31: "The Power of Godliness" (Doctrine and Covenants 84)
What to do you think of when you hear the phrase, “season of joy”? You probably think about Christmas, don’t you? Or maybe your birthday month because, let’s be honest, everyone loves their birthday month. But as joyful as Christmas and birthdays may be, that’s not what Joseph Smith was talking about when he called the events leading up to Doctrine and Covenants 84 a “season of joy.” And after this week’s lesson, we will see how this section brings lasting, eternal joy to all of our lives.
What do you think of when you hear the phrase 'Season of Joy''? You automatically think of Christmas? Sure you do. Of course you do. I can't blame you. But I'm going to, because actually you should think of November which is my birthday, birthday month. That's my season of joy. Well, the reason why I bring up this phrase though 'season of joy', is that is the way that Joseph Smith describes the setting of our study today of Doctrine and Covenants Section 84.
Now, back in Section 75, several men were called on missions. Well, now it's September 1832, and many of the men are starting to return home from their missions. And Joseph asked them to gather and report, kind of almost like the very first homecoming This is so cool. Today as we study Section 84, we're gonna learn about the revelation Joseph Smith received during this season of joy, and what turned out to be a two-day event with the men.
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. Okay, if you're new to our study group, I want to make sure that you know how to use this podcast. So follow the link that's in our description. And it's going to explain how you can best use this study group to enhance your Come Follow Me study, just like my friends Kathryn Meier and John David Black. Hi, friends from the singles word. I found out they're listening, they sent me a message. So of course, I have to do a shout out to my good friend Kathryn.
Okay, now here's the best part about this podcast, is each week we're joined by two of my friends to discuss the scriptures. But this week is so unique. I only have one friend. And I consider it a privilege to call him my friend. We get to have Marcus Martins on the podcast. Hi, Marcus. Whoa, I just get so excited. I've been so excited all week to have you on. I have known Marcus for a very long time. He was my professor at BYU in the Race and Ethnicity class. Do you remember that?
Marcus Martins 1:54
I remember that.
Yeah, that's where we first met; you were getting your PhD or your Masters at the time?
Marcus Martins 1:59
That time I was getting my PhD.
Yes, getting his PhD. For me, that experience changed my life because I had never had a teacher in my life before challenge the way I thought and challenge my perspectives. And let me be okay with being uncomfortable. Like, that's what you did. And you allowed for us to have different thoughts and feelings and opinions. You know, there's some great stories that I have with Marcus; he asked me to be his TA that next year. And so that was super awesome.
And so that's how we got to know each other. And I've just kind of always followed you with everything you've been studying and writing. I'm just really excited to have you here. You've taught me more about the priesthood than probably anyone that I have learned from.
Marcus Martins 2:40
Thank you. Very kind of you.
Thank you. You've paid the price.
Marcus Martins 2:44
That introduction was so good for a wmoment I thought you had somebody else doing it.
No, it's all you Marcus, 100%. Well, and do you remember the call you gave me 15 years ago in the summer: you asked me to come out to BYU Hawaii?
Marcus Martins 2:58
Uh, yes, I do.
Marus asked me to come teach at BYU-Hawaii. And then two days later I got engaged. Never was there.
Marcus Martins 3:08
So it was worked. Backwards, but it worked.
Yeah, it worked. It was the happiest, saddest phone call I've ever had to make. So yeah, I got married. But you currently now are at BYU-Hawaii. And you were once the director of the Religion Department. Is that correct?
Marcus Martins 3:23
I was the Dean of Religious Education.
And now what are you doing at BYU-Hawaii?
Marcus Martins 3:28
I'm a professor. Well, pre-pandemics, traveling around speaking internationally. And with the pandemic I've only expanded the number of hours I engage in virtual firesides. Because after 10,000 students from BYU-Ricks College and BYU-Hawaii, I have students pretty much all over the world. And they still contact me and say, Look, I have to give a talk and I was thinking about something you said in class and I say, OK. hum, did you think, because I can't remember.
That's so perfect, and I'm just one of those many students. And when this section came up, I called him and I'm like, Hey, you said this thing in class. So you want to be on a podcast for two hours?
Marcus Martins 4:13
Here we are.
Here we are. Well, if you want to know more information about Marcus and see a picture of him, you can find his bio in our show notes, which is at LDS living.com slash Sunday on Monday. And we'll also include his website. So I encourage everyone to go check it out. And he has a YouTube channel and you can watch videos by him. And it is worth every minute that you're going to spend listening to what he has to teach you about the gospel of Jesus Christ. It's just great.
Before we even began, I sent Marcus an email and I asked him: "In your opinion, what are the six most important principles found in Section 84?" And your list was a little bit longer than 6, am I right? What did you think about that question?
Marcus Martins 4:53
Yes. No, no. I sent you two lists of six. Let's put it this way.
It was, because I know it's so hard to boil this down into 6. So we worked together and we combined our lists and our ideas. And I am so excited for us to be able to talk about section 84. And one of the things that section 84 has definitely taught me-and I've said this before on the podcast is - that God does everything for His children line upon line in a preparatory way. And I just kind of felt like section 84 might be the template of preparatory learning. Everything in Section 84 leads up to the next thing, and it's amazing how you might be tempted to skip certain parts.
But today, we're gonna talk about why everything is in Section 84, and the whole grand purpose and design of this revelation. So friends, grab your scriptures and let's dig in.
In the October 2019 Women's session of General Conference, our Prophet President Nelson said this to the women: "I entreat you to study prayerfully all the truths you can find about priesthood power. You might begin with Doctrine and Covenants section 84." And then he encouraged Section 107. That challenge and preparing for this episode has led to such an incredible study for me, and I would have to say the priesthood is probably one of my favorite things about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. And especially within the last couple of years, learning truly how it applies to me as a woman has been incredible.
And so before we can even really talk a ton about that, here's what we need to know about Section 84. It was given over a course of two days, September 22nd and September 23rd. And so in your scriptures if you want to mark this, they believe that verses 1 through 41 was the first day of Revelation. And then verses 42 to 120 was the second day of Revelation. So I've just drawn a line after verse 41. And the title for Section 84 is 'Priesthood'. So just write in big letters next to Section 84 'Priesthood'.
We're just gonna jump right in. And Marcus, I just want you to talk to us about these first couple of verses, and why is there this priesthood line of authority. I think a lot of us are tempted just to skip it because it's kind of like 'begat who, begat who'. But instead, it's 'got priesthood from, got priesthood from'. So tell us about these verses.
Marcus Martins 7:08
I think your summary is absolutely perfect. Because, number one, this is a revelation of the priesthood for everybody. Not just for men, but for men, women, for young and old, even little children. You see, September 21, 1832. Does anybody remember something about September 21?
Yeah. Well, here's the deal. September 21 is when Moroni first appeared to Joseph Smith in his room. Well, then on September 22, which is also my friend Sarah's birthday, that's the day when Joseph Smith, with Emma, went to go get the plates. And it's kind of cool, because it's exactly six years later that section 84 is received.
Marcus Martins 7:52
Now, interestingly, Joseph Smith included in the Document and Covenants, Section 2, an excerpt from that long lecture he received from Moroni. In that excerpt, is Moroni's version of Malachi chapter 4. Moroni's version of Malachi chapter 4, verse 5 says, "Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord."
And I find it's there, look, it cannot be a coincidence, that nine years after - almost nine years to the day- there's this revelation on the priesthood. But here's what catches my attention. As you very well said, people are tempted to to kind of skip things and say, Oh, okay, I don't want to deal with this, you know, let me skip to the best part. But if we look at the revelation very carefully, verse 2, the word of the Lord concerning His Church, establishing the last days for the restoration of His people, as these are spoken by the mouth of His prophets. And for the gathering of His saints to stand up on Mount Zion, which shall be the seat of New Jerusalem.
So it is a revelation on the priesthood for the church in preparation for the establishment of Zion in the city of New Jerusalem. So everything the Lord says in this revelation is with the knowledge, with the understanding that's, Look, this is a preparation for things that are going to happen in the future. In verse
5, ".....this generation shall not pass away until an house shall be built unto the Lord, and a cloud shall rest upon it, which cloud shall be even the glory of the Lord which shall fill the house."
Great, wonderful. He asked this,
"6 And the sons of Moses, according to the Holy Priesthood which he received under the hand of his father-in-law, Jethro;" and then he breaks. There was a break; he makes a big parenthesis. What he's going to say next is, he comes up on what we call verse 31. From verse 6, we should skip to 31.
"6 And the sons of Moses, according to the Holy priesthood which he received under the hands of his father-in-law, Jethro;
"31 Therefore, as I said concerning the sons of Moses - for the sons of Moses and also the sons of Aaron shall offer an acceptable offering, and sacrifice in the house of the Lord, which house shall be built unto the Lord in this generation, upon the consecrated spot as I have appointed-"
That makes sense. But then you have this huge parenthesis here where He goes through the priesthood line of authority of Moses. And then He talks about the lesser priesthood, you know, because children of Israel rejecting the higher priesthood, and then He took Moses and the Holy Priesthood and left the lesser priesthood, the keys of leadership. All of this is is a parenthesis. And so there is a lot of information here. But remember, this information is still significant to us, because there are things here that have not happened yet.
Now, the question then is, why did the Lord go through Moses' priesthood line of authority? And then when you look at that line,you'll notice is that, wait a minute. These guys were not originally from the house of Jacob, from the house of Israel. They are descendants of Abraham through Keturah.
Yeah, through a completely different line, they're not even Israelites.
Marcus Martins 11:49
And you say, Well, these other guys also have the priesthood. You don't know about them. But the Lord just kind of spiking our curiosity said, Well, wait, wait. So the Bible doesn't have everything. No, it doesn't. And then where does that leave us? Why begin this parenthesis with a line of authority? For me, after thinking a lot about this, I said, wait a minute. The highest blessings, the highest privileges, the highest honors available to us through the priesthood, come through family lines of authority.
The highest expression of the doctrine of the priesthood is found in the sealing room of the temple. In the sealing room, we contemplate the ultimate objective of the Lord Jesus Christ's Atonement. This is where we have links in this long chain coming from Adam all the way to us and from us to our latest posterity through family priesthood lines, and that's what the Lord is beginning here to sort of, 'Look at it all. I'm not gonna tell you about sealings yet, it's gonna come later. Remember
I'm just preppin ya.
Marcus Martins 13:16
It's 1832. Yeah, it's gonna be four years until I send Elias restoring the gospel of Abraham, and Elijah restoring the keys of sealings.
But let me tell you, this is the foundation. This is where it stands, on this organization of the priesthood according to families, and through the lines of authority. And then everything else comes from this. So we have then is the notion that I said look, yeah, I'm the only member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints of my family. But from me, I can start a righteous posterity, generation after generation of disciples of Jesus Christ. And I can go to the house of the Lord to perform the work for my deceased ancestors, and have them linked together. The centrality of this organization, this divinely instituted organization is clearly manifested right here.
I'm just going to give everyone a disclaimer right here. Do not listen to this episode of the podcast in one sitting. You're going to want to go segment by segment, one day at a time, because each segment is going to leave you with so much to think about. That was segment one, Marcus, and already people are like, Eeee. And so here's what we're going to do. In the next segment, we're going to talk about the information that's in the parentheses. Okay, this is so great.
Segment 2 14:48
Here we are in Doctrine and Covenants Section 84 and we're going to start with the parentheses. Bracket off verses 6 through pretty much 17, 6 through 17. And to the outside, write, "Moses' is line of authority". And you can even put "Priesthood line of authority". And I asked Marcus if he would share his line of authority, because I think it's pretty unique. And Marcus has a really cool story about the priesthood in his own life and in his own family. So, Marcus, what is your priesthood line of authority?
Marcus Martins 15:27
This is actually my second line of authority.
What do you mean by that?
Marcus Martins 15:31
You have the priesthood line of authority by the latest office that you were ordained in the Melchizedek Priesthood. So in 1978, I was ordained an Elder by my father. It was June 25.
When did the priesthood ban end?
Marcus Martins 15:47
Yeah, the priesthood ban ended on June 8, 1978. My father and I received the Aaronic Priesthood on June 18, 1978. And on the following week, June 25, we received the Melchizedek Priesthood. My father was too emotional to confer the Aaronic Priesthood and ordain me a Priest on June 18th. But he had enough of his emotions under control a week later, and so he ordained me an Elder.
And so I had a line of authority from my father, as an Elder. But then when I was ordained a High Priest in 1981, I have a new line of authority. And by then, my father who was then a High Priest, ordained me a High Priest. I was being called to serve as a Stake High Councilor, my first time as a High Councilor. I was very young, I was 22 years old at the time. This was Brazil, of course, you know, you were called to these positions of leadership very early, both men and women, very early. Now my father had been ordained a High Priest in November of '78 by Elder Marvin J. Ashton of the Quorum of the Twelve.
So my line of authority, his line of authority goes like this: from me to my father, from my father to Elder Marvin J. Ashton. Elder Ashton was ordained an Apostle by President Harold B. Lee. President Harold B. Lee was ordained an Apostle by President Heber J. Grant. And then from Heber J. Grant to George Q. Cannon who was ordained an Apostle by Brigham Young. Brigham Young was ordained an Apostle by the three witnesses in February of 1835. The three witnesses were appointed by revelation to (Doctrine and Covenants Section 18), who chose the 12 Apostles. They were set apart and blessed for that purpose by the First Presidency. It was Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Frederick John Williams.
And Joseph Smith, together with Oliver Cowdrey received the Melchizedek Priesthood and the Holy Apostleship under the hands of Peter, James, and John in 1829. And Peter, James, and John, were ordained Apostles by the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself during His mortal ministry. So that's my line of authority.
That's pretty remarkable. When you said your father was very emotional, I think that we can understand why. What was that like for you, having grown up with the ban, and now getting the priesthood? Do you remember how you felt?
Marcus Martins 18:24
My feelings at the time were a little kind of mixed, because everything happened so fast. I was 19 years old, about to get married. And we used to hear back then prior to '78 that, Oh, yeah, blacks are going to receive - we called them blacks, by the way - I say I'm not really an African-American. I am an American citizen nowadays, but I'm really, in Brazil I'm called black and I call myself black, and so we use African-American for those who are born in the United States with black African ancestry.
Well we used to hear back then, prior to '78 that blacks one day will receive the Priesthood, probably it's gonna be a week before the Millenium. So when the revelation was announced, I thought, Okay, so this is it, right? (laughs)
Jesus is coming next Thursday. (laughter)
Marcus Martins 19:12
Whatever I did not repent of I should repent pretty quick because the time is now. As I said, I was getting ready to get married; my fiance was a returned missionary. I didn't have really time to really let that sink in. One week I'm ordained a Priest, I received the Aaronic Priesthood. The next week I received the Melchizedek Priesthood, ordained an Elder, and so boom-boom-boom, too fast. The first time I passed the sacrament, I had been a full-time missionary for four months. Somebody invited me, "Uh, would you be, would you be offended if we asked you to pass the sacrament?" I thought, Hey, you know, I've been waiting six years to do this. So, uh, yeah.
So you didn't get married?
Marcus Martins 20:02
Well, what happened was my Stake President, after I received the Melchizedek Priesthood interviewed me and challenged me to postpone my wedding and go on a mission. And I told him, I'm sorry, you know, we already mailed the invitations. No can do, K? Too late, too bad. But he was a good man who would not take no for an answer. And so three weeks before the wedding, I finally decided with the support of my fiance, to postpone the wedding for two years and go serve a mission. So I served a full-time mission. I went to the Brazil, San Paulo North Mission at the time, which happened to be the mission I was called to preside 33 years later.
Oh, my gosh. And then did you get married when you got back? Did you marry her?
Marcus Martins 20:55
Uh, yes, I did.
Is it true? Because I read this on the internet and everything's true on the internet. So I just want to verify it: (yeah, yeah) Were you the first person of your race to go on a mission after the ban?
Marcus Martins 21:09
After the 1978 Revelation, yes, I was the first. And it was because of my Stake President.
That's cool. That is true, then.
Marcus Martins 21:18
Yeah, you know, it's a long story. And some other time, you know. Actually, it's on the church history podcast, the podcast from church history.
And you can find that entire story on the 'All-In' podcast. Well, thank you, Marcus. So let's dive into section 84, then, because here we have a patriarchal line of authority. And then we start to learn about something called the greater priesthood and the lesser priesthood. You're going to find the introduction of that in verses 18 and 19. Why do they differentiate in Section 84 between the greater priesthood and the lesser priesthood? And what's the difference between the two?
Marcus Martins 21:52
The thing is, remember, we started with this whole idea that the highest blessings, the highest honor, the highest privileges are included in the Melchizedek Priesthood, talking about the sealing room, which was unknown in 1832. Well, we look at verse 17. There is a kind of a little introduction here.
"17 Which priesthood continueth in the church of God in all generations, and is without the beginning of days or end of years." But now comes this interjection here.
"18 The Lord confirmed a priesthood also upon Aaron and his seed, throughout all their generations, which priesthood also continueth and abideth forever with the priesthood which is after the holiest order of God.
"19 And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the keys of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God." Then we skip to verse 23, because then He talks about the privileges and the owners of this greater priesthood.
Yes, in fact, Marcus, will you please read verses 23 through 27.
Marcus Martins 23:00
"23 Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God;
"24 But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore, the Lord in His wrath, for his anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fullness of his glory.
"25 Therefore, he took Moses out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also;
"26 And the lesser priesthood continued, which priesthood holdeth the key of the ministering of angels and the preparatory gospel;
"27 Which gospel is the gospel of repentance and of baptism, and the remission of sins, and the law of carnal commandments, the Lord of his wrath caused to continue with the house of Aaron among the children of Israel until John, whom God raised up, being filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother's womb."
So greater/lesser priesthood, it's not because of the size of the priesthood, it's because one is a subset of the other. So the Melchizedek Priesthood without beginning of days or end of years; the Aaronic Priesthood started at that point. Now, if you have a beginning, but as an appendix, it's interesting that I have a diagram that I show in which there is this big circle, and the Aaronic Priesthood exists within that circle. So I represent the Melchizedek Priesthood as a big circle, and the Aaronic Priesthood as a smaller circle inside the Melchizedek priesthood. So it's kind of a bubble, if you will, within, inside of the Melchizedek Priesthood. Hence, the term lesser priesthood.
Both priesthoods are sacred, both are important. And both men and women need to understand very clearly what they do because, and once again, this is something that will come up later in Section 107. The Lord says All offices in the church derive their authority from the priesthood. So the sisters who serve in a Relief Society, or in a Primary or in a Young Women's organization, they are exercising priesthood authority.
The young sisters who serve in class presidencies in Young Womens, they are exercising priesthood authority from the Aaronic priesthood, which is the which is the preparatory gospel that holds the keys of the ministrering of angels, ministering. Angels are ministering servants. What do we teach our young women to do? To teach classes, to visit one another, to strengthen one another. Later, if they wish to even serve full-time missions, preaching the Word of God, ministering again, that's the ministering of angels. So they are not ordained to offices in the priesthood, but they exercise priesthood authority in everything they do. President Nelson has made that very clear, fortunately,
Oh, he has and I actually have that part of his 2019 talk in our show notes if you'd like to go and read it. But it is so wonderful when he talks about how people say, Oh, I'm sorry, I don't have the priesthood in my home. He corrects that; he's like, "we are done saying that. As righteous endowed Latter-Day Saint women you speak and teach with power and authority from God, whether by exhortation or conversation.f" And then he says, "We need your voice in teaching the doctrine of Christ".
But something that struck me Marcus, is when you were saying that the Aaronic priesthood is the preparatory priesthood and how when young girls are set apart to serve in the Young Women's presidency, and women are serving and ministering and we're using that priesthood authority, it made me think, are we really using it as a preparatory experience?
I hope next time I have the chance to be in Young Women's, I'm reminded that I am preparing these young girls to get the greater priesthood, which is the temple endowment, and then the temple sealing, which are two separate things. I want us to really take advantage of preparing and letting these girls know, You are being prepared right now. In everything you do you have power and authority through the priesthood to serve. So I appreciate you pointing that out. That was powerful stuff.
Marcus Martins 27:18
And remember, Tammy, what you just said, takes us back to our first segment. All these instructions that were given in Section 84 were in preparation for Mount Zion, to New Jerusalem. So what you're saying is that, uh, yeah, that's it. It's a preparation for temples, for ordinances. Not only the temples we currently have, but the future temples we will have once the Lord establishes the New Jerusalem again.
And to being with Him and the Millennium and all that goodness. Okay, that was so good. So continuing with this idea of preparation then, we just spent the first two segments dedicated to the history and scope of these two priesthoods. And like we said, at first glance you may have been tempted to skip over those verses. So now go and read them and look for key words, and look up words and cross reference, because it's so fun.
And you need to know this information because it's preparing us beautifully for this next incredible aspect of the priesthood that is for all of God's children. And I will fully admit I taught it wrong my earliest days being a Seminary teacher, and I'm going to show you what I mean in the next segment.
Segment 3 28:26
Marcus, what do we call verses 33 through 41? What can our listeners write to the outside?
Marcus Martins 28:41
Well, oath and covenant of the Priesthood.
Mark that; write Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood.
Marcus Martins 28:46
But I was, I would ask you, where in the world do we actually enter into that oath and covenant?
Oh, pick me, pick me! (laughs)
Marcus Martins 29:00
Okay. Sure. Go.
Well, this makes me so excited because this is the part that I wanted to know the most about. And it was kind of cool- I found this out. My Hebrew teacher reminded me and so did Barbara Morgan Gardner. In 2014 Sister Linda K Burton challenged all of the women who were at the BYU Women's Conference to memorize section 84. So I kind of started to do that; I did not get all the way through, but I was struck with the word 'receive'. And the word was so significant to me because I've studied oath and covenant. And at first I was like, Oh, those are the same words; they mean the same thing. But in Hebrew they don't.
'Oath' is a verbal agreement, and' Covenant' is the physical agreement. So you say you're gonna do something, and then you physically do it and receive a blessing for doing that. And so, I was thinking the word 'receive' is 'ordinances'. And He says that they who receive this priesthood receive Me. All of the covenants we make have to do with receiving. When I physically get baptized I receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost. When I physically do the endowment session, I receive all the blessings of the anointing.
And so what I love about this is that women enter the oath and covenant of the priesthood any time they make covenants and participate in ordinances of the priesthood. So at baptism is when this begins, when they begin to receive any type of reception that's involved in covenant-making. I think it's amazing that we know that now.
I used to teach that these verses for women meant that you just support the men who hold the priesthood. That's just what was in the manuals. But you guys, this is why we have prophets who receive revelation for our day. I'm so glad President Nelson's talk in 2019 expanded our view of the priesthood, because I used to think these verses were just for male priesthood holders, but they are for everyone. So tell us, because Marcus, you've always been teaching this. You've been ahead of the game for a very long time. Tell us what your thoughts are, I want to know. Teach us this.
Marcus Martins 30:55
Well, it's very simple. It's very simple and goes back to the sealing room of the temple. Because it, see, the Lord goes through this list here, those
"35 .... who receive this priesthood receive me ..
"36 for he that receiveth my servants receiveth me;
"37 And he that receiveth me receiveth with my father;
"38 And he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father's kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him."
That is only the one ordinance in which we are promised God's kingdom. Baptism is not one; sacrament is not; no, you know laying on of hands for callings or anything. None of those ordinances promises us God's kingdom. Even the ordinances, the several ordinances that constitute the temple endowment do not; they may prepare us, but they do not promise us the kingdom. And it is also the only ordinance in which the verb receive, to receive, is used, is the sealing, the matrimonial sealing ordinance.
And I just recently recorded a video, it's on my YouTube channel, formalizing relationships through priesthood authority. Because it struck me and I said, Oh, my goodness, you know, not only you but I also have been missing this all this time. The language of the oath and covenant of the priesthood, will only be found in the sealing room of the temple. And that's when both men and women, they actually enter into together, the oath and covenant of the priesthood and then become heirs of a kingdom.
See, baptism, the ordinance of baptism gives us the right to enter one day the celestial glory if we're faithful. But only the sealing ordinance between a man and a woman, only that ordinance will give them the right to govern in the celestial glory. Everybody will have a fair chance at some point to enter into that order, if they so desire.
Oh, good, because I was just gonna say, what about our single brothers and sisters, or those who are divorced, or in situations like that? So it doesn't exclude anyone is that right?
Marcus Martins 33:25
Does not exclude anyone. But how's the Lord supposed to do it? Look, let's wait on the Lord. I love the passage in Isaiah, that the Lord says, "Those who wait on the Lord will not be confounded", and the sake of just certain translations, and you are versed in Hebrew better than I am, some translations will say that those who wait on the Lord will not be ashamed. And so we can trust that the Lord can make this happen. And for those among us that this doesn't happen in this life, there are many faithful, wonderful brothers and sisters who cannot find their eternal companion. There is still hope, they have much to hope for, including all the blessings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
And by the way, let's make this very clear: God is a loving Father who has a plan of happiness for His children. It's a plan of happiness. It's not a plan of, Well, you didn't get married, so let me find somebody who kind of was gonna be good enough for you. No, that's not consistent with the notion of eternal happiness. Everybody will have a chance to find the companion that he or she desires to have, and who miraculously will desire him or her.
I love how you said that: miraculously!
Marcus Martins 34:56
How is this going to happen? Well, let's just wait on the Lord. 'Cuz those who wait on the Lord will not be confounded, will not be ashamed. It is going to happen, including all these blessings we're talking about here.
Absolutely. Let's share this quote. This is by President Nelson and I think it perfectly aligns with everything that you've been talking about. Here's what he had to say in his 2019 talk.
"Every woman and every man who makes covenants with God and keeps those covenants and who participates worthily in priesthood ordinances has direct access to the power of God. Those who are endowed in the house of the Lord receive a gift of God's priesthood power by virtue of their covenant, along with a gift of knowledge to know how to draw upon that power. Most certainly, the adversary does not want you to understand the covenant you made at baptism, or the profound endowment of knowledge and power you have received or will receive in the temple, the house of the Lord. And satan certainly does not want you to understand that every time you worthily serve and worship in the temple, you leave armed with God's power and with His angels having charge over you."
It goes back to what you're saying. And the verse 38 is so significant. I love that you pointed that out, that ultimately, then, this oath and covenant of the priesthood is, if we take the oath, the covenant or the blessing is to become like our Heavenly Parents. That's the end goal.
Marcus Martins 36:20
And observe something here that President Nelson said: "you leave the temple armed with God's power, and with His angels having charge over you." Where does that language come from? Section 84.
Yes, it does. Angels will be round about you to bear you up in verse 88.
Marcus Martins 36:37
Exactly, no, not only there. Right there, verse 42,
" ...wo unto all those who come not unto this priesthood which ye have received, which I now confirm upon you who are present this day, by mine own voice out of the heavens; and even I have given the heavenly hosts and mine angels charge concerning you."
You see, it's a result of this oath and covenant, the Lord is saying, Because you will receive this, okay, I have given the heavenly hosts and my angels charge. It's interesting to sort of, so the heavenly hosts and the angels are two separate entities here, two separate categories. Well, I don't know, I don't have an answer to that. But the Lord said, I gave all the heavenly hosts and my angels charge. I gave them orders about you.
It's another consequence of this oath and covenant, and while we don't enter into all these ordinances of the house of the Lord, the fact that we desire these ordinances qualify us for this charge, because God will not deny His blessings. 'Oh, okay. So you couldn't go to the temple? Well, too bad, you know, better luck next life.' No, that's not the God we worship. He'd say, 'Okay, you could not have that, but I'm not going to deny you certain blessings.
And it's interesting that some of our leaders have been talking about compensatory blessings. I love the fact that we're getting to this concept - compensatory blessings. Look, why tho you cannot receive the actual ordinances that will vest you or load you with those legal rights, the Lord who have some other things for you to enjoy as a blessing that you'd enjoy, to get you by, and to feel His love. And to enjoy certain blessings and privileges, and honors until you are able to go to the house of the Lord and receive those actual ordinances. That's something we can hope for and all.
Absolutely.The main takeaway for oath and covenant of the priesthood for me was, every single one of God's children, male and female who have made covenants and are keeping covenants, have priesthood power. That is what you need to know. And the blessings that come from that are found in Section 84. And I am so thankful you brought up verse 42.
Is there anything better than angels to have charge concerning you? And to have the power of God in your lives, in your language in the things you say and do as you serve Him? In whatever capacity it is, you have priesthood power, and that is so incredible. That is what I learned by studying the oath and the covenant of the priesthood, and I'm so glad I know that now.
Marcus Martins 39:25
Tammy, there's something I was going to say a few minutes back, and I didn't but I just remembered now. Those of you who are endowed, remember that what you wear is not just the garment. You're wearing the garment of the Holy Priesthood. You know, we kind of minimize, 'Okay, here's the garment, the garment, my garment, the garment, the garment'. So remember, it is the garment of the Holy Priesthood.
That is some powerful stuff. Yeah, it's not just underwear.
Marcus Martins 40:01
Yeah, it's not. It's clothes, it's cloth. But it's symbolic,is that have you received, you were endowed with power from on High.
I'm so grateful you shared that, I will back that statement up with 100% truth, I have a testimony that we do. We put on the power of the priesthood with those garments. Wow, that was good. That was the oath and covenant of the priesthood. There could be so much more said about it and we're limited on time. But I love what was said. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
So what's so remarkable about section 84, again, going back to this idea of preparatory, is that after the Lord introduces this oath and the covenant of the priesthood, He then teaches us something that I think is pretty incredible that He gives to every single one of His children, regardless of covenants, regardless of who they are, that will help them and guide them to obtaining and receiving these two priesthoods. And we're going to talk about what that specifically is in the next segment.
Segment 4 40:56
When I was in college at BYU-I or Ricks College, my friends and I, we loved to go spelunking, or caving. I did not know it was called spelunking until I was much older, I just wanted to say that to sound cool. Anyway, we would hike through some very dark caves. Well, my sister Caralee - we can use her name, we don't have to protect the innocent on this one - um, she shared with me a really cool story about spelunking, something she had noticed.
And she said, "You know, when we walked into the dark cave, it gradually gets darker to the point where it seems like just all of a sudden it's so dark, you can almost feel it. It's so dark that you can't see a single thing or see where you're going, like you can't even see your hand in front of your face until you turn on a flashlight or some light. "
But then when we were coming back out of the cave, she said, "I can remember looking ahead and seeing just the smallest sliver of light. It was not that big but I couldn't believe how much it illuminated. Just with the littlest bit of light, we could see where we were walking, and we didn't need our flashlights anymore. And it was amazing how just such a small amount of light was needed to totally dispel the darkness. And then it made us easy to see and get out of that darkness."
This analogy of just a little bit of light, which actually gets greater and greater and greater, beautifully applies to Section 84. And it's starting in verses 45. And we're going to study these with Marcus about what this light is and why we need it in the midst of so much darkness. So Marcus, tell us about verse 45, and what you love about these verses.
Marcus Martins 42:32
This is also one of those passages in Section 84 where the Lord is kind of a, Well, let me give you some, a preview of what I'm going to tell you in a little while. He said "the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ." He's giving us a preview what He's going to say in a future revelation, which will be Section 88, recorded as Section 88, about the Light of Christ. The important thing as He very well said is that this spirit gives light to every man that comes into the world, and the spirit enlighteneth every man through the world that hearkens to the voice of the Spirit.
Now the interesting thing here is this notion of give light, and enlighten. When we look at these words, so they, yeah. To give light to illuminate, but to enlighten means to give insight, to giving intellectual insights, to give information, to inform, to instruct, the capacity to understand, to discern the true nature of a situation, to grasp the inward or hidden nature of things. That's enlightenment. So that's the difference between giving light and enlightening. The Lord is saying that every person in the world and women, male or female, receives this light.
But those who hearken or respond positively to that instinct, to that light, they become enlightened. So as we respond positively to the influence of the Light of Christ, our views become clearer. And I'm kind of paraphrasing the Prophet Joseph Smith here and also the closer we approach perfection, the greater our views and the greater our enjoyment. And that's what the Lord is saying here. But then He also adds something interesting is that again, everyone who hearkens to the voice of the spirit comes unto the Father.
It's natural for people when they respond to the Light of Christ they seek God and it's interesting to find - I'm a sociologist, yeah, I'm not an anthropologist, I'm a sociologist - but it's interesting to find that in all kinds of cultures, all kinds of societies throughout history, there are some things that you will always find. You're going to find some form of language. You're going to find some kind of artistic expression, in painting or sculpture. You're going to find some kind of artistic expression in the form of music. And you're always going to find some kind of religious activity.
Everybody who responds to the Light of Christ naturally seeks to have some contact with God, even if they don't understand who God is, what he's like, and so on. And then He says, that, the Father then teaches that person of the covenant, which He has renewed and confirmed upon you. Now for that they're going to need the missionaries. Missionaries are going to be the messengers with apostolic authority like our young missionaries. I cannot stress this enough.
Our young elders and young sister missionaries, they go out with apostolic authority. They are sent out by apostles to preach the gospel, and they are the ones we need to help find these people who are being enlightened, who are seeking God so they can be taught of the covenants. They can be taught about, okay, here's priesthood authority. Here's the true covenant of baptism, here's a sacrament, and here's the house of the Lord. So these verses here, for me are very, very meaningful in preparing our minds to greater things later on, which the Lord will explain in future revelations.
I think it's neat how you just said sociologically, there's things that every community or nationality or people have, and one of those is a need to have a connection with divinity. And that is through the Light of Christ. I was just thinking, Marc, because of course, we have a need, because according to James chapter 1, verse 17, and Doctrine and Covenants 67, verse 9; that's 1:17, and Doctrine and Covenants, Section 67, verse 9. In both of those verses, it tells us a name, another name of our Heavenly Father, and he's called 'The Father of Lights'.
And I just thought that was so beautiful that He is our Father. He's the Father of all the lights, and He's given that light to every single one of His children born on this planet. So thank you. I thought that was so cool. And now in these verses, the Lord teaches us about the Light of Christ, and then he leads us into why we need that light.
Marcus Martins 47:46
Uh, uh, uh, not so fast. Not so fast.
Marcus Martins 47:52
Here's something else about this light.
Oh, yes, yes,
Marcus Martins 47:56
The spectrum of light. We know that visible light as a spectrum is composed of several different colors. When you have a chance to have our temples fully open again that you can go, pay attention to the chandeliers. In the celestial rooms of our temples and in the sealing rooms of our temples we have these chandeliers. But have you noticed that they are all made with these crystal prisms and break down light into different colors? This is something that we're being taught. Yes, He is the Father of lights. God is the Father of lights, both the Father and the Son, they are the Father of lights. But we can see multiple, multiple aspects or gradations of that light.
Our brothers and sisters, for example, who don't have the fullness of the gospel yet, but they are perceiving part of the Light of Christ. Let's not demonize them, Oh, because you belong to this religion, belong to that religion. So no, calm down. They are responding to the Light of Christ. It's just that they don't have the full light, but they have part of the light. But it's still the light, it is still coming from the same source.
Now sure, as we read in the Book of Mormon, they may be interpolations of men, doctrines of men, needs to bear in they're beliefs. But let's remember - they are our brothers and sisters, and they are responding to the Light of Christ. I think when we talk about the Light of Christ, and as you said, God being the Father of lights, and remember the chandeliers, the light fixtures in our temples, yeah, we will see different aspects of this light, the components of this light sometimes.
I'm just now connecting these things, Marcus because you taught us the difference between giveth light and enlighteneth. And I look back at that verse and I wrote down this note because He gives the Light of Christ to every single one that comes into the world, like you said, the chandelier reminded you of that. But what was interesting is that the spirit enlighteneth every man through the world that hearkeneth, and we've studied this word this year in Hebrew that in Hebrew, 'Hearkeneth' means to obey the voice of the Spirit.
And so then I thought of you talking about missionaries, and they're going out. So they have the Light of Christ, but they've obeyed and so now they can go and instruct those who have a different gradation - is that the word? Gradation of light. Oh, that was so cool, yes. That verse now is so significant to me, I will never read it the same.
Marcus Martins 50:35
And Tammy, let's, once again, remember, going out to teach the gospel we are fulfilling what the Lord is saying here in Section 84. The Father teaches the person who responds to that enlightenment, by teaching him or her of the covenant. But as the Apostle Paul asked in Romans in the New Testament, how are they going to learn if there's nobody to teach? So going out and say,look, you're not just serving a mission, you're fulfilling God's will, God's promise. He promised He was going to teach the people, you're doing that. Okay.
Ah, good stuff. Okay. So all this talk about light, let's talk about dark. So that's what the Lord teaches us now is, you're going to need this light, uhhh, because verse 49 starts with 49 "....the whole world lieth in sin, and groaneth under the darkness and under the bondage of sin."
Just that wording right there, uhhh, I mean, I'm thinking of us up in the pre-Earth life. And the Lord's like, I'll give everyone light, you're going to need it. Where you're going might be dark, you might feel like you're in that cave and you can't see your hand in front of your face. But you just need a little bit of light. And the Father of lights will give that to you. So tell us about these verses. What stands out to you, Marcus?
Marcus Martins 51:52
You know, it brings me back to 1 Nephi chapter 8, Lehi's dream; 1 Nephi chapter 11, Nephi being instructed, ministered by heavenly messengers about giving the interpretation of his father's dream, and the mist of darkness. But the interesting thing that I think is that this mist of darkness must have been very appealing. He was not frightened, because people would go out and into that darkness.
So what we need to be very careful here is precisely this notion that yes, the whole world groaneth under darkness. But this darkness seems should be very appealing. It seems to be pleasant to using Korihor's confession here, pleasing to the carnal mind. That is something we need to be very careful, be on the watch for.
Definitely. I know, I just keep going back to my sister's analogy. It's sometimes just so simple. You just put a foot inside that cave and think, that's not that dark. And then you take a couple more steps until it literally envelops you. You're like, wow, that's darker than I thought it was. I think sometimes that's how sin works for us.
Marcus Martins 53:10
Well, they have flashlights. And so they're saying, Well, it's okay, I can see enough. I can see enough. And they go on and how long were they in the caves?
Not that long, an hour or so.
Marcus Martins 53:24
An hour or so? Okay, well, people spend a whole life you know, with just a flashlight or a candle, living their lives in darkness and say,Iit's okay, I can see enough. And we hear that from heathens. But it's uh, oh, no, look, you know, I believe in God, that's good enough for me. I'm a good person. I'm a good neighbor. So when I die, I'll go to heaven. That's fine. I'm gonna be fine. I'm gonna be okay. I don't need any more religion. I don't need more than that. But God is offering so much more.
Great thoughts. I have a follow-up question for you personally. Thinking back on your life and all your years and all your experience, is there a circumstance or a time where you needed that light to get through the darkness? Was there a time that seemed dark and you relied on that light, that Light of Christ?
Marcus Martins 54:13
Ah, Tammy, Tammy, Tammy, now you're, ah well, okay, well, okay. Well, there are times in life that no matter how well we might be striving to live the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, no matter how much we love God and love the Savior Jesus Christ, there are times when we're going to go through those "Gethsemanes" in life. Seasons, I call them, unspecified periods of time, seasons of trial and tribulation when somehow, you know, with all the love that you have, with all the striving to be obedient, you don't feel the influence of the Holy Ghost.
You feel as if your prayers are not going beyond the ceiling of your room or the roof of your house; you go to church and you don't seem to feel anything. There are seasons like that in everybody's life. What I remember from those experiences, 'this will pass'.
Remember, - and it's that verb that we find over 100 times in the Book of Mormon - remember what you used to feel. Remember the testimony that you have. Just because you're not feeling it today, it doesn't mean that you're not going to feel tomorrow, or next week, or a month from now, or three or six months from now. You will feel it again and eventually those seasons end, and we feel again.
And so the Light is always available, but at times for reasons that only the Lord knows, and for periods of time in which only the Lord will tell how long, we may feel that we're not really feeling. But these are the times when we don't feel that light; these are the times I believe, that we prove to the Lord that we are being celestial material.
And I think this kind of leads us into the something else we're going to talk about: how much a friend of God am I? It's like Job bearing that powerful testimony. 'Even if God kills me, I will still wait on Him and even if he slays me, I'll still wait on Him'. There are times when I say look, no, it's just a period of trial and tribulation and I'm going to prove to God that I'm faithful, that I love Him, even in the middle of this darkness that seems to be overwhelming me right now. That's the kind of experience that I've had. Occasionally.
Occasionally. We'll leave it at that. But thank you, I appreciate your description and explanation, because the words that you used made me believe that you've been there. And you've experienced that.
Marcus Martins 57:15
So in the next segment, we're going to talk about the question that Marcus just asked us to consider when he said, how much of a friend of God am I?
Segment 5 57:25
Marcus, let's talk about friends, because I love friends. It's the basis of this podcast, I get to invite friends to come and talk about doctrine and the gospel of Jesus Christ. So I just love my friends. But tell me, Marcus, what does it mean to be a friend?
Marcus Martins 57:50
I establish a distinction between friends, acquaintances, and colleagues. An acquaintance is somebody that you know, it's not somebody that you necessarily have any relationship. Colleagues are those we work with; we may be friendly towards them, and vice versa or not. But that said, a friend, by dictionary definition is somebody to whom we are connected with by affection. It is somebody who we give of ourselves to that person willingly and pleasantly. We have pleasure to give of ourselves to that person, that's a friend.
And so in the Doctrine and Covenants in Section 84, when the Lord uses this term, 'friends', my goodness, this is so meaningful. We look at this and say, Oh, my goodness, he's extending this great privilege. It says,
"63 And as I said it unto mine apostles, even so as I say unto you, for you are mine apostles, even God's high priests; ye are they whom my father hath given me; ye are my friends;"
That's verse 63. For those of you following
Marcus Martins 59:05
I'm sorry, yes, verse 63. And it's interesting that the Lord is the one who initiates this Friendship. He calls us His friends. And look, He gave His life for us. And He's the one who is the Friend with capital FRIEND, all capitals. FRIEND. Because He gave His life. Now, what are we giving to Him? Oh, He only asks us for our obedience, for our discipleship. And when we do that, we are His Friend. Jesus is our Friend because He gave His life for us. We are His Friends because we're giving Him our discipleship, our hearts, our obedience, our time, our talents. That's the nature of this friendship.
Absolutely. And you know, it's not random that He happens to mention it in Section 84, the oath and the covenant of the priesthood, entering into covenants with Him. This is the first time in the Doctrine and Covenants that he even calls us His friends, the first reference of it. And in Section 77 I like how it says,"and again, I say unto you my friends." In Hebrew, this is a covenant term, which I thought was interesting; a covenantal term is the term 'friend' in Hebrew.
And in my show notes, I put several references where the Lord, He'll say that Moses is His friend, and that "He will speak to him face to face as a man speaketh to his friend"; James and Isaiah, same thing. We have this where Abraham - and I love this - in James chapter 2, verse 23 it says Abraham "was called the Friend of God", the ultimate example of covenants, is the Friend of God. There's some great references in John, and then also in Doctrine and Covenants Section 45, when the Lord says, 'I will come back and say I was wounded in the house of my friends', the Friends, meaning the covenant people, the Jews.
So all of this idea of being covenant people, and being His Friends, and it just made me think, I want to be called the Friend of God. I want to be His covenant Friend and not an acquaintance. And not someone who just kind of knows Jesus Christ, but who is actively knowing Him in my life.
Marcus Martins 1:01:15
Beautifully said, excellent, excellent insight, really.
I thought it was neat as you continue to read, as His Friends, look what many of us will get to do, starting in verse 98. This is definitely worth mentioning. Those of us who have entered into covenants with Him, those of us who are His Friends, who are waiting for Him to come back, in verse 98 He says,
"98 Until all shall know me, who remain, even from the least unto the greatest, and shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, and shall see eye to eye, and shall lift up their voice, and with the voice together sing this new song, saying:", and then you have to mark and bracket these verses, 99 through 102. You guys, this is a song that will be sung when Christ comes, these are the lyrics, we have lyrics to a song!
Marcus Martins 1:02:00
Yeah, we have the lyrics, yep.
Isn't that crazy? That always blew my mind when I first learned that I'm like, Who's gonna write it? When I was a teenager, I was like, it'll probably be Michael McLean. He'll write the song. (laughter) Now that I'm older, I know more musicians. So it could, it might be Beethoven, I don't know.
Marcus Martins 1:02:09
Well, now look, you know. I'm not a musician. but you know, it is also a blessing to appreciate music. It's interesting, that very significant events are accompanied by music. The Savior was born, oh, heavenly hosts appeared. What are they saying? 'Yo, yay'? No, they were singing.
Choirs of angels.
Marcus Martins 1:02:40
The Savior will return. And it says, there will be this new song. Isn't this fabulous how music is so important to God, that He says that in these significant events: the birth of the Savior, and His Second Coming, great glory, there will be music. And He says, as we read in verse 98, all shall know who remain even from the least to the greatest shall lift up their voice. All of us are going to sing together. I wonder if we all sang together when He was born.
Oh, I'd like to think so.
Marcus Martins 1:03:14
'Cuz we're all going to sing together when He comes back and here are the lyrics.
That's excellent. Well, in this song, were there any verses or any part of the lyrics that stood out to you or that you have marked?
Marcus Martins 1:03:25
For me, it always caught my attention how He refers to the Earth.
"100 The Lord hath gathered all things in one.....He hath brought down Zion from above, and hath brought up Zion from beneath.
"101 The earth hath prevailed and brought forth her strength; truth is established in her bowels; And the heavens have smiled upon her; And she is clothed with the glory of her God; For He stands in the midst of his people."
I don't know why these verses strike me. I cannot even say exactly why. Everything is doctrinally significant here. I don't know why this reference to the earth, having travailed and brought forth her strength. and having His established in her bowels. And to this day, I don't know exactly why I feel so touched by these verses here.
I love that you brought those two up. Those are the same two that I marked, because they're very maternal to me. When a woman, anyone travailing is in birth. When I was pregnant, I was two weeks overdue. And people would often say to me, Boy, you look like you're ready to explode. And I was like, I feel like it. I mean, she should have come 2 weeks ago! I was travailing for two weeks, and the idea of this earth travailing and then she, it says and 'brought forth her strength', implying the Savior, like, he has come finally and you know Revelations alludes to this - Book of Revelation.
But then how cool, and 'truth is established in her bowels'. And, you know, we learned a couple of weeks ago that God's name is 'truth'. Jesus Christ was called the son of Ahman, which means truth. And then in her, being the earth,' in her bowels', and in Hebrew this year, we've learned that the word for 'mercy' is bowels. It's your innermost feeling; it's a maternal word, it almost means womb, and that this mercy will come forth.
And so just this idea of this female imagery makes me feel like it was written by our Heavenly Parents. And the beauty of the language in there includes everybody in this incredible moment. And I just like how you said music was sung at His birth. And now it's sung when He comes again. And why wouldn't it include both Heavenly Parents?
Marcus Martins 1:05:48
Oh, yeah, I agree with you. And also shows something for instance here and the parenthetical remark here, which is, so looking on people who says, Oh the scriptures are so male centered. Well, when you start to study very carefully, you're gonna see this instead. Oh, there's all these imagery here that has nothing to do with men; it has everything to do with women. And, uh,
Yeah, a lot of female imagery.
Marcus Martins 1:06:13
so it's the men who should feel discriminated against. (laughter)
You know what, there's a lot of truth to that. When I started studying Hebrew, I was shocked by all of the female imagery in Scripture, which is why I can't wait for Old Testament next year. But it's just beautiful. And I think it's important for us to talk about our Heavenly Parents joined together when we're speaking of things like this. So
Marcus Martins 1:06:34
I think it is also significant for us to see this matter as a restoration of the ancient order of things, of the way things were when our first parents Adam and Eve were placed here on this earth. When we talk about the apostasy we, the great apostasy, we tend to think, Oh, yeah, the loss of the priesthood, the loss of ordinances, and loss of doctrines. But the apostasy was a universal apostasy. It was the loss of everything, including the loss of the true doctrine related to men and women as equals in the sight of God.
And in these revelations then we begin to see this, that our minds are being schooled and prepared for this great restoration of the true nature of womanhood and motherhood, the restoration of what used to be in the beginning. Eve, being a help meet, a help, somebody who has power needs somebody who's equal, who was at the same level as Adam. And I see this, then the idea that, Oh, yeah, the oath and covenant of the priesthood, and we go into this together. In order to obtain the Father's Kingdom, we can only obtain that together as man and woman connected by priesthood and sealed by priesthood. So I find this very significant in this discussion.
I just had a really cool connection with all of this, Marcus, because it's going clear back to how we started with the priesthood line of authority for Moses. He got the priesthood through his marriage.
Marcus Martins 1:08:41
Oh, wow, you know that's true, yeah.
That is significant. Because he got, he got it through getting married and then he was given the priesthood by his father-in-law. And that is powerful that it took her, his marriage to her in order to get the priesthood, so yeah, you're right. There's so much that has been lost. And we're getting it now. And I'm so glad to be alive in this time to start figuring this out. Oh, such good, that was great discussion. Good stuff. Okay. In the next segment, we're going to end with just three verses. And I'm sad we have to end because this has been so awesome today. So we will talk about verses 118 through 120 in the next segment.
Segment 6 1:09:05
Alright, jump in Marcus. Tell us your thoughts on verses 118 through 120.
Marcus Martins 1:09:20
Once again, remember this is 1832. And the Lord is talking about things that are yet in our future, the 21st century. Beginning with verse
"118 For, with you saith the Lord Almighty, I will rend their kingdoms; I will not only shake the earth, but the starry heavens shall tremble.
"119 For I, the Lord, have put forth my hand to exert the powers of heaven; ye cannot see it now, yet a little while and ye shall see it, and know that I am, and that I will come and reign with my people.
"120 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end..."
We see here the Lord is saying, Look, and there's stuff that I'm gonna do: Moses parting the Red Sea, and so on, you know, the brother of Jared moving a mountain. Oh, look just wait and see what I'm going to do, you know, by the time I come back. And we see in further revelations the wonderful things that the Lord is going to do, marvelous works. But remember, the greatest miracles, as President Harold B. Lee used to allude to, at the transformation of the hearts of the children of man.
My mind always goes back to the Book of Mormon. For 500 years, for five centuries, the Lamanites were the bad guys. And look, what happened when Ammon and his brethren went to that generation of Lamanites and the wonderful things that happened, the miraculous conversions that took place, 1,000s of Lamanites. Not all of them at a time, but 1,000s were converted. And then Helaman chapter 5. I absolutely love that chapter. Here we have 300 really evil men between Lamanites and Nephite dissenters, going to that prison to kill 2 prophets - Nephi and his brother Lehi. Three hundred men there to kill those prophets.
And then God has this great manifestation of His power, great display of power. They find themselves first of all in darkness, overwhelming darkness, and they're scared to death. And then they see Nephi and Lehi in the middle of the darkness in a pillar of light that looked like fire. And then it's interesting that it is a Nephite dissenter who tells them what they need to do to get rid of that darkness. He said, Look, you have to speak to the voice that you heard. And then they are converted. And most of the Lamanite nation is converted at that time.
I look at that and I say, you know, when I think of manifestations of God's power, I'm not really looking at manifestations in nature, in the sky, or in the oceans, or in mountains, you know. I'm looking at, who are the people who may be writing off right now and the Lord would say, You just wait and you'll see, K? When I touch that person's heart, when I come with My power and touch that person's heart and they're going to find these Alma the Youngers, and Ammons, and Aarons, and Zeezroms becoming preachers of righteousness to the point that you are going to learn things from them. These are the things that come to my mind when I read those verses in Section 84, powerful miracles in the form of marvelous conversions to the truths of God.
Wow. Beautifully said. Thank you so much for sharing all of those thoughts. And everything in here in Section 84, so much can be said about all of these verses, which I think is incredible. And it's just an incredible witness again, to Joseph Smith and what he had gone through and been through leading up to this point is incredible. And we've studied the history about that.
And then to take the time to receive this oath and covenant of the priesthood, which we need today - men and women alike - in this church to exercise the priesthood powers that we have. And I just, I can't think of anyone better to discuss this with me then Professor Marcus Martins, Dr. Marcus Martins, as I would like to say.
Marcus Martins 1:13:50
Brother, brother, Marcus,
Brother Marcus Martins, but like I said, if I had a PhD, I'd make my kids call me doctor, so. (laughter) But they'd be like, Mom....I'm sorry, that's Dr. Mom to you. Anyway, Marcus, thank you for being with us. So
Marcus Martins 1:14:04
Oh, thank you for having me here. What a wonderful time we spent together.
Oh,It's been so good.
Marcus Martins 1:14:10
Loved this And can I just say, you know, I love the scriptures. I love the Lord. I love the Savior, Jesus Christ. And I love Joseph Smith. I know there are certain some things about Joseph that people have problems with. But when I read these revelations in the Doctrine and Covenants, when I read the Book of Mormon, I have this knowledge: this came from God. This came from on high. Joseph could not have invented this up. There's no way.
No way, I totally agree. Okay, well think about everything we discussed over the last hour, and is there anything that is your takeaway? Anything you learned that you're gonna go, Huh, all right, that's my takeaway for today. Cuz I have a page full of them. Look at all the notes!
Marcus Martins 1:14:49
No, wow. No, look, you know, this was really my takeaway. I love this book of revelation. I have to say, I have to acknowledge it came from God. And so because of that, I know that God will look after us as a loving Father. He will not forsake us, no matter what trials and difficulties, tribulations we may have. As a loving Father, He will provide for us, if not the deliverance or immediate deliverance, but at least He will provide you the strength to endure and to endure well.
For me these revelations and the promises the Lord makes in this revelation, like we didn't talk about and you alluded to, when the Lord said it today. 'Yeah, my angels will be around about you to sustain you.' So yeah, we can rely on this in times of trouble, in times of difficulty, in times of tribulations. So yeah, that's my takeaway from studying this revelation.
Beautiful. I'm trying to decide which one I want to share, I wrote so many notes and so many things in my scriptures. I liked how you talked about how music was at His birth; why wouldn't it be at His second coming? I've never connected those two together, and it gave even more importance to those verses about the song that we're going to sing.
Gosh, there's just so many; it was just a great discussion today. And I love learning from you; I feel like it was kind of a masterclass on section 84 taught by Marcus Martins. So thank you for everything you prepared for today. And thank you for enlightening us. I truly feel enlightened by what you have studied and paid the price to know. So, thank you so much, friend.
Marcus Martins 1:16:32
Thank you very much, Tammy. Wonderful, wonderful to be here.
Okay, guys. Wow. I very much want to hear what your takeaways were from this episode. So if you have not joined our discussion group on Facebook or Instagram, you should just go do it. Every week at the end of the week, usually on a Saturday, we post a call for your big takeaway. So comment on the post that relates to this specific lesson to let me know what you've learned. You can get to both our Facebook and Instagram by going to the show notes for this episode at LDSLiving.com/SundayonMonday. And also when you go there, you're going to find our transcript and the references that we used today. So go check that 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 incredible study group participant was Dr. Marcus Martins. And you can find more information about him at LDS Living.com/SundayonMonday. Our podcast is produced by Katie Lambert and me; it is recorded and mixed by Mix at 6 Studios and our executive producer is Erin Hallstrom.
Thanks for being here. We will see you next week. And boy, you all better remember, men and women alike: The Father of lights? Yeah, you're His favorite.
Transcribed by Jenee Uzelac
Title for Section 85: "Priesthood"
Background for Section 85:
"Several months before, in January 1832, the Lord had called at least twenty-four elders on missions, mostly to the eastern states (D&C 75). By September 1832, these missionaries began returning to Ohio with accounts of their many successes. Joseph Smith, by then relocated in Kirtland, recorded this joyful news as follows: 'The Elders during the month of September began to return from their missions to the Eastern States, and present the histories of their several stewardships in the Lord's vineyard; and while together in these seasons of joy, I inquired of the Lord, and received on the 22nd and 23rd of September, the following revelation on Priesthood [D&C 84]'9" (Stephen E. Robinson, H. Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, Vol. 3, "Doctrine and Covenants 84," Deseret Book).
Quote: "I entreat you to study prayerfully all the truths you can find about priesthood power. You might begin with Doctrine and Covenants sections 84 and 107" (President Russell M. Nelson, "Spiritual Treasures," October 2019 general conference).
The revelation for Doctrine and Covenants 84 was given over two days:
Verses 1–41 (first day)
Verses 42–120 (second day)
September 21, 1823: Joseph is visited by the angel Moroni:
September 22, 1827: Joseph goes to the Hill Cumorah to see the plates for the first time:
Before Joseph and Emma left the Manchester-Palmyra area, Emma accompanied her husband to the Hill Cumorah, where, just after midnight on September 22, 1827, Joseph Smith obtained an ancient record written on golden plates from an angel of God (Mark L. Staker and Curtis Ashton, "Joseph and Emma Smith's Home," history.churchofjesuschrist.org ).
Nine years after Moroni told Joseph Smith about the Priesthood, the revelation for section 84 was given.
2 Yea, the word of the Lord concerning his church, established in the last days for the arestoration of his people, as he has spoken by the mouth of his bprophets, and for the cgathering of his dsaints to stand upon eMount Zion, which shall be the city of fNew Jerusalem (Doctrine and Covenants 84:2).
5 For verily this generation shall not all apass away until an bhouse shall be built unto the Lord, and a ccloud shall rest upon it, which cloud shall be even the dglory of the Lord, which shall fill the house (Doctrine and Covenants 84:5).
31 Therefore, as I said aconcerning the sons of Moses—for the sons of Moses and also the sons of Aaron shall offer an acceptable boffering and sacrifice in the house of the Lord, which house shall be built unto the Lord in this generation, upon the consecrated cspot as I have appointed (Doctrine and Covenants 84:31).
Moses' Priesthood Line of Authority:
7 And Jethro received it under the hand of Caleb;
8 And Caleb received it under the hand of Elihu;
9 And Elihu under the hand of Jeremy;
10 And Jeremy under the hand of Gad;
11 And Gad under the hand of Esaias;
12 And Esaias received it under the hand of God.
16 And from Enoch to aAbel, who was slain by the bconspiracy of his brother, who creceived the priesthood by the commandments of God, by the hand of his father dAdam, who was the first man (Doctrine and Covenants 84:6–16)
Priesthood Extended to All Worthy Man Members:
On September 30, 1978, at the 148th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the following was presented by President N. Eldon Tanner, First Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church:
In early June of this year, the First Presidency announced that a revelation had been received by President Spencer W. Kimball extending priesthood and temple blessings to all worthy male members of the Church. President Kimball has asked that I advise the conference that after he had received this revelation, which came to him after extended meditation and prayer in the sacred rooms of the holy temple, he presented it to his counselors, who accepted it and approved it. It was then presented to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who unanimously approved it, and was subsequently presented to all other General Authorities, who likewise approved it unanimously (Official Declaration 2).
Podcasts with more of Brother Marcus Martins's story about receiving the priesthood and serving a mission:
18 And the Lord confirmed a apriesthood also upon bAaron and his cseed, throughout all their generations, which priesthood also continueth and dabideth forever with the priesthood which is after the holiest order of God.
Greater Priesthood and Lesser Priesthood:
"The priesthood is divided into two parts: the Melchizedek Priesthood and the Aaronic Priesthood (see D&C 107:1). “The first is called the Melchizedek Priesthood … because Melchizedek was such a great high priest.
"The lesser priesthood is an appendage to the Melchizedek Priesthood. It is called the Aaronic Priesthood because it was conferred on Aaron and his sons throughout all their generations. Those who hold the Aaronic Priesthood have authority to administer the outward ordinances of the sacrament and baptism. (See D&C 20:46; 107:13–14, 20.)" (Gospel Principles, "Chapter 14: Priesthood Organization," ChurchofJesusChrist.org ).
The Privileges of the Melchizedek Priesthood:
24 But they ahardened their hearts and could not endure his bpresence; therefore, the Lord in his cwrath, for his danger was kindled against them, swore that they should not eenter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fulness of his glory.
27 Which agospel is the gospel of brepentance and of cbaptism, and the dremission of sins, and the elaw of fcarnal commandments, which the Lord in his wrath caused to continue with the house of Aaron among the children of Israel until gJohn, whom God raised up, being hfilled with the Holy Ghost from his mother’s womb (Doctrine and Covenants 84:23–27).
Video: Brother Marcus Martins' priesthood diagram:
Quote: "We are not accustomed to speaking of women having the authority of the priesthood in their Church callings, but what other authority can it be? When a woman—young or old—is set apart to preach the gospel as a full-time missionary, she is given priesthood authority to perform a priesthood function. The same is true when a woman is set apart to function as an officer or teacher in a Church organization under the direction of one who holds the keys of the priesthood. Whoever functions in an office or calling received from one who holds priesthood keys exercises priesthood authority in performing her or his assigned duties" (President Dallin H. Oaks, "The Keys and Authority of the Priesthood," April 2014 general conference).
Quote: "If you are endowed but not currently married to a man who bears the priesthood and someone says to you, “I’m sorry you don’t have the priesthood in your home,” please understand that that statement is incorrect. You may not have a priesthood bearer in your home, but you have received and made sacred covenants with God in His temple. From those covenants flows an endowment of His priesthood power upon you. And remember, if your husband should die, you would preside in your home.
"As a righteous, endowed Latter-day Saint woman, you speak and teach with power and authority from God. Whether by exhortation or conversation, we need your voice teaching the doctrine of Christ. We need your input in family, ward, and stake councils. Your participation is essential and never ornamental!" (President Russell M. Nelson, "Spiritual Treasures," October 2019 general conference).
The Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood (Verses 33–41)
Oath: "A solemn promise; as the vows of unchangeable love and fidelity. In a moral and religious sense, vows are promises to God, as they appeal to God to witness their sincerity, and the violation of them is a most heinous offense" (see Webster's 1828 Dictionary).
Covenant: "A mutual consent or agreement of two or more persons, to do or to forbear some act or thing;" (see Webster's 1828 Dictionary).
(In Hebrew, "oath" is the verbal agreement and "covenant" is the physical agreement)
"We receive the holy priesthood by an 'oath and covenant.' This means that Heavenly Father gives us His oath (guarantee) that we can have the power and blessings of the priesthood if we covenant (promise) with Him to do certain things. 'Therefore, all those who receive the priesthood, receive this oath and covenant of [the] Father, which he cannot break, neither can it be moved' (D&C 84:40)" (Duties and Blessings of the Priesthood: Basic Manual for Priesthood Holders, Part B, "Lesson 1: The Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood," ChurchofJesusChrist.org ).
". . . the 'oath and covenant of the priesthood' may be correctly understood in more than one context and with more than one application, depending on the spiritual situation of those who receive it and with some degree of applicability to every member. Nevertheless, all of these different applications understood in all their different contexts actually amount to about the same arrangement. If we will make and faithfully keep the covenants presented to us, God guarantees by his own oath that we shall receive all things and be exalted in his celestial kingdom. This is the common promise to all who receive the oath and covenant of the priesthood, in whatever spiritual context they may do so. And this glorious arrangement with God, confirmed by his own oath, will be kept—worlds without end" (Stephen E. Robinson, H. Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, Vol. 3, "Doctrine and Covenants 84," Deseret Book).
Quote: "Some who are listening to this message are probably saying, “But what about me?” We know that many worthy and wonderful Latter-day Saints currently lack the ideal opportunities and essential requirements for their progress. Singleness, childlessness, death, and divorce frustrate ideals and postpone the fulfillment of promised blessings. . . . But these frustrations are only temporary. The Lord has promised that in the eternities no blessing will be denied his sons and daughters who keep the commandments, are true to their covenants, and desire what is right" (President Dallin H. Oaks, "The Great Plan of Happiness," October 1993 general conference).
7 ¶ For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed (Isaiah 50:7).
Quote: “Every woman and every man who makes covenants with God and keeps those covenants, and who participates worthily in priesthood ordinances, has direct access to the power of God. Those who are endowed in the house of the Lord receive a gift of God’s priesthood power by virtue of their covenant, along with a gift of knowledge to know how to draw upon that power.”
“Most certainly, the adversary does not want you to understand the covenant you made at baptism or the profound endowment of knowledge and power you have received or will receive in the temple—the house of the Lord. And Satan certainly does not want you to understand that every time you worthily serve and worship in the temple, you leave armed with God’s power and with His angels having 'charge over' you” (President Russell M. Nelson, "Spiritual Treasures," October 2019 general conference).
And whoso areceiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go bbefore your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my cSpirit shall be in your hearts, and mine dangels round about you, to bear you up. (Doctrine and Covenants 84:88).
42 And wo unto all those who come not unto this priesthood which ye have received, which I now confirm upon you who are present this day, by mine own voice out of the heavens; and even I have given the heavenly hosts and mine angels acharge concerning you (Doctrine and Covenants 84:42).
Quote: This life is a time for becoming, not just for experiencing. It is a time of being taught from on high. As we are righteous, compensatory blessings always come—even in the most difficult times of our lives" (Elder Neil L. Anderson, "Hope, Humility, and Compensatory Blessings Exist amid COVID-19, Elder Anderson Says," Church News).
Light of Christ
46 And the aSpirit giveth blight to cevery man that cometh into the world; and the Spirit enlighteneth every man through the world, that hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit (Doctrine and Covenants 84:46).
Enlighten: To give light to; to give clearer views; to illuminate; to instruct; to enable to see or comprehend truth; as, to enlighten the mind or understanding (see Webster's 1828 Dictionary).
Quote: “God has created man with a mind capable of instruction, and a faculty which may be enlarged in proportion to the heed and diligence given to the light communicated from heaven to the intellect; and . . . the nearer man approaches perfection, the clearer are his views, and the greater his enjoyments, till he has overcome the evils of his life and lost every desire for sin; and like the ancients, arrives at that point of faith where he is wrapped in the power and glory of his Maker, and is caught up to dwell with Him” (History of the Church, 2:8).
48 And the Father ateacheth him of the covenant which he has brenewed and confirmed upon you, which is confirmed upon you for your sakes, and not for your sakes only, but for the sake of the cwhole world (Doctrine and Covenants 84:47–48).
Father of Lights:
Why we need the light of Christ:
53 But behold, the devil hath adeceived me; for he bappeared unto me in the cform of an angel, and said unto me: Go and reclaim this people, for they have all gone astray after an unknown God. And he said unto me: There is dno God; yea, and he taught me that which I should say. And I have taught his words; and I taught them because they were pleasing unto the ecarnal mind; and I taught them, even until I had much success, insomuch that I verily believed that they were true; and for this cause I withstood the truth, even until I have brought this great fcurse upon me (Alma 30:53).
63 And as I said unto mine apostles, even so I say unto you, for you are mine aapostles, even God’s high priests; ye are they whom my Father hath bgiven me; ye are my cfriends; (Doctrine and Covenants 84:63).
Friend: "One attached to another by affection or esteem" (see Merriam-Webster Dictionary).
77 And again I say unto you, my friends, for from henceforth I shall call you afriends, it is expedient that I give unto you this commandment, that ye become even as my friends in days when I was with them, traveling to preach the gospel in my power; (Doctrine and Covenants 84:77).
Hebrew: Friends is a covenant term.
As friends of Christ, we will be about to:
98 Until all shall aknow me, who remain, even from the least unto the greatest, and shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, and shall bsee eye to eye, and shall lift up their voice, and with the voice together csing this new song, saying:
100The Lord hath redeemed his people;And Satan is abound and btime is no longer.The Lord hath gathered all things in cone.The Lord hath brought down dZion from above.The Lord hath ebrought up Zion from beneath.
101The aearth hath travailed and bbrought forth her strength;And truth is established in her bowels;And the heavens have smiled upon her;And she is clothed with the cglory of her God;For he dstands in the midst of his epeople.
- Cross reference: Revelation 12
There was also music at Christ's birth:
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Hebrew: Mercy = Bowels, innermost feelings
119 For I, the Lord, have put forth my hand to exert the apowers of heaven; ye cannot see it now, yet a blittle while and ye shall see it, and know that I am, and that cI will dcome and reign with my people.
Quote: "The greatest miracles I see today are not necessarily the healing of sick bodies, but the greatest miracles I see are the healing of sick souls, those who are sick in soul and spirit and are downhearted and distraught, on the verge of nervous breakdowns. We are reaching out to all such, because they are precious in the sight of the Lord, and we want no one to feel that they are forgotten" (President Harold B. Lee, "'Stand Ye in Holy Places,'" April 1973 general conference).
Nephi and Lehi in Prison:
34 And it came to pass that the Lamanites could not flee because of the cloud of darkness which did overshadow them; yea, and also they were immovable because of the fear which did come upon them.
35 Now there was one among them who was a Nephite by birth, who had once belonged to the church of God but had dissented from them.
36 And it came to pass that he turned him about, and behold, he saw through the cloud of darkness the faces of Nephi and Lehi; and behold, they did ashine exceedingly, even as the faces of angels. And he beheld that they did lift their eyes to heaven; and they were in the attitude as if talking or lifting their voices to some being whom they beheld.
37 And it came to pass that this man did cry unto the multitude, that they might turn and look. And behold, there was power given unto them that they did turn and look; and they did behold the faces of Nephi and Lehi.
38 And they said unto the man: Behold, what do all these things mean, and who is it with whom these men do converse?
39 Now the man’s name was Aminadab. And Aminadab said unto them: They do converse with the angels of God.
41 And Aminadab said unto them: You must arepent, and cry unto the voice, even until ye shall have bfaith in Christ, who was taught unto you by Alma, and cAmulek, and Zeezrom; and when ye shall do this, the cloud of darkness shall be removed from overshadowing you.
42 And it came to pass that they all did begin to cry unto the voice of him who had shaken the earth; yea, they did cry even until the cloud of darkness was dispersed.
43 And it came to pass that when they cast their eyes about, and saw that the cloud of darkness was dispersed from overshadowing them, behold, they saw that they were aencircled about, yea every soul, by a pillar of fire.
44 And aNephi and bLehi were in the midst of them; yea, they were encircled about; yea, they were as if in the midst of a flaming fire, yet it did harm them not, neither did it take hold upon the walls of the prison; and they were filled with that cjoy which is unspeakable and full of glory (Helaman 5:34–44).