker community to talk with his wife, and some believe like, to reconcile with his wife and to join the church. And instead, he stayed with her. And then he continued east and it says, I love this. And how in the manual that I used, it said, "He continued east and walked right out of the history of the church, never again to return." He never came back.
So as a result of his excommunication, or leaving and walking right out of the history of the church, the Lord called Frederick G. Williams, whose name now appears in Doctrine and Covenants Section 81, to take brother Gause's place in the Presidency. So at the time of this revelation, the president of the church and his counselors were called to the Presidency of the High Priesthood beginning in 1834.
And the most important thing about all of this is that Frederick G. Williams' name replaced Jesse Gause's name when this section was added to the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants, because section 81 was added later. So they changed it to match what had happened in history, which is not a big deal, because then you're like, well, then why do we have this revelation? It wasn't really for Frederick G. Williams. The reality is, is the whole purpose of this section is to understand the blessings that come from being a part of the First Presidency and the blessings are the same for both men, no matter who held that position. So that's kind of what the whole point of this.
So my question to both of you is, though, this kind of happens a lot in church history where men get put in positions of authority, and then they're excommunicated. Why do you think the Lord calls people He knows are going to leave?
Well, I think that just goes with agency, you know. He, He's always going to give us a choice. He's always going to allow us to try our best and see where it goes. And He's always going to give us an opportunity. It almost makes me feel more confident in Heavenly Father's plan, because there are replacements and I feel like the no unhollowed hand can stop the work from progressing. And that can even be, you know, us, you know. When I mess up, it doesn't mean that I have messed it up forever, you know, the church will keep going. So I think that's kind of an interesting testament to God's planning.
Hold on. I love that you just said that. I'm going to write that down. You love His plan because there are replacements. Wow, that's good.
Yeah. Kind of makes me think, Melinda, when you're saying that, that sometimes I think we feel a lot of pressure to be perfect and to take every call that's been given to us and never mess up and never drop the ball and never say no, right? But as you're saying that it kind of makes me think, you know, it's okay to not do it all. Because it's God's work, and that He'll get it done, you know. And whether or not you're just not the right fit for it, or, you know, you sin and make a mistake, or you don't have time. Like, for me, I feel like sometimes it's man, I'm so busy. And I feel a lot of guilt to do it all, right? But maybe I should just take a step back and say, you know, this is God's work., what CAN I do? Not, I don't have to do it all though.
Oh, both of those responses were great, ladies. I really liked the way you summed that up. Because I think that's a question we often have. Why would God even call this man if He knew a couple months later He was going to be out? And I love what you said Melinda, because it made me think when you said it all it goes back to agency. It's all about agency and chances and that the Lord gives that to us.
Because sometimes when we see excommunication in our culture today, it's bom bom, bom. Like it's the worst thing ever. But excommunication is, it's a gift of chances. That's what it is. And so it's okay, Jesse, we're not going to, the excommunication means we're not gonna hold you accountable for what you couldn't do. Go figure things out, you're going to be okay.
Well, and he found his happy somewhere else. In the end is, it isn't a terrible thing for him, right? He went back to his wife-and we don't know his story-but we can't judge him for that. So,
Perfectly said, Shar. Thank you. That is awesome. Okay, so in the next segment then, we're going to dig into some of the responsibilities that are laid out in Section 81 for those who belong to the First Presidency.
Segment 2 11:50
Alright, ladies. So let's go back to the secret sound that I played at the very beginning. Could you guys tell what it was?
My first thought was a bunch of nails that like, my kids tied on a piece of yarn, and possibly were gonna start scraping along my kitchen table. (laughter)
Has that happened before, Shar?
Sounds like something that would happen for sure.
You know, when I played this sound, I thought this is a unique sound because we don't have these very often anymore, the way that our automobiles are created. And so now if I show them to you, just keys. Yes, they were keys. I don't know that I've ever used a key like this, except maybe unlock my house because we all have fobs, right? Or we have like plastic things. Okay, so here's what I want you to do. Tell me, let's look at section 81 verse 2, and tell me what the verse has to do with the sound of keys, Section 81 verse 2, and mark that.
So the keys of the kingdom always belong to the Presidency of High Priesthood, right?
Yeah, highlight that word, 'the keys of the kingdom'. We are introduced here to a really significant and important concept of keys, specifically, the keys of the kingdom or the keys of the priesthood. The only other time it's first said is in Section 65. And it's mentioned in Section 65, but here it's taught. The most important thing at first teaches us is that these keys are given to a man. And so when it says in verse 2, "unto whom I have given", highlight "unto whom I have given". The whom is Joseph Smith. He's saying unto whom, Joseph Smith, I have given the keys of the kingdom.
Now, I just want to know like, when we see this phrase, it's pretty common in our culture, right? You're familiar with 'keys of the kingdom, keys of the priesthood'. True.
So that means the same keys of the priesthood.
Yeah, yeah. What do you, why do you think the Lord uses keys to describe keys of the kingdom or keys of the priesthood?
I mean, I would just think they unlock things, right? So keys unlock a door. They also turn on a car. So He must be unlocking the Power of God. Right on the earth.
I think it also is a, it's like an active thing, like you have, you have to use a key, you have to choose to use it. The door doesn't just open, you know. You have to actually do something to make it that way.
Oh, I think that's good. Because if you pu the key in the ignition, and it sits there, the car won't turn on. It requires somebody to use it, to turn it. That's good. I like that. Well, the section title for Doctrine and Covenants section 81, is "Keys of the Kingdom". So you can write that to the outside of 81, "Keys of the kingdom". And one of the things that I've loved recently is how we as women have been encouraged by our Prophet to learn about the priesthood and to understand more about the oath and covenant of the priesthood, which we're gonna study next week. And I'm so excited for that episode, it's gonna be really cool.
But this idea of keys of the kingdom, so I want us to take a minute and talk about this and what this looks like and what this means. Just right out of the gates, do either one of you have questions or anything specific about keys of the kingdom?
I think it's really interesting to know which keys go where, right? Because there are levels of keys, right, your Bishop has some, you know, you're just if you have your own, you have some, in the presidencies, right? So I think that is kind of an interesting thing to just think about.
Oh, I like that. We have a quote for that. Okay. This is so cool. So Melinda, I'm gonna show you this. Will you read the very first quote?
Sure. "Priesthood keys are the authority God has given to priesthood leaders to direct, control, and govern the use of His priesthood on earth. The exercise of priesthood authority is governed by those who hold its keys. Those who hold priesthood keys have the right to preside over and direct the church within a jurisdiction."
And jurisdiction meaning within your responsibility, your job, not like, within your neighborhood or anything. And when I read that, I'm like, does that mean like, you know, 10 by 10, area? square mile? I don't know, I can't do math. So yeah, within the sphere of your responsibility, but then I loved this next quote about Jesus Christ. So read that Melinda, I'm just gonna have you read the first sentence.
Okay. "Jesus Christ holds all the keys of the priesthood pertaining to His church."
Okay, I just want us to sit with that for a minute, because I had to. I was like, okay, so Christ holds all the keys of the priesthood, all of them. Alright, now let's read the rest of this.
"He has conferred upon each of his apostles, all the keys that pertain to the kingdom of God on earth. The senior living Apostle, the President of the church, is the only person on earth authorized to exercise all priesthood keys."
Excellent, thank you. Now Shar, read this next quote about the keys.
"All the keys of the kingdom of God on earth are held by members of the First Presidency, and members of the Quorum of the 12 apostles. The President of the church, the senior Apostle presides over the entire church, and is the only person on earth who exercises all the keys in their fullness."
Thank you. Elder M. Russell Ballard then explained this about the priesthood keys, and Shar, read that for us.
"Those who have priesthood keys literally make it possible for all who serve faithfully under their direction, to exercise priesthood authority, and have access to priesthood power."
Perfect. Thank you. And so I wonder like, naturally, does this lead us to ask another question about these keys?
Yeah, I think it kind of makes you think like, so what are the keys that they have? What are all these keys? And what does that mean for us, right?
Yeah, that is the question that I've had when I've taught this lesson. Alright, keys, keys, keys, I got all these keys. So what are they here? Yeah, what are we talking about? Okay, so we're just barely going to skim the surface on these keys. Because Barbara Morgan Gardner did an excellent job at BYU Women's Conference talking about, there are so many keys we don't even like, she's done a heavy study on keys. So we're just going to kind of scratch the surface with these keys. And I thought this was so fascinating. So I'm going to include all of these references in our show notes.
But here's some cool keys that we can talk about. In Doctrine and Covenants Section 13, we have in there the key of ministering of angels, and the key of the gospel of repentance and baptism. Those are the first kind of keys we've, and these are keys that have been restored. In Section 27 verse 6, it says the keys of the power of turning the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to the fathers. In Section 35 we have keys of the mysteries of the gospel. In Section 110 - which we're going to, that's going to be a fun lesson.
But if you go to Section 110, you will read about so many keys that were restored in the Kirtland temple, and specifically the keys of this dispensation that were given back. The key, the key of gathering, the keys of Elijah; it just, it's such a great section, go and read section 110. And I loved this by President Spencer W. Kimball. And Elder Oaks uses this in a talk he gave, quoting President Kimball, "The keys of creation and the keys of resurrection". I had no idea those were keys, of creation? And in the talk President Kimball says we have not used these keys yet. Or he actually says, Melinda, we have not turned these keys yet. So cool, isn't it? So looking at all of those keys, tell me some of your thoughts now and knowing what some of the keys are.
My first thought was looking at these keys. You know, as a, as a woman in the church is that how many of those I use without a guy around?
Oh, yeah. Tell me about
I think I think of, you know, turning the hearts to fathers to the children. And you know, doing family history work has been a huge part of my focus on building my testimony and learning how to feel the spirit. So that's one of 'em, the keys of ministering of angels, you know. I have, I feel like I have prayed for that. And, you know, when I have repented, you know, it is, it's between me and you know, the Savior and my Heavenly Father. And I feel like a lot of those things I haven't, even though they're being managed, you know, or presided over by the priesthood brethren, I feel like I've been using those, which actually makes me feel kind of good.
Mm hmm. And I love that you just pointed that out, Melinda. Now we can see why the prophets encouraged women to learn about the priesthood and, and understand the role that keys play in their lives. Oh, I love that testimony you just shared that, Melinda.
And it goes along with the keys of the mysteries. I thought that was super interesting. But President Nelson has said, you know, he talks about hearing Him and he asked the women to get in the scriptures to learn about, you know, the D&C and all these different sections. And he's said so many times, if you want, the spirit will reveal the mysteries of God to you. And he's, he's talking to all of us. He's not just talking to just the priesthood holders, or just the Apostles. He's talking to all of us. And I love that. There's like you were saying, Melinda, we can each do that. And I, I feel like I've done that as well. I've felt like I've found mysteries of God as I read my scriptures and pray and ask Him.
Um hmm, definitely. Well, and I love this quote by President Nelson. He was a member of the Quorum of the 12 at the time that he said this. And so it kind of just makes me, I don't know, I really liked that he wasn't the Prophet yet. And Melinda, will you read this for us.
Sure. "Like each member of the Quorum of the 12, I hold all the keys of the priesthood as restored in these latter days. But some keys are not used unless specifically directed by the senior apostle, or upon his death. All of us in the Quorum of the 12 Apostles feel the weight of responsibility and the burden of timeless trust. We know the keys we hold have been restored for the last days. And for the last time".
Yes, that kind of gives me chills.
It does. Tell me why.
Oh, "For the last time," you know, that's a, it is just neat to have the confirmation that, you know, the Savior's coming, which is I'm excited for that.
Yeah, definitely excited.
And I think it's so interesting. He says, some keys are not used, unless specifically directed by, you know, by the Prophet. It's just so interesting. They hold all these keys, but it makes me think which ones are they not using.
They're obedient. I love that like they're not just willy nilly, like, Well I got the keys, I'm going to use it. I mean, they know that they can't, unless they're instructed to use those keys. So it was so great to read that and learn about it. And so if anyone's looking for a really fun study, type in the word 'keys' if you have the gospel app. Type in the word 'key' or 'keys' and look for all the references, and do what Barbara Morgan gardener did, and try to find or find her talk. We'll put a link to it in our show notes because it's worth listening to and kind of start studying the keys of the priesthood.
We as women need to know what they are, we need to understand how they fit into our lives. And Melinda and Shar, you did such an excellent job of doing that for us. So thank you for sharing your thoughts. So with the First Presidency, having the keys of the kingdom, and that's what the Lord's saying in Section 81, Joseph has the keys of the kingdom and the men are going to get that. In the next segment, we're going to see how the Lord defines the duties and responsibilities of these men, as well as the benefits for serving in the way that He defines.
Segment 3 24:00
Okay, so for this next part, I just want everyone to grab their scripture marker or a pen. And I'm going to read verse 3. And as I do, here's what I want you to do. Look for and mark the instructions that the Lord gave Frederick G. Williams, concerning his calling as a counselor in the First Presidency. Okay, so mark the instructions He gives him, what's he supposed to do?
"3 Therefore, verily I acknowledge him and will bless him, and also thee, inas much as thou art faithful in counsel, in the office which I have appointed unto you, in prayer always, vocally and in thy heart, in public and in private, also in thy ministry in proclaiming the gospel in the land of the living, and among thy brethren."
All right, what are his responsibilities? What has the Lord counseled him to do?
So he asked them to be faithful in counsel. Do you think that means faithful in counsel, so maybe as they're counseling together or when they receive counsel from, from the Prophet?
Or from the Lord
Yeah, that stood out to me when I read it, I marked it "thou art faithful in counsel". I did a little research, I found a great quote by President Hinckley. This is what he describes as f'aithful in counsel'. Shar, will you read this quote for us.
"A counselor, as an assistant to his president, as an assistant, the counselor is not the president. he does not assume responsibility and move out ahead of his president. In presidency meetings, each counselor is free to speak his mind on all issues that come before the Presidency. However, it is the prerogative of the President to make the decision, and it is the duty of the counselors to back him in that decision. His decision then becomes their decision, regardless of their previous ideas."
Have either of you served in a presidency where this counsel might have been helpful? Tell me about it.
Well, I was actually a primary president at one point, and I feel like I had some counselors that were, that had a lot of opinions. And I feel like I actually - this kind of sounds weird - but I feel like I might have listened to them a little bit too much, you know, in an effort to kind of maintain camaraderie, and, you know, a nice, nice relationships, you know, kind of didn't acts as the President sometimes, that it was, I saw it more as a democratic relationship, you know? So I think that would have been, I'm thinking back at some of the instances where I really felt kind of strongly about something, but kind of let it go.
Oh, I don't know about whoops, maybe it's more for the counselors who have it. I was set apart to be in the Young Women's Presidency awhile ago. And I can remember very vividly as I was being set apart, I have no idea what the person said is they're setting me apart. I just remember what I heard, which was "follow her lead". I was first counselor, and it was very clear, follow her lead. And it turns out she, she did things like you said Melinda, I love that. She did things completely different than I ever would have. And pre- getting set apart me would have just taken the horn bull by the reins and been like, let's do this, here's how we're gonna do it. I'm gonna do it da-da-da and just taken over and taking charge. And every time something came up, just like you explained Melinda, where we had differences of opinion, I was reminded, follow her lead. And I would just quickly quiet my mouth. Keep my opinion to myself. Okay, we're going to do it the way she's going to do it, not how I would have done it. But it turns out it always worked out. That's the crazy thing. It always worked out. And it was one of the best lessons for me to truly be faithful in counsel. Boy, that was a humbling couple of years for me, for sure.
I think that goes back to Jesse Gause, you know, just, it's gonna work out no matter what. If it's you or someone else, you know, the project is gonna get done, they're gonna reach the person that needed to be reached. It's gonna happen. I think, I just have a lot of confidence in Heavenly Father's plan. He does a good job.
And with that, I think it's so interesting that, you know, if you look at our First Presidency today, and all of our apostles, they're brilliant men, they're smart. There's lawyers, there's doctors, there's, you know, business owners, they're school presidents, there's, they're all over the place, right? And they're really smart. And they're really different.
And I can't remember which Apostle said this at one point, maybe you guys know, but they just they kind of explained what it was like when the, when the Apostles and the First Presidency are making a decision and how they go around the room. And they start with the youngest Apostle, and they say, 'Tell us what you think about it.' And they go to the next what do you think about this. And their opinions often are very different, and have different ideas and different thoughts.
And then they get to the top and they, they've all shared their ideas, which I love that because I always feel like I'm like, the junior of every group I'm in. And I you know, and it's just cool that they're all heard equally, you know, and then in the end, when the Prophet has decided, they all completely, almost like erase the chalkboard. And they're all like, That's what we agree with that completely 100%, you know? And I agree that this is such a testimony of, of counseling and, and following the spirit and following the Prophet.
Yes. Awesome. Great example. Thank you, both of you for sharing that. Let's go back into section 81 verse 3 and tell me what else you guys marked. What's the advice the Lord gives them?
Yeah, all the time. Everywhere. Yep.
Vocally in my heart, in public and in private, so it's like never stopped.
Yeah. I mean, I'm thinking of our Apostles doing the same thing, constantly praying all the time. Okay, keep going.
The last one is ministry in proclaiming the gospel in the land of the living and among the brethren. So you know, sharing the gospel. Yep. And I think that they do that all the time, that's, they're constantly doing that.
Yeah. It's interesting to me that of all the counsel the Lord could have given him, of all the things He could have said, it just seems so simple. Pray, preach, faithful in counsel. It didn't say anything like, you know, take some oil, do some miracles, call down the powers of Heaven. Like it's just–
"Have these meetings every week"
–for hours on end,
White shirt and tie,
Right, white shirt and tie. They're just such simple instructions. And then how beautiful are these next two verses. And so let's read verse 4. Shar will you read verse 4.
"4 And in doing these things that wilt do the greatest good unto thy fellow beings, and wilt promote the glory of Him who is your Lord."
That's just so sweet. Yeah, You know, you have that kind of a calling given to you and you're, you think, how can I accomplish this, you know, and do my best and I just love how He says, This is the greatest good. You know, preaching the gospel, praying, and being faithful in counseling.
Thank you, Shar for pointing that out. And then we have to go to verse 5, because it's, it's one of my favorite verses in Section 81, verse 5. I spent a whole year trying to memorize this, unsuccessfully, but it was on a three by five card on my window. And I mean, on my mirror in my bathroom. I'm like, I'm gonna memorize this. And cross reference verse 5 with Isaiah chapter 35, verse 3. It says the same thing there. Can I just read it because it's truly one. And I wish I could say I'm doing it by memory, but I'm not. But it says,
"5 Wherefore, be faithful: stand in the office which I have appointed unto you; succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees."
So I just wanted to tell you really quickly, the word succor literally means 'to run, giving aid or help', like running to whoever needs it. The word weak in this verse, in Hebrew is "raphah". And it means, oh this is so pretty. It means "to sink, to lose heart, or to feel alone". So the people who are weak, they sink, they lose heart, they feel alone. And then this one, 'the hands which hang down'. Now there wasn't anything specific about this in Hebrew other than what it says. But I want to know from you guys, what do you imagine when you hear 'hands which hang down'? Have your hands ever hung down?
I think the imagery is beautiful. Because you can see it, like just someone slumped over. just totally hopeless. given up. That's, that's what I see. And it's, and I yeah, I feel like there's a point in all of our lives where we felt like we've been there.
Is there a specific time for either one of you that you'd be willing to share?
If I can push my tears back . . . just a second.
I could tell you're going to go for it, Melinda. Just do it.
I know, and I'm like, no. I'm not crying on TV.
It's not TV.
No one will see ya. Only audio. You can do it, all the ugly cry you want.
O K. No, I feel like, there are times when my husband was deployed, he's been deployed three times. And it was hard. But I definitely was lifted by beautiful friends like Shar that helped me through those times.
What was the hardest part about it?
Just all of it.
Uh, yeah, trying to think of the hardest part. I think it is the constant uncertainty. You just don't know what's going on.
Yeah. And I'm reading this verse. And I'm thinking how you must have had to be that for your children, though.
Um hmm. I tried.
Yeah. Like, while you're the one whose hands are hanging down and then you've got to be the one to succor and lift up. And how hard that must have been through all of those experiences. And when we read this, and it's interesting when it says 'to strengthen the feeble knees', in Hebrew, the word feeble there is 'causing to stumble and to bring injury upon'. But to strengthen those knees that are just so weak, they can't even carry the weight. Did you ever feel that way?
You know, I did feel like I had feeble knees at some point. But I, like the greatest strength that helped me though was like getting on my knees and praying. And I think one of the reasons that in verse 3 it talks about pray always. It's not because it is a command, it's because it's a gift that we need when we're in these really difficult situations.
I appreciated what you just said. Because in my mind, the imagery was perfect. In fact, I'm putting that next to my scriptures, when it says 'to strengthen the feeble knees', to get on my knees.
That was so perfect. Thank you for sharing that. Look how tender that is.
Get it all out!
And Melinda, you have done an incredible job over the last 11 years, of me knowing you of doing just that.
Ah, thanks, Shar.
You know,you were sometimes physically alone with your husband across the seas, and doing it on your own and you have definitely been faithful in that. And you were doing the greatest good all along the way.
Yep. Beautiful, beautiful. There's a really cool quote by Elder Thomas S. Monson that I want to end this segment with, and he talks about this scripture specifically. And I really like the way he words this. Ahar, will you read this for us.
"Time passes, circumstances change, conditions vary. Unaltered is the divine command to succor the weak and lift up the hands which hang down and strengthen the feeble knees. Each of us has the charge to be not a doubter but a doer; not a leaner but a lifter. But our complacency tree has many branches. And each spring, more buds come into bloom. Often we live side by side, but do not communicate heart to heart. There are those within the sphere of our own influence who, with outstretched hands, cry out, Is there no balm in Gilead? Each of us must answer. We may succor, may we soccer the weak lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble needs, thereby inheriting the eternal life promised by the Redeemer." That is so beautiful.
I just loved when he said that we all, we don't communicate heart to heart. And I think COVID kind of robbed us of that in some way. And here we are, we're coming out of it. And so I love the challenge to just start communicating heart to heart; find your neighbors, learn their stories, understand where they're coming from and what they're struggling with. And I think when you do, you'll find that their hands probably hang down a lot lower than you ever even possibly imagined. So take that challenge to do that, maybe memorize that verse. Maybe I'll try and memorize it again this week. I don't know. So thank you, both of you for sharing. I appreciate that.
Okay, so before we move on, though, I just want to take a minute because we just have to consider all that Joseph Smith has done so far, to appreciate section 82. So turn really quickly. Turn back to Section 78 and we're going to look at verse 9. So go there, section 78 and verse 9. And I mentioned this earlier in this episode when we talked about section 78. And here we are. In this verse, in verse 9, it says,
"Or, in other words, let my servant Newell K. Whitney and my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and my servant Sidney Rigdon sit in council with the saints which are in Zion;"
Okay, above that verse put 'Doctrine and Covenants section 82'. Because in Section 82, they're going to do that. And that's where we are in Section 82. They went back to sit with the saints. Now this is so amazing because up to this point, here's what's happened. Joseph was commanded to go back to the saints in Zion, Independence, Missouri. Over the next three weeks Joseph will receive several more revelations. He began establishing the United Firm or the United Order, he organized the Presidency of the High Priesthood while still trying to translate the Bible, and be married and raising twins. So that sets the scene for this incredibly difficult time that we're now going to learn about in the next section. And I asked Melinda and Sharmaine to help me share these stories.
Segment 4 38:43
Okay, so I asked Melinda and Shar to help me share the history behind section 82 before we even jump into section 82, because you need to know these stories. So, Shar, hit it.
Yeah. And I, I think it's so interesting to know when these stories happened in, you know, within these sections of the D&C, because I never know what's happening historically. So it starts out with Ezra Booth, and we know he was excommunicated. And he had returned to Ohio. And instead of repenting, Ezra Booth started writing letters and submitting them into the local newspaper, and he was spreading lies about Joseph Smith and about the church and he just was, you know, a little disgruntled. Um, so these letters started influencing a lot of people who lived in Ohio; they started to become suspicious of church members, and they started to really persecute them. So I guess I didn't realize that it was those letters that is what caused this next event to happen.
So the Smiths had adopted the Murdoch twins a while ago. And during the fourth week of March, these twins and the Rigdon children had all come down with the measles. So on March 24, Joseph stayed up all night with the little boy, he was the sickest of all the babies. And he was staying up so that Emma could get some sleep. And as we've heard so many times before, during that night, and it was a pretty cold winter night, a group of men who were kind of believers of Ezra Booth's letters, and they were angry, they got drunk. And I didn't realize they had gotten drunk, just thought they were angry men. They got drunk, and they came to Joseph's home, and they attacked Joseph and Sidney Rigdon.
And so Joseph had been up late caring for his babies, and had just fallen asleep when this angry mob broke into his house. They dragged Joseph out of his home, and they were swearing at him and threatening that they were going to kill him right there. So they choked him. And they tore off his clothes. They were trying to put a paddle of hot tar in his mouth, and pour acid down his mouth. They weren't successful at it, but they ended up chipping one of his front teeth. And as we've heard, that it created a whistle in his speech every time he talked after that. And so the bottle broke, the acid bottle broke and the men in the mob, they went in and grabbed Sidney Rigdon. And they dragged him out. And when Joseph saw Sydney lying on the ground, he thought he was dead.
The mob decided not to kill Joseph, which was some form of inspiration, I believe. But they just scratched him up terribly; they spread hot tar all over his body, and they covered him with feathers. After that they left. When Joseph finally got back into his home, Emma saw him. When she saw him she fainted. She was sure that the tar was just blood all over his body. And Joseph's friends came over and all night they worked to help clean off the tar. And it's a long and probably very painful process to take tar off of your body. So Sydney, he had been knocked out and he was unconscious and with his many cuts and bruises it says, "with his many cuts and bruises to his head, he was delirious for several days". I had no idea. It really knocked him out. It was really hard on him to recover from that.
And it's important to know that, I'm glad you brought that up, Shar because he will suffer. Many church historians believe that he will then suffer with delusions for the rest of his life and brain damage. And so when you know his story from this point on and choices he makes and things he does you kind of go, Oh, he wasn't really with it, though. Like they believe this night changed his life forever. Yeah, he had severe head trauma. Good way to put that.
So, and then I think this is the best part of the story that we all know and love is that after probably staying up all night long and getting cleaned up, the next day was Sunday. And Joseph went at the usual time to this place where they all worshiped with the saints. And he saw many people in the group out there that had been part of the mob that had came and dragged him out and tarred him. And he preached to them. And he didn't mention at all anything that happened the night before. So just a powerful example of, of Joseph and his strength and that what he went through for the rest of the restoration of the gospel.
And of Emma's.
Totally. And so Melinda is going to finish this story and get us ready to study section 82. So hit it, Melinda.
It gets more horrific. Here we go. So that, if that was Sunday, just a few days later, on Thursday, March 29, the baby boy that Joseph had been up with the night he was attacked, died. And Joseph attributed that to his exposure to the cold and the stress of the attack. So that's devastating. And then this is what blows my mind too, is that just three days later they left. So Joseph, Sidney Rigdon, and Newell K. Whitney, they were fulfilling the commandment that they received in D&C 78 and they began their journey from Missouri. When they arrived I mean, again, they're still battered. I mean, these are some massive injuries that they have had to deal with. Plus they've had, you know, the trauma of a death and it's just amazing to me that they've just moved on so quickly, and I, and my hope is that they have just had a, an immense portion of the spirit to you know, buoy them up, because then they arrived to do
It goes back to what you said about Emma. Then I'm thinking of Emma, this grieving Emma. What, they bury their baby within the three day period and then Joseph's like, I gotta go. Like, the Lord told me to go, I gotta go. And Emma's like, umm
Well I was thinking about what I said about my constant uncertainty during a deployment. Like I'm like, well, maybe it wasn't so bad. I think about poor Emma and you know, what she was doing. And how, I mean she had to have so much faith, because she still likes Joseph, later. (laughter)
That's perfect. I love that. Yes. Wow.
So anyway, so they get to the Conference on April 26. So this is just, this is less than a month later. And at the General Conference, Joseph Smith was sustained as the President of the High Priesthood. And this was something that he'd already been ordained to in Section, that we read about in Section 75. But the interesting thing that happened during this General Conference was that during intermission, there was, quote, "difficulty or hardness which had existed between Bishop Partridge and Elder Rigdon. And it came out and there was a fight."
So I'm thinking of, you know, Sidney Rigdon at this point, who might not be ultra patient, you know, and (head) trauma, yeah and I mean, and really, there's definitely has to be some, you know, psychological PTSD type things going on. And so, anyway, he was accusing Bishop Partridge of a number of infractions, improper distribution of funds, failure to follow church policy, and speaking against Joseph Smith. And as someone who had just suffered like that, for the church, basically. I can see how you might even feel pretty justified in, in telling someone that they were doing things wrong.
But anyway, they were talking, they were fighting. And there were also hard feelings by some of the brethren in Missouri against the Prophet, which the Lord will bring up in just a minute. But fortunately these tensions were resolved amicably during the intermission. And as a result, the Lord blessed them with Section 82.
Excellent job, ladies. Thank you, thank you. That's the history we need to know. I'm curious to know, as you know this history, does it change the way you view Section 82 now?
Oh, yeah. Definitely.
And the instructions and the wording, right?
Yeah, so good. Okay, so for those of you listening then it's going to change the way you view it too. And I am really excited to look at section 82. And knowing what we know now, let's apply some of this history with the wording that the Lord gives us. And we're going to do that in the next segment.
Segment 5 47:56
So Section 82 was just so much fun to read. Would you agree?
It's a great section.
A lot of familiar phrases. Okay. So I just want to jump right into it and find out the verses that you guys marked. The title for Section 82 is, this is what is so ironic about all of it after what we just heard that happened the title is 'Principle of forgiveness, and judged by what we know'. And that is just crazy. Like right out of the gates the first thing the Lord is going to tell Joseph is to forgive when I just think, you know, in our language today, we'd be like, let it just sit with you for a while. It's okay to be angry, it's okay to be mad and the Lord's like, nope, we're gonna right here in verse one, "Verily I say unto you, my servants, and inasmuch as you have forgiven one another your trespasses, even so I the Lord will forgive you. Let's just get this over with
Mm hmm. Absolutely. And then He calls everybody out in verse 2.
"2 Nevertheless, there are those among you who have sinned exceedingly; yea, even all you who have sinned; but verily I say unto you, beware from henceforth, and refrain from the sin, lest sore judgments fall upon your heads." So it just, it was so interesting to me, the first thing the Lord is going to say to them, especially because they fought, too, at that meeting, like, let's just forgive each other and move on, because we got stuff to do.
And it makes me think, like, we're not going to get inspiration and revelation for our own personal lives if there's people we need to forgive, and if there's sins that we need to stop doing. We need to move on from that; we need to be able to put that down and not hold on to things if we want to progress in our own life. And so He says that, like, put it aside, we're moving on to better things, right?
Yeah, I felt that you know, forgiveness is a gift because, you know, holding on to those hard, you know, angry feelings, that's a spiritual blocker.
Yeah. OK, so let's look at this verse. Now, tell me all the things you guys marked, like what are the things that stood out to you?
Well, verse 3 is, I feel like, a really common verse you hear all the time. "For of him unto whom much is given much is required...."
K, but I like, I think given the historical, where much is given, you know, when you got dragged out into the street, like all that, that you've been provided with. Now you're required, I, it just, I feel like one of my, the foundations of my testimony of Joseph Smith is just gratitude that he is able to get through all of this stuff being so young. And it's weird to think now that I'm like, older than he was, you know, it's just like, oh, that poor little lamb, he just was trying so hard.
Because, how old was he?
Cuz so at this point. Let's see.
We did the math.
He's 27. Yeah.
And Sidney Rigdon?
He was 39. Yeah, it's, okay, am I gonna say that I'm older than both of them now? like,
Just by a couple months.
Not a lot.
No, not a lot at all.
You're, you, I love that you brought that up Melinda, because you're right. The history changed the way I've read verse 3. I've said that verse so much, "where much is given much is required", meaning monetarily and da-da-da. But when you, when you finish that verse Shar, he who sins against the greater light shall receive a greater condemnation, and He's talking about the light, the knowledge that we receive, and what He's basically saying, You know better, you know you should forgive, you know you should not sin. That's the 'where much has been given, much is required'. So good.
And I think that they maybe heard that as there's a lot going to be required of you, and you just saw it last week, and you just saw it the months before, and you're gonna keep seeing it. We're gonna require a lot of you because you have the truth. And I think it's, I totally read that differently now.
Well and I think, I feel like this verse is very applicable to today. Because people who are focused on being strong disciples of Jesus Christ and you know, embracing that greater light. It's starting to become very obvious, the differences that we have versus what the world is saying. And sometimes staying with what we know and being all in is sometimes a little bit hard when we're dealing with friends and family who have chosen differently.
And I feel like going back to that, prayer and forgiveness, like those are gifts that make it possible for us to remember and remember who we are. And that, and keep that connection with with Jesus Christ, and have the constant benefit of being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ and feel the blessings of following the Savior. And not just the sacrifice. Exactly. You have to have that constant companionship with the spirit or else it'll feel like too much.
Wow, great insight Melinda. So especially when you said the end, it will feel like too much. Because I think everyone can relate to that. There have been times we have felt like it's too much. And then knowing the history now, it's never clearly, it's not too much, knowing what happened leading up to this, so wow, thank you. Good stuff. Okay, what else did you mark in this section?
I think my other, well, I think one of my all-time favorite scriptures in the D&C is in this section, and it's verse 10. I have studied this verse a lot and leading up to this week I can't remember one thing that I loved about it. )laughs). Just kidding. I was like, Oh my gosh, there's that scripture I love, so it says -
You tried to memorize it too, and unsuccessfully?
Yeah. I had this one in my kitchen for about a year and a half straight, but it's an easy one. So here it goes, "I the Lord and bound when ye do what I say, but when ye do not what I say ye have no promise." This scripture has so much depth in it and so much good.
How do you think that verse helped Joseph and Sydney at this time, after what they had just gone through? Why would that have been significant to them?
I just think it comes down to them, you know. Joseph knows who the Lord is, he knows God. And he knows their characteristics. And one of them is, you know, He does not lie. He is a God of truth. He does not lie. And He's a God of love, and He loves them. And He is a God of mercy. And Joseph knows this about God and about Jesus Christ. And the Lord is reminding him, Joseph, if you do what I say, you're gonna bind me. And I don't think there's anything greater than knowing you can bind Heavenly Father, who is all- powerful and Almighty and can do anything.
Anything is possible with Him, there's nothing greater to be bound, than to be bound to someone like Him. And there's nothing more that I want in my life than to be bound to someone like that. I know there's been times in my life where I have needed to be bound to Him. And I have needed to lean on His promise and to know He is a God of truth, and He is a God of love. And I want to be bound to that, because that's all I'm holding onto right now. And I think, I think Joseph probably felt the same. With all the uncertainty in his life, he just knew who God was, and he had to bind himself to Him.
Um, Shar, when you just said there was a time when you had to lean on his promise, what promise was that?
Umm, I just, I've had a few times in the last few years that I felt like I didn't know how I would make it out. Or if there was any solutions to what I was dealing with. And I felt like, you know, I was helping a person who was really, really close to me who was struggling really a lot. And every morning I'd wake up and pray for them and feel like, there's just nothing I can do to help. And I felt really, really helpless. And I would just pray and say, Heavenly Father, I'm keeping the commandments. I am living my temple covenants. And I, this verse really helped me through that, and I just said, I'm gonna bind You, I'm going to bind You to the promises that You've made. That if I keep my covenants and I stay on the covenant path like President Nelson has said, that You will move mountains for me, and I somehow I'll get this, I'll get through this. So I just think that He has made so many promises to us. He just wants to help us over and over. And so sometimes I kind of hold Him to that, you know.
You can. And you can cuz of that verse.
He wants you to.
He wants you to.
Oh, that was beautiful. Thank you, Shar. Thank you for sharing that. Any other verses you marked in this section?
So there was one more and it goes with 10 alot. It's on, it's verse 4, it says "Ye call upon my name for revelations, and I give them unto you;..." And then maybe the revelation doesn't come right when you want it, or what you think it's going to be. But as I have been, you know, taking the admonition from the Prophet that we need to learn how to feel the spirit, you know, that that is going to be the way that we can make it through these times, I feel like I am receiving more revelation. And it's a huge gift.
I feel like, I used to think it was, He was trying to make me work for it. Like really hard. Like, I really just had to like, you know, put in the right code or do the right thing or whatever, in order for Him to talk to me. But as I've gotten older, it's like, He's not trying to do that. He wants you to have all the blessings, have all the revelation that you can possibly get. So that's, I like that, because I feel like it is in verse 4, it's something that I have experimented upon, and it's worked.
What I loved about what you just said, you gave the most simple testimony about something in verse 4, like, you've tried it, and it worked. That was so cool.
The verse for me was verse 7, because sometimes we use this verse to scare kids into not doing bad things, and then repenting and doing it yet again. It says,
"And now, verily I say unto you, I, the Lord, will not lay any sin to your charge; go your ways and sin no more; but unto that soul who sinneth shall the former sins return, saith the Lord your God."
Okay, let's just mark that. And let's correct the way we've thought about that forever. There's some great cross references, and I'm gonna include these in the show notes. But in Ezekiel Chapter 18, verses 21 through 24, it says the same thing, but I like how it kind of corrects the thinking on this. It doesn't mean if you mess up, if you've repented, and you mess up again. What this is talking about is it's a complete break of our loyalty to Jesus Christ, and in turn following Satan. That's what it's talking about. It's when you completely turn your way from not facing the Son anymore. And so it's important for us to understand that. That Christ doesn't become our Savior anymore, satan does. And we want Him to be and so let's reteach that verse a little bit and not try to scare kids by saying, Oh, you messed up again. Well, now all the sins you ever committed have come back and now you have to repent from the very beginning.
Like, no, it's okay if you have slip-ups. We just learned that I mean, the Lord is, He is a God of, like we've said, second and fourth and sixth chances and He's gonna let them and He lets the men do that throughout the Doctrine and Covenants. And then in Section 82 there is a weird word, a weird phrase in verse 22. Did you guys notice that? He says, "Make yourselves friends with the mammon of unrighteousness". And you're like, what the? That seems odd. The word mammon means riches or wealthy. And so there's a great quote, it's in the church history, Doctrine and Covenants manual, and I really appreciated this. Melinda, will you read this for us, please.
Yes. "The commandment of the Lord, that the saints should make themselves friends with the mammon of unrighteousness seems to be a hard thing when not properly understood. It is not intended that in making friends of the mammon of unrighteousness, that the brethren were to partake with them in their sins, to receive them to their bosoms, intermarry with them, and otherwise come down to their level. They were to so live that peace with their enemies might be assured. They were to treat them kindly, be friendly with them as far as correct and virtuous principles would permit, but never to swear with them or drink and carouse with them. If they could allay prejudice and show a willingness to trade with and show a kindly spirit, it might help to turn them away from their bitterness. Judgment was to be left with the Lord."
Ooh. I love that.
Tell me why.
Why do I love that? Okay. So, you know, in all the places that we've lived, I don't have the possibility of being friends with just a bunch of, you know, members of the church that believe everything I believe and do everything I do. So I have a lot of friends that, you know, that live differently than I do. And that is how I've always felt, is that I just get to love and maintain my own standards. And Heavenly Father will, He's the one who gets to judge, you know, and I, and I don't have to. I think that's what I love is that I just don't have to judge. I can, I can be nice and, and be with other people. And that's, that's all that is required of me.
And I like that it says by doing that it might help to turn them away from their bitterness. And just being nice to people who are not members of the church. That's all you have to do so that they don't think we're a bunch of jerks.
Yeah, or nice to people who ARE members of the church.
Totally. Yeah. So that's what that means in that verse. I just want to make sure we understood what verse 22 means. Thank you so much Melinda, for sharing your own personal experience with this verse. That was powerful. So section 82, it was received on April 26. And just four days later, Joseph Smith is going to receive another revelation that I like to call the "but what about" section and I'm gonna tell you what I need in the next segment.
Segment 6 1:02:40
Okay, we have Doctrine and Covenants Section 83. And I call this the 'But what about?' section because oftentimes when I would teach a principle, my students would inevitably come up with different scenarios and ask, but what about this, or what about that, and they were in and so this is the 'but what about?' section. So this is kind of cool. So Section 83, write this somewhere on your page, "it is an addendum to Doctrine and Covenants Section 42"'. So I wrote that.
So Section 42 is entirely about the law of consecration, and then we get a 'but what about' question, and so Joseph Smith went and asked, and here's what it is. And the 'what about' question is the title for Section 83, which is 'Women and children under the law of consecration'.
So here we have this law of consecration and the question is: "But what about widowed women? and what about children whose fathers have died?" How do they fit into the law of consecration? And we get six sweet verses about this addendum to Section 42. And so as we go over these, and we're looking at these verses, just read verses 1 through 6, and you can kind of find out what the answer is that the Lord has. But my question to you two, is knowing that and reading this section, what does it teach us about the Lord, and how He feels about women and children who are poor?
They're going to be taken care of. And they better be, right?
I think when I was reading it, it just was so beautiful to think that, you know, there is a safety net, you know, in a world that doesn't necessarily offer that very often.
Right. And that the Lord hasn't forgotten them. And He had an answer, and He had a system. And when you read in verse 3, it says, he's talking about the women whose husbands have passed, it says,
"3 And if they are not faithful they shall not have fellowship in the church; yet they may remain upon their inheritances according to the laws of the land."
And when it says 'they are not faithful', what it means is, if they've left the church, then they really don't have claim on the law of consecration anymore cuz they don't want anything to do with the church. So it doesn't mean if they mess up or if they're, you know, if they swear, I don't know. It doesn't mean like, you know, makeing a sin it means full on leaving the church. But what I want us to do is connect Section 83. And somewhere on that page, I just want you to write Section 82 verse 19. And then Section 81 verse 5. Because that's what this is all about. And we didn't read this, so we're going to go back to Section 82 verse 19, and Melinda, will you read verse 19, it's just right there on that page.
"19 Every man seeking the interest of his neighbor, and doing all things with an eye single to the glory of God."
Okay, so we have that. That's our goal, seeking the interest of our neighbor, doing all things with an eye single to the glory of God. And then Section 81 verse 5 was my favorite one, to "....succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees." The command for us to do that, and to seek the interest of our neighbor. I want to know how, in your mind these verses connect to Section 83, the "What about section" for us personally?
The scripture that just keeps coming to mind is, you know, the first great commandment is to love God. And then the second is like unto it, to love thy neighbor. And I love that that is our biggest charge, that we are to love others, that that is the light that we share. That is how we build the kingdom of God and glorify God. I mean, what a loving God, then, right, if that's what He wants us to do. He wants us to be there and do physical things that, you know, maybe he's not doing right this second, that we are His, that is how we can be His handmaidens. And so I just think that's a beautiful, it's a beautiful thing that He asks us to do, because it says so much about Him and how much He loves each of us, because going back to your favorite verse is that we have all been weak; we have all had our hands hang down. And that means that He cares about all of us.
Ah, you are absolutely right, it is all of us. And I just want to say to those who are listening right now, if you feel like your hands are hanging down, the Lord cares about you. He cares about the hands which hang down. I just, I have trusted in that so many times in my life. So just believe me, if you're worried or wondering if He is going to grab your hand, He really will.
I kept thinking about how we're not meant to be here on earth to be alone, and to be lonely. And, you know, in this extra addendum, it says, you know, He's like, just, just remember, please don't forget the widows and the orphans, these people who are alone, you have to remember them. That's not what meant, life on earth is meant to be, is to be alone. So help them, don't forget them. And I had a moment last week with my daughter. And she pulled me into the room before church and she was not having a great day. And she said, "Mom, in a family of seven people I feel lonely a lot of the time." And so we talked about it, and I said, Oh man, why? And you know, we talked about it. But life is not meant to be lived lonely and alone. And I know a lot of people feel that; a lot of people feel lonely, even in a family of seven people and even in a marriage.
And so it is so important, these scriptures that, you know, every once in a while we look outside of ourselves. Because we'll realize that other people need their hands lifted up. And other people need their knees strengthened. And sometimes I find it really easy for me to 'woe is me', you know, 'oh, my knees are so weak right now and I need some strengthening and life is tough'. And I think it's so important that, you know, that is the one of the greatest commandments is to love our neighbor.
And so look out for each other. Because life is all about relationships, and it's all about helping each other. And when we do that we feel strength. You know, we feel the power, we don't feel weak anymore because we feel connected to someone else. And when we all have those connections, we're just so much stronger together. I know that sounds so cheesy. But we are, right? There's so much strength in unity and when we can do that with each other, you know, Heavenly Father is just giving us that key, that tool to just be so much better.
Yes. You know, I really appreciate what both of you said. And it makes me, I just want to issue this challenge to all of us this week to do exactly what you guys talked about. This week I want you, I want everyone listening to pray for an opportunity to find someone who needs assistance, to find someone who might be lonely, whether it's in your own family, or your neighborhood, but to communicate Heart to Heart this week with someone. And I am a witness that that happens when you pray for an opportunity to serve. That's one of the prayers, that prayer and praying for humility are the two powers that get answered the quickest. I can tell you that right now.
Not prayin for THAT this week!
Don't ever pray for that. But I know for a fact that when you pray for an opportunity to serve, it will be given to you. So that's my challenge to us. Have you guys ever had an experience where you've done that - prayed for an opportunity to serve?
Yeah. One time I had the terrible idea to pray for an opportunity to share the Book of Mormon. Oh, that was rough for me because it happened. I got one prepared and I marked it all up. And I prayed that morning, 'Help me to find someone this week.' And I did. And I was like, waaaa! I want to share it with you. But I gonna find the one I need to share it with. When you pray for that He just puts it right in your lap. He's like, Oh, you're being willing, here's My work, do it.
Yeah, anytime you pray to do God's work. DONE. There have been times in family prayers where we have prayed for that. Or I've said, Okay, Heavenly Father, you know, help us look for opportunities to serve other people. And then ugh, boy, like, the next day, my daughter's like, Mom, we should really, yeah, like, okay, I didn't really mean the next day.
You know, the one thing I do have is that I feel like, I am a person, I think I'm naturally looking to build relationships. And, and I see needs, and sometimes I see a lot of needs. And so I feel like one of the things that I, that has helped me is, you know, really praying to have that spirit of discernment on not just what I see a need that I'm like, Oh, they should have, this would be better for them, or, you know, I want to make that better. But just, you know, really listening to what actually needs to be done, or who needs my help, you know, even though I see 12 things I could do, which one can I do? And it feels like every time I listen to that spirit, the service is so much more successful.
Oh, definitely is. In fact, that is such great advice for us as we take on this challenge. So thank you for pointing that out. I appreciate both of your examples that you shared in both of your stories. I think it's just a testimony again, that when you pray to serve and do the Lord's work, He will answer that prayer. So do that this week, pray as a family, pray if you're on your own individuall. Wwhatever that looks like for you, pray for an opportunity to find those who whose hands which hands hang down, whose knees to be strengthened, and who need to be succored. And I promise that will happen so that we can all seek the interest of our neighbor. And again that part, just coming heart to heart.
So thank you. Thank you, ladies. That's the end of our episode. Wow, that was awesome. So good. So take a minute now and just kind of gather your thoughts and what stood out to you, what's your takeaway from today's discussion?
I'll just say two quick ones, because I kind of had two. I just loved the 'don't live side by side', but you know, 'heart to heart'. I love that thought. I'm going to try to do that better this week, for sure, is find people I can connect to more heart to heart.
Excellent. What about you, Melinda?
Okay. My biggest takeaway was just having a greater faith and confidence in the Lord's plan, and how He cares about us, and how He's thinking about all the details, the details of the details of the details. And that we can we can support Him, but He's gonna make it happen.
Perfect, great takeaways, ladies. Um, mine, again, one came from each of you. Melinda, I loved it at the beginning when you said, 'it makes me love God's plan even more, because there are replacements.' And I I just love that perspective on that section. Because sometimes we get caught up in just the idea of replacements. And why would God call somebody if He knew that they were going to sin and that whole level of agency and all of it and that God loves all of us and gives us a chance to try, so I thought that was such a great statement.
And then Shar, when you taught us about your favorite verse in Section 82 verse 10, I will never look at the word "bound to him" again the same way. I loved your example and when you said "he is bound, and that you were going to lean on that promise". And that changed the way I viewed that verse. So thank you. Thank you, ladies. Thank you. I love you both. So great. Thank You, thank you.
Okay, we want to know what your big takeaway was from this episode. So if you have not already joined our discussion group on Facebook or Instagram, just go join it so that you can share what your takeaway was; I really want to know what it is. On Saturday, we do a post asking for your big takeaway. So comment on the post that relates to this lesson, and let me know what you've learned. I read them all and I do enjoy reading them and I'm excited to see what you guys have, especially if you took the challenge. I want to know if you were able to serve someone that week. So share that with me in the takeaway.
You can get to both our Facebook and Instagram by going to the show notes for this episode, which is found at LDS Living.com slash Sunday on Monday. That's also the place where we are going to have the links to all the references that we used today and we have an entire transcript of this discussion. So go check it out.
The Sunday on Monday study group is a Deseret Bookshelf Plus Original and it's brought to you by LDS Living. It's written and hosted by me, Tammy Uzelac Hall, and today our perfect study group participants were Melinda Shayay and Sharmaine Howell. And you can find their information about these friends at LDS living.com slash Sunday on Monday. Our podcast is produced by Katie Lambert and me. It is recorded and mixed by Mix At 6 Studios, And our executive producer is Erin Hallstrom.
Thanks for being here. We'll see you next week. And please remember: You really are God's favorite.
Transcribed by Jenee Uzelac
Pictures of the First Presidency: The First Presidency of the Church
"Gause was about twenty years older than Joseph Smith and ten years older than Sidney Rigdon. He accompanied the Prophet to Missouri in April and appears to have served faithfully until August 1832, when, on a mission with Zebedee Coltrin, he visited his estranged wife in a proselyting effort among the Shakers at North Union. For health reasons, Coltrin returned to Kirtland on 19 August; Gause, unable to reconcile with his wife, 'continued east and walked right out of the history of the Church, never again to return'" (Stephen E. Robinson, H. Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, Vol. 3, "Doctrine and Covenants 81," Deseret Book).
"The historical records show that when this revelation was received in March 1832, it called Jesse Gause to the office of counselor to Joseph Smith in the Presidency. However, when he failed to continue in a manner consistent with this appointment, the call was subsequently transferred to Frederick G. Williams."
Title for Section 81: "Keys of the Kingdom"
Cross Reference for Keys of the Kingdom: Doctrine and Covenants 65
"Priesthood keys are the authority God has given to priesthood leaders to direct, control, and govern the use of His priesthood on earth. The exercise of priesthood authority is governed by those who hold its keys (see D&C 65:2; 81:2; 124:123). Those who hold priesthood keys have the right to preside over and direct the Church within a jurisdiction.
"Jesus Christ holds all the keys of the priesthood pertaining to His Church. He has conferred upon each of His Apostles all the keys that pertain to the kingdom of God on earth. The senior living Apostle, the President of the Church, is the only person on earth authorized to exercise all priesthood keys” (Handbook 2: Administering the Church , 2.1.1).
Quote: "All the keys of the kingdom of God on earth are held by members of the First Presidency and members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The President of the Church—the senior Apostle—presides over the entire Church and is the only person on earth who exercises all the keys in their fulness" (President Russell M. Nelson, “Keys of the Priesthood” October Ensign 2005).
Quote: “Those who have priesthood keys … literally make it possible for all who serve faithfully under their direction to exercise priesthood authority and have access to priesthood power.” (President M. Russell Ballard, “Men and Women in the Work of the Lord,” New Era, Apr. 2014).
- Doctrine and Covenants 13: Key of ministering of angels and the key of the gospel of repentance and baptism
- Doctrine and Covenants 27:6 Keys of the power of turning the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to the father.
- Doctrine and Covenants 35 Keys of the mysteries of the gospel
- Doctrine and Covenants 110 Keys of this dispensation
- "Our Great Potential" President Spencer W. Kimball, May 1977 The keys of creation and resurrection
Quote: "Like each member of the Quorum of the Twelve, I hold all the keys of the priesthood as restored in these latter days, but some keys are not used unless specifically directed by the senior Apostle or upon his death. All of us in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles feel the weight of responsibility and the burden of timeless trust. We know the keys we hold have been restored 'for the last days and for the last time'" (President Russell M. Nelson “Keys of the Priesthood” October Ensign 2005)
Note: The transcript for Barbara Morgan Gardener's talk on keys is unavailable but you can learn more from Barbara about priesthood keys from the links below:
Sunday on Monday: "Bonus: Q&A Women and the Priesthood"
LDS Living Video: Barbara Morgan Gardner's 5-Minute Fireside: Women and Priesthood Power
Doctrine and Covenants 81:3 Instructions the Lord gave Fredrick Williams:
3 Therefore, verily I acknowledge him and will bless him, and also thee, inasmuch as thou art faithful in counsel, in the office which I have appointed unto you, in prayer always, vocally and in thy heart, in public and in private, also in thy aministry in proclaiming the gospel in the bland of the living, and among thy brethren.
Quote: “[A counselor] is an assistant to his president. …As an assistant, the counselor is not the president. He does not assume responsibility and move out ahead of his president. In presidency meetings, each counselor is free to speak his mind on all issues that come before the presidency. However, it is the prerogative of the president to make the decision, and it is the duty of the counselors to back him in that decision. His decision then becomes their decision, regardless of their previous ideas” (President Hinckley, “In … Counsellors There Is Safety,” Ensign, Nov. 1990, 49)
The outcome, the promise of doing those things: Doctrine and Covenants 81:4
Cross reference: Isaiah 35: 3
Succor: to run giving aid or help (see yourdictionary.com, including "Origin of Succor").
Weak: Hebrew = Raphah meaning to sink, lose heart, or alone
Feeble/Feeble knees: Cause to stumble, bring injury upon
Quote: "Time passes. Circumstances change. Conditions vary. Unaltered is the divine command to succor the weak and lift up the hands which hang down and strengthen the feeble knees. Each of us has the charge to be not a doubter, but a doer; not a leaner, but a lifter. But our complacency tree has many branches, and each spring more buds come into bloom. Often we live side by side but do not communicate heart to heart. There are those within the sphere of our own influence who, with outstretched hands, cry out: `Is there no balm in Gilead . . . ?' (Jer. 8:22.) Each of us must answer. . . May we succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees, thereby inheriting that eternal life promised by the Redeemer.”(President Thomas S. Monson, "With Hand and Heart," October 1971 General Conference)
Joseph being tarred and feathered, background for Section 82: "Joseph Smith is Tarred and Feathered" Primary 5 Doctrine and Covenants and Church History
"The following Thursday, 29 March, Emma and Joseph's baby son died, possibly on account of the additional stress and exposure caused by the mobbing. Three days later, on Sunday, 1 April, Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, and Newel K. Whitney began their journey to Missouri in obedience to the commandment of the Lord. With them went Jesse Gause, the newly appointed counselor in the Presidency of the High Priesthood.
"Joseph and his party arrived in Independence on 24 April 1832, and, according to his own account, "on the 26th, I called a general council of the Church, and was acknowledged as the President of the High Priesthood, according to a previous ordination at a conference of High Priests, Elders and members, held at Amherst, Ohio, on the 25th of January, 1832. The right hand of fellowship was given to me by the Bishop, Edward Partridge, in behalf of the Church. The scene was solemn, impressive and delightful. During the intermission, a difficulty or hardness which had existed between Bishop Partridge and Elder Rigdon, was amicably settled, and when we came together in the afternoon, all hearts seemed to rejoice and I received the following [D&C 82]."4
"The minutes of this Missouri conference, during which Doctrine and Covenants 82 was received, indicate that "Br. Sidney Rigdon then stated the items embraced in a Revelation received in Ohio [D&C 78] & the reason why we were commanded to come to this land & sit in council with the High priests here." In the afternoon session, it was recorded, "all differences [had been] settled & the hearts of all run together in love. A Revelation [was] received through him whom the Church has appointed respecting organization." This revelation was section 82, which was first published in the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants. (Stephen E. Robinson, H. Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, Vol. 3, "Doctrine and Covenants 81," Deseret Book)."
Title for Section 82: "Principle of Forgiveness" and "Judged by What We Know"
Much is required of Sidney and Joseph, including how they must forgive: Doctrine and Covenants 82:2-3
2 Nevertheless, there are those among you who have sinned exceedingly; yea, even aall of you have sinned; but verily I say unto you, beware from henceforth, and brefrain from sin, lest sore judgments fall upon your heads.
The Lord is bound to us: Doctrine and Covenants 82:10
We can pray for revelation: Doctrine and Covenants 82:4
4 Ye call upon my name for arevelations, and I give them unto you; and inasmuch as ye keep not my sayings, which I give unto you, ye become transgressors; and justice and judgment are the penalty which is affixed unto my law.
7 And now, verily I say unto you, I, the Lord, will not lay any asin to your charge; go your ways and sin no more; but unto that soul who sinneth shall the bformer sins return, saith the Lord your God.
"Mammon of Unrighteousness:"
Mammon: An Aramaic word meaning “riches”
Quote: “The commandment of the Lord that the saints should make themselves ‘friends with the mammon of unrighteousness,’ seems to be a hard saying when not properly understood. It is not intended that in making friends of the ‘mammon of unrighteousness’ that the brethren were to partake with them in their sins; to receive them to their bosoms, intermarry with them and otherwise come down to their level. They were to so live that peace with their enemies might be assured. They were to treat them kindly, be friendly with them as far as correct and virtuous principles would permit, but never to swear with them or drink and carouse with them. If they could allay prejudice and show a willingness to trade with and show a kindly spirit, it might help to turn them away from their bitterness. Judgment was to be left with the Lord” (Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Seminary Teacher Manual, " Lesson 85: Doctrine and Covenants 82-83," see also Church History and Modern Revelation, 2 vols. , 1:323).
Title for Section 83: "Women and Children Under Law of Consecration"
Women and Children under the Law of Consecration:
3 And if they are not faithful they shall not have fellowship in the church; yet they may remain upon their inheritances according to the laws of the land.