39: “To Have the Heavens Opened” (Doctrine and Covenants 106–108)
Let’s play a game of guess who. Are you ready? This person was “a man of faith, who wrought righteousness; and when a child he feared God, and stopped the mouths of lions, and quenched the violence of fire.” Do you have any guesses so far? As we study Doctrine and Covenants 106–107, we’ll find out who this Old Testament prophet was and what his significant role was in the priesthood. Oh no! We just gave you two more clues. So grab your scriptures and let’s dig into this week’s lesson.
Old Testament Prophet:
". . . was a man of faith, who wrought righteousness; and when a child he feared God, and stopped the mouths of lions, and quenched the violence of fire."
—JST Genesis 14:26
Title for Section 106: Compensation for Full-Time Calling; Children of Light; Joy in Heaven
"In March 1834, Joseph Smith and others traveled through western New York State to preach the gospel and to gather volunteers and donations in preparation for the long march known as Zion's Camp.1 The Prophet's reception in the area around the town of Freedom in Cattaraugus County was such that a branch of the Church was soon organized there.2 Freedom was also the home of Oliver Cowdery's elder brother, Warren A. Cowdery" (Stephen E. Robinson, H. Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, Vol. 4, "Doctrine and Covenants 106," Deseret Book).
And again, verily I say unto you, there was joy in heaven when my servant Warren bowed to my scepter, and separated himself from the crafts of men.
—Doctrine and Covenants 106:6
Scepter = authority
"Warren Cowdery was eighteen years senior to his better-known brother, Oliver. Born and raised in Freedom, Cattaraugus County, New York, he served as the first postmaster of that town and had lived there forty-three years when he joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Eight months before Doctrine and Covenants 106 was received, the Prophet Joseph Smith visited this area of New York, and a branch of the Church was organized"
—Stephen E. Robinson, H. Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, Vol. 4, "Doctrine and Covenants 106," Deseret Book
It is my will that my servant Warren A. Cowdery should be appointed and ordained a presiding high priest over my church, in the land of Freedom and the regions round about.
—Doctrine and Covenants 106:1
Quote: "No month ever found me more busily engaged than November, but as my life consisted of activity and unyielding exertions, I made it my rule: When the Lord commands, do it. . . . I continued my labors daily, preparing for the school of the Elders], and received the following.”
Title for Section 107: "Priesthood and Church Government"
Section Heading: Revelation on the priesthood, given through Joseph Smith the Prophet, at Kirtland, Ohio, about April 1835. Although this section was recorded in 1835, the historical records affirm that most of verses 60 through 100 incorporate a revelation given through Joseph Smith on November 11, 1831. This section was associated with the organization of the Quorum of the Twelve in February and March 1835. The Prophet likely delivered it in the presence of those who were preparing to depart May 3, 1835, on their first quorum mission.
Verses 1–59: Set up for the priesthood
Verses 60–100: Deep dive into the priesthood
25 And Melchizedek lifted up his voice and blessed Abram.
26 Now Melchizedek was a man of faith, who wrought righteousness; and when a child he feared God, and stopped the mouths of lions, and quenched the violence of fire.
- Fear = Respect or reverence
27 And thus, having been approved of God, he was ordained an high priest after the order of the covenant which God made with Enoch.
- Hebrew: Melchizedek comes from two words Melech (King) and Zedeq (Righteousness).
- Hebrew: Salem = Peace
What the Melchizedek priesthood was originally called:
4 But out of respect or reverence to the name of the Supreme Being, to avoid the too frequent repetition of his name, they, the church, in ancient days, called that priesthood after Melchizedek, or the Melchizedek Priesthood.
—Doctrine and Covenants 107:3–4
Quote: "The heavens are just as open to women who are endowed with God’s power flowing from their priesthood covenants as they are to men who bear the priesthood. I pray that truth will register upon each of your hearts because I believe it will change your life. Sisters, you have the right to draw liberally upon the Savior’s power to help your family and others you love."
—President Russell M. Nelson, "Spiritual Treasures," October 2019 general conference
8 The Melchizedek Priesthood holds the right of presidency, and has power and authority over all the offices in the church in all ages of the world, to administer in spiritual things.
—Doctrine and Covenants 107:8
Cross Reference: Spiritual Blessings
18 The power and authority of the higher, or Melchizedek Priesthood, is to hold the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the church—
19 To have the privilege of receiving the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, to have the heavens opened unto them, to commune with the general assembly and church of the Firstborn, and to enjoy the communion and presence of God the Father, and Jesus the mediator of the new covenant.
—Doctrine and Covenants 107:18–19
Quote: "Never suppress a generous thought."
—Sister Camilla Eyring Kimball
23 The twelve traveling councilors are called to be the Twelve Apostles, or special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world—thus differing from other officers in the church in the duties of their calling.
—Doctrine and Covenants 107:23
25 The Seventy are also called to preach the gospel, and to be especial witnesses unto the Gentiles and in all the world—thus differing from other officers in the church in the duties of their calling.
—Doctrine and Covenants 107:25
- Especial: "Old French word 'especial': a sense of 'selected for an important task; specially chosen;' individual, particular, limited as to function," (see etymonline.com).
Quote: “The difference between especial and special is in the spelling, and it really does not mean anything more than that. To be a special witness of the name of Christ means that you have that witness and that authority that is unfailing, and it will be with you everywhere in the world."
—President Boyd K. Packer, "The Twelve and the Seventy, Part Three: Witnesses to the World," Apostles and Prophets, ChurchofJesusChrist.org
Quote: "Each of the Lord’s apostles is in a position to observe and feel the love that Heavenly Father has for His children, particularly for those who are struggling."
—President Russell M. Nelson, "The Love and Laws of God," BYU Devotional 2019
Quote: "Sometimes we as leaders of the Church are criticized for holding firm to the laws of God, defending the Savior’s doctrine, and resisting the social pressures of our day. But our commission as ordained apostles is “to go into all the world to preach [His] gospel unto every creature.” That means we are commanded to teach truth.
"In doing so, sometimes we are accused of being uncaring as we teach the Father’s requirements for exaltation in the celestial kingdom. But wouldn’t it be far more uncaring for us not to tell the truth—not to teach what God has revealed? It is precisely because we do care deeply about all of God’s children that we proclaim His truth. We may not always tell people what they want to hear. Prophets are rarely popular. But we will always teach the truth!"
—President Russell M. Nelson, "The Love and Laws of God," BYU Devotional 2019
How the Quorum of the Twelve make decisions:
30 The decisions of these quorums, or either of them, are to be made in all righteousness, in holiness, and lowliness of heart, meekness and long-suffering, and in faith, and virtue, and knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and charity.
—Doctrine and Covenants 107:30
Quote: "The calling of 15 men to the holy apostleship provides great protection for us as members of the Church. Why? Because decisions of these leaders must be unanimous. Can you imagine how the Spirit needs to move upon 15 men to bring about unanimity? These 15 men have varied educational and professional backgrounds, with differing opinions about many things. Trust me! These 15 men—prophets, seers, and revelators—know what the will of the Lord is when unanimity is reached! They are committed to see that the Lord’s will truly will be done. The Lord’s Prayer provides the pattern for each of these 15 men when they pray: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
"The Apostle with the longest seniority in the office of Apostle presides. That system of seniority will usually bring older men to the office of President of the Church. It provides continuity, seasoned maturity, experience, and extensive preparation, as guided by the Lord."
—President Russell M. Nelson, "Sustaining the Prophets," October 2014 general conference
Promise for making decisions this way:
Patriarchs and the Patriarchal Order:
- Evangelical ministers = Patriarchs
Quote: "In 1839, the Prophet Joseph Smith explained that 'an Evangelist is a Patriarch. … Wherever the Church of Christ is established in the earth, there should be a Patriarch for the benefit of the posterity of the Saints, as it was with Jacob in giving his patriarchal blessing unto his sons.'”
—Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 151
"The office of Patriarch began in 1834 when Joseph Smith Sr. was ordained as the first Patriarch. His responsibilities were to provide patriarchal blessings and bestow blessings to the fatherless.
"Through the years the office has been known by many names: Patriarch over the whole Church, Patriarch of the Church, Presiding Patriarch, and Patriarch to the Church. Patriarch to the Church became the official title in 1845. Patriarchs to the Church continued to be called well into the twentieth century.
"During the October 1979 general conference, the office was discontinued due to the increased number of local stake patriarchs. Eldred G. Smith, who was serving as Patriarch to the Church at the time, was honorably released from the calling and given emeritus status."
—Church History Library Staff, "A History of Patriarchs and Patriarchal Blessings," ChurchofJesusChrist.org
"In expounding Hebrews 7, Joseph Smith also made the additional statement which has caused some to become confused, 'There are three grand orders of priesthood referred to here.'19 In making this statement, the Prophet likely did not mean that there are three different kinds of priesthood, since 'all priesthood is Melchizedek,'20 and, as is stated in this verse, 'there are two divisions or grand heads.' It is, rather, more likely the Prophet meant that Hebrews 7 illustrates the priesthood in three of its different aspects. The first case, and the most inclusive, is that of Melchizedek himself, who had the fulness of the holy priesthood and established Zion, but had little connection to later Israel. Second, this Melchizedek Priesthood is, ideally, meant to be passed down in a patriarchal order as from Adam to Noah (vv. 41–52; D&C 84:14–16) and from Abraham to Moses. Since, however, Abraham was likely not descended from Melchizedek,21 we learn that the priesthood is greater than its ideal patriarchal order of transmission.22 Later, Israel looked to Abraham, not Melchizedek, as "the father of the faithful" and as the Patriarch par excellence. In its patriarchal aspect, the holy priesthood includes specific promises made to the Patriarchs concerning the sealing power and their families.23 According to Doctrine and Covenants 107:40, this priesthood descends by right of lineage from the Patriarchs to their literal descendants, who are still heirs to the patriarchal promises. A third aspect of the priesthood was the lesser or Aaronic Priesthood, given at Sinai to the sons of Levi for administration of the law of Moses (D&C 84:26–27). Thus, Hebrews 7 illustrates three separate aspects of the priesthood as instituted among men from the most to the least inclusive. The Melchizedek Priesthood includes both the Aaronic and patriarchal aspects within itself, since gaps in righteous lineage in the house of Aaron or in patriarchal descent can be remedied by priesthood ordination. In Melchizedek we see the work of the priesthood perfected in the establishment of Zion; in Abraham the emphasis is upon the sealing power and the connection between the fathers and their posterity; and in Aaron or Levi, the priesthood is limited to the needs of the lesser law."
—Stephen E. Robinson, H. Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, Vol. 4, "Doctrine and Covenants 107," Deseret Book
100 He that is slothful shall not be counted worthy to stand, and he that learns not his duty and shows himself not approved shall not be counted worthy to stand. Even so. Amen.
—Doctrine and Covenants 107:99–100
Quote: "Your obligation is as serious in your sphere of responsibility as is my obligation in my sphere. No calling in this church is small or of little consequence. All of us in the pursuit of our duty touch the lives of others."
—President Gordon B. Hinckley, "This Is the Work of the Master," Ensign, May 1995, 71
Title for Section 108: "Strengthen Your Brethren"
"Brother Sherman had been a member of Zion's Camp and was later called to the First Quorum of Seventy on 28 February 1835, having been set apart as one of the seven presidents of that quorum. Joseph recorded the circumstances of Brother Sherman's visit to him in Kirtland and the reception of Doctrine and Covenants 108 as follows: 'Commenced again studying the Hebrew language, in company with Brothers Parrish and Williams. In the meantime, Brother Lyman Sherman came in, and requested to have the word of the Lord through me; 'for,' said he, 'I have been wrought upon to make known to you my feelings and desires, and was promised that I should have a revelation which should make known my duty.'5 Doctrine and Covenants 108 is the Lord's answer to Brother Sherman's request" (Stephen E. Robinson, H. Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, Vol. 4, "Doctrine and Covenants 108," Deseret Book).
Advice the Lord gives to Lyman Sherman:
- Exhortations = To cheer or encourage
Blessing for strengthening others:
Let's play a game of 'Guess Who'. I'm gonna read a verse of scripture. And I want to see if you guys can guess who this person is. He "Was a man of faith who wrote righteousness. And when a child he feared God and stopped the mouths of lions and quenched the violence of fire." Any guesses? Okay, here's a clue. He's an Old Testament prophet. Want another clue? Well, you'll just have to wait, because when we learn more about this prophet in today's study of Doctrine and Covenants, Section 106-108, as well as his significant role in the priesthood.... Ah, dang it, I just gave you away another clue.
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.
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, and it's going to explain how you can best use this podcast to enhance your Come Follow Me study, just like my friends - Oh I'm so excited about this one - Annette Erickson, Kathleen and Bruce Burtenshaw, and the entire Burtenshaw clan. Hi, guys.
Oh, Hi, guys. Okay, you probably heard multiple voices on that hello and the reason why I have my guests say hello is because we're all related. I'm so excited to introduce you to my two guests today. They are my family in a weird, roundabout way. So today I have Susanna Erickson and Steph Erickson. And our last names are totally different. But how are we related, guys?
Multiple reasons. Tammy, we found out at a reunion, we found out that we were pretty close on our grandfather's side,
Yeah. So I think we're closer than you, Susanna. Sorry.
Oh, boo. Well, I'll try to find my own connection other ways then. That's not fair.
We're like soul sisters. So
Tammy is like our sister. You're our sister.
She is our sister.
Well, I feel the same way about you, well both of you because here's how I know these ladies is: my husband's first wife, Michelle. She is who passed away from breast cancer. Susanna and Stephanie are her sisters-in-law. And so when I married into the family, it was kind of interesting, because some people were like, "Well, you're not gonna still be family with Michelle's family are you? Like you're not related anymore. Why would you still hang out and do things with them?" I was like, because they're my family. They're like the third family that I have. And they embraced me from the moment I started dating Jim. And they threw me a shower, a wedding shower, and not just with their own immediate family, with the extended family The cousins, the great aunts and uncles. I mean, do you remember that party?
Tammy, you're stuck. You're stuck with us.
I am. I'm like, I'm in. This family's awesome.
Hey, Softserve and Diet Coke, come on.
It's an awesome family.
It's a love fest today. We're family. And even though we're not truly really related, we're related. Well, if you want to know more about my guests, my sisters, you can read their information and see their bios at our show notes, which is at LDSLiving.com/SundayonMonday. Well, how was that for an intro? I don't think there's anything else that we could say. So I'm just going to invite everybody to grab their scriptures. And let's dig in.
So I have a funny story to share with you two and I think you'll totally appreciate this. A few years ago I attended a Mother's Day luncheon with my grandmother, and my mom, and my sisters. And sitting at the table with us was Grandma Baxter. Now Grandma Baxter is the grandmother of my cousins on their paternal side of the family. Anyway, we're sitting at this luncheon, and it's this big, "we celebrate our mothers" kind of a luncheon. And the speaker got done, at the very end of her speech and she just said, "So today, ladies, let's honor our mothers and bring them joy." And I will never forget this because Grandma Baxter in her like late 80s, early 90s under her breath said in a very loud whisper: "You want to honor me and bring me joy? Stay out of jail. That'll honor me."
And all of us at that table, we
How old? How old was
Can I adopt her? That's hilarious.
Is that so funny? That's her bar. "Stay out of jail to bring her joy." Now, I love that story. And the reason why I say that story is because we're all someone's child. Think about your parents, and what would bring them honor or what would bring them joy. And then I want you to kind of think about our heavenly parents. What brings them honor and joy? And that rang out to me as I read section 106. Let's go to Doctrine and Covenants Section 106, verse 6 and Susanna, will you read that for us.
6 "And again, verily I say unto you, there was joy in heaven when my servant Warren bowed to my scepter and separated himself from the crafts of men;"
Thank You. Okay, we're going to come back to this verse and talk about that word joy, but let me give you a little background about who this was given to. Warren Cowdery is the older brother of Oliver Cowdery, and I think it's cool. But he was so much older, he was 18 years older than Oliver Cowdery. And so Warren Cowdery comes into the fold. He becomes a member and the Lord asks him, or calls him to be, in verse one, the "presiding High Priest over my church in the land of Freedom".
Highlight "land of Freedom". It does not mean 'land of freedom, home of the Brave, America'. If you look down to the footnote, it actually is the "city of freedom". That's the name of the place where they're living, is Freedom, New York, and it's a little bit less than 200 miles from Kirtland, Ohio. So He's giving him an assignment there. So that's what we need to know about Warren Cowdery.
Now, can you imagine that compliment? If someone said "there's joy in heaven for you", Susanna and Steph? That's the goal, right?
Let me get there. Yeah.
And here's what he did to have the joy in heaven. Let's underline "bow to my scepter". And then underline "separated himself from the crafts of men". The scepter is a symbol for authority. So what do you think it means when someone bows to the symbol of authority? God's symbol of authority?
Um, humility, putting someone else before yourself.
Yeah, you're absolutely right. And Stephanie, I love that you said, "it shows his humility." He is absolutely humble. He's bowing to the Lord. Okay, now let's look at "separated himself from the crafts of men." Now, I gotta ask you, I honestly want to know what you think this means? There's nothing really to define it. What do you think it means to do, separate yourself from the crafts of men?
Separate yourselves from someone that isn't a follower of Christ. I don't know. I mean, that's what I get out of it. But I can totally be wrong.
Oh, I like that.
I was thinking of in high school I was in a place I shouldn't have been and I found myself leaving the group and sitting on a curb, just singing Primary songs. And my parents made fun of me afterwards. But I've learned to separate myself when I'm in a place where I shouldn't be or when there's chaos going on around me. I've learned to just kind of go to my own place and sing my Primary songs. It's always brought me comfort for that. And that's why I kind of think you need to separate ourselves sometimes when there's chaos going around you.
Wow. I think both of your answers were spot on. Absolutely. Because when you read that verse, that's what I thought of, too. But I love the way you said you literally physically separated yourself and went and did something that was right, from the chaos. I love the word that you put in there. I am going to put that next to the scriptures. Because I think the chaos of men, the crafts of men is chaotic. Those were really great answers both of you. I love what you said and how you applied that. And so look how cool it is that when we humble ourselves. And when we separate ourselves from the chaos of humanity, the result is joy in heaven. And that is a really cool lesson that we just learned from this man, by Warren Cowdery.
The section title for 106, there's two of them. But I want to add one more, because I think if I was to rewrite some of these section titles, which I've already thought I would, but I'm not gonna, I'm not that big of a jerk, so. This is what I want to add to this one, though, because the section title is "Compensation for Full-time Calling" / "Children of Light"/ I'm going to add "Joy in Heaven". Because that's what I got out of these. There's so much you can study in 106. But boy, the idea of how we can bring joy to heaven, that's incredible to me.
Now, compensation for full-time service might seem confusing for this section. In this specific case, Warren Cowdery was compensated for his church service; it's one of the rare times that it happened. So that's where we get this part of the title. And then we also have children of light, where we're encouraged to be that, and we've talked about children of light this year. But there's just something so beautiful about bringing joy to heaven. And I think for me, that is what I got out of Section 106. This joy in heaven. That's section 106.
Now, I thought this was kind of cool, because right before Joseph Smith received this revelation - and it was in November that he received it - in his journal, he wrote,
"No month ever found me more busily engaged than November. But as my life consisted of activity and unyielding exertions, I made it my rule." And then he even wrote in italics, "<When the Lord commands to do it.> I continued my labors daily preparing for the school of the elders, and I received the following:"
That's when he received this revelation, and after this really busy month, which I think we can all relate to. November's busy, right, because you're leading into December. I mean, what are you guys like when you're getting ready for Thanksgiving?
Crazy. We have to prepare to come up here to the family gathering.
I mean, we talked about it last night. We're already planning for the Erickson family reunion.
Yeah. A lot of preparation,
No offense to any of the family members.
Those listening who we love. Yeah. Absoutely.
We love ya.
Well, after this really busy month, it's almost as if the Lord gave Joseph kind of a small break, because the next revelation we have recorded comes the next spring in 1835. And well, at least part of that revelation did, and I'm going to explain that in the next segment.
I just want us to jump into section 107. The title for 107 is "Priesthood and church government". Now this section is so heavy, and there is no way we are going to cover all of these verses. So I had to just go through and pick out what I thought was the most important lessons, which I realize is completely subjective, but you know what? All religion classes are. So we're gonna, because there's just so much.
So here's what I want us to do, though. Let's go straight to verse 60, because you want to know this. So go to verse 60, in Section 107, and draw a line above verse 60. I took a red pencil and drew a line right above that, all the way to the outside in my margin. And the reason why we want to do this is because the section heading tells us that verses 60 to 100 were received four years earlier, in 1831, around the same time as sections 1,67 68, 69, and 133. Now there are some similarities to those sections.
But section 107 just takes the deepest dive into the priesthood, a deep-sea dive. And then verses 1-59 set up the discussion on the priesthood. So that's what you need to know about those two things. We have a discussion that sets us up for the priesthood, and then this deep-sea dive into the priesthood. So here's what we need to do. We need to find out how it all began. How do we have the names for the priesthood and all that fun stuff? And that's the beginning of Section 107.
So everyone turn to the first page of Doctrine in Covenants 107. And think back to my introduction, where we did the "Guess Who" game? Did you guys have any ideas or guesses of who that Prophet could have been, that Old Testament prophet as I read it?
Oh, I like that. Why did you think Daniel?
Well, you talked about the lions,
quenching the fire.
quenching the fire.
What about you, Steph? Did you have any guesses?
No. I didn't.
I was thinking Daniel, but, no, I wasn't paying attention. I think I was too nervous. Oh, so sorry, I gotta be honest. I'm like, 'Oh, no, is Tammy gonna call on me? What do I need to do?' I'm so sorry.
She's praying right now.
Yeah, lot of prayers. No, no, no.
That is so great. Okay, Daniel, I think a lot of people immediately thought Daniel, and I did when I first read that. I'm like, why is Daniel here? So let's go into section 107. And we're gonna read verses 1 and 2, and then we're gonna use a cool footnote in verse 2. Steph, can you read verse 1 and 2 for us?
1 "There are, in the church, two priesthoods, namely the Melchizedek and Aaronic, including the Levitical priesthood.
3 "Why the first is called the Melchizedek priesthood is because Melchizedek was such a great high priest."
Thank you. Look at the footnote for the word Melchizedek, 2b, and it says Joseph Smith Translation Genesis 14:25-40 in the Bible appendix. So in your Bible, at the very back of the Bible, we have excerpts from the Bible translation that Joseph Smith did, not all of it, there's so much more. So after your Topical Guide, after your Bible Dictionary, you'll see a little portion in your scriptures that say Joseph Smith Translation. And you turn to the Joseph Smith Translation of Genesis 14:25-40.
I did not realize the Joseph Smith Translation was right in the back of the Bible. If you don't have a Book of Mormon, or are a member of the church, it's not in their Bibles, right? The Joseph Smith translation. It's just in the new.
Correct. It's in the LDS version of the Bible. Yeah.
I thought that'd be cool if they kind of slipped it in those other Bibles.
Just in the back of the King James in every hotel. Who's this Joseph Smith guy? I love that Susanna. That's awesome. I'm glad you said that, Susanna, because not a lot of people even know or have used the Joseph Smith Translation. And so it's really great. It's a good reference; it's a good source. And like I said, there's just certain excerpts from it in the back. But there's a lot more; you can actually buy the whole translation of the New Testament and Old Testament that Joseph Smith did. He did not finish it, but what we have of his, there's just more. Right there on that first page where it says Genesis 14:25-40, Joseph added these verses to tell us a little bit more about Melchizedek. And so how cool in verse 25, it says,
25 "And Melchizedek lifted up his voice and blessed Abram", and that is the Abraham later, and then....
26 "Now Melchizedek was a man of faith, who wrought righteousness; and when a child he feared God, and stopped the mouths of lions, and quenched the violence of fire."
But then I love....
27 "And thus, having been approved of God, he was ordained an high priest after the order of the covenant, which God made with Enoch,"
So from these verses that we read, then, what does that tell us about Melchizedek? Sum him up for me.
Well, he was a righteous high priest who I feel like, did he get the priesthood directly from God, the Melchizedek priesthood?
Well actually, here's what we do know about how he got the priesthood, is that at some point Melchizedek was ordained a high priest after the order of the covenant which God made with Enoch. We don't specifically know who gave him the priesthood. But this is kind of cool, because in Hebrew, his name consists of two parts: Melech and Zedeck. And Melech means king. And Zedeck means righteousness in Hebrew. So his name literally means the king of righteousness. And he's from Salem, which in Hebrew is shalom. And so he's the King of Righteousness over the Land of Peace. I think this is so cool. Let's go back into section 107. And we're gonna look at verses 3 and 4. And so Susanna, will you read those for us.
3 "Before his day it was called the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God,"
4 "But out of respect or reverence to the name of the Supreme Being, to avoid the too frequent repetition of his name, they, the church, in ancient days, called that priesthood after Melchizedek, or the Melchizedek Priesthood."
So look back at that verse, in verse 3, we have the original name of the Melchizedek Priesthood. Highlight that. "The Holy Priesthood after the Order of the Son of God." Isn't that amazing?
That's so cool, because my son Connor just got the Melchizedek Priesthood. He studied this all before. I said, :study the priesthood, make sure, you know, we need to have the Aaronic Priesthood. But to me the Melchizedek Priesthood, this isn't for yourself. You're serving others by having the Melchizedek Priesthood and by using that power. It's just amazing to me that, you know, now my husband and my son have this priesthood power. And it's not like a selfish, "Oh, look at me". It's like, "Oh, I can use this now to serve others, under the direction of God."
So true, Susanna. In fact, you were so inspired to just share that thought, because that's exactly what we're going to talk about in the next segment is: the whole point and purpose of these two priesthoods. We have Melchizedek and we have Aaronic. And that is what it's about; it's about service, and doing things for people. So thank you for saying that. That is awesome. Is there anything you were thinking, Steph that you wanted to share about that?
My life lately has always been survive. We're just trying to survive around here. I've said that to so many people lately. Well, we're just survivin', you know. And, and I think by doing these little things, and teaching our children the gospel through the service of the Melchizedek Priesthood, through the Aaronic priesthood, I think we're able to serve one another and teach our children to serve. And to see the light of the young men around them, just serving others has really blessed me lately, especially the last year and a half. So I'm just thankful for leaders, for so many people and great examples around me and my life. And it's kind of fun bringing up our boys learning to serve.
Steph, thank you for that great comment. Because here's what's cool. I was thinking between the two of you, you guys have 1234567 boys that you're raising. That's a lot of boys. I go back to Melchizedek because remember, he was a boy, before he was approved of God. He was this kid. Who taught him how to be Melchizedek? Who taught him how to be able to have the ability to quench the fire?
I mean, look at this. Let's go back to that Joseph Smith translation verse real quick. Let's look at those words that describe Melchizedek. Who taught him to be a man of faith? Who taught him to wrought righteousness? And when he was a child, he feared God. I mean, and the word 'fear' in Hebrew in that context is 'revere or honor', not afraid of. Who taught him to honor God, so that he could stop the mouths of lions and quench the violence of fire?
It's his parents. And we raise our sons and daughters to become like Melchizedek in that they'll use their priesthood powers by keeping their covenants - that's how they have that power. And I've watched you both raise really great children. You have raised them to fear God, to honor Him and to revere Him. That's been cool. So I'm just gonna go back to what you said, Susanna, because in the next segment, we are going to dive into how these priesthoods serve other people. So thank you for bringing that up. And we'll do that next.
Okay, I want to know from both of you, what is the word administer make you think of when you hear it? Administer
Yeah, I instantly thought of the Sacrament. A cute young 13-year-old boy was killed in my ward a few weeks ago. He died on a Thursday and three days later was Sunday. And there his brothers were at the Sacrament table. His dad and uncles and cousins were there in honor of him at where the deacons were sitting to pass the Sacrament. I think that was the first time that I looked over and I saw these three brothers up on the Sacrament table, who just lost their brother and his dad sitting there with the deacons, and sitting with his family members.
And I thought this is what it is to serve. They could have been anywhere that day. I don't know, honestly, if I would have gone to church three days after. Um, getting ready for the funeral and everything. And they were there on Sunday to serve us the Sacrament. And I think that's when it hit me, wow. This is more important than we even know. They are here to give us an ordination that we every Sunday need, and they're doing it for us. And it was just a really powerful moment for me. I think there was tears that whole service. It just really opened my eyes to 'administering to us'. That's where I thought of the Sacrament.
Susanna, that's a great story. Wow. I thought, "Oh my gosh, they were the Savior after He found out that His cousin, his best friend, John the Baptist was killed. He went to go spend some time to be alone. But then right after ended up feeding 5000. He didn't take weeks to mourn. He's like, 'all right back to work'. And I just think how amazing that, you're right. I don't know if I would have gone to church. I would have wanted time; I wouldn't have wanted attention. I wouldn't have wanted people coming up, "How are you doing?" That is such a great example of just, 'all right, and then we're going to just administer and serve'. So thank you for sharing that.
Let's look at what Section 107 teaches us then about what you guys shared. That is so perfect. So we're going to read verse 5 and 8 and then we're going to cross-reference it to another one. So Susanna, will you start and read verse 5, please.
5 "All other authorities or offices in the church are appendages to this priesthood.
K, now think for just a second. We have the Melchizedek Priesthood. All other authorities are appendages to the priesthood. So everything is connected back up to Melchizedek Priesthood. Now go down to verse 8, because I think this is cool. Steph, will you read verse 8.
8 "The Melchizedek Priesthood holds the right of presidency, and has power and authority over all the offices in the church in all ages of the world, to administer in spiritual things."
Okay. I want you to underline the word 'offices' in verse 8. Let's think about what that word might mean to you when you first read it, because I want to redefine it.
It's me; it's all the people serving. We're all under that umbrella, that realm of being able to enjoy and inherit and have that priesthood on our behalf, so, it's me, it's me.
It is you, it is you and how cool that it says right here in all the ages have the world for what? There it is: to administer in spiritual things. And how powerful that your example Susanna, those young men were administering to us in spiritual things. But then we as women do that. We administer in spiritual things, too. Now cross-reference to the outside of that verse, put 18 through 19, and we're going to skip over on the page. I'll do these because I want you guys to mark your scriptures while I read them. So verse 18 says:
18 "The power and authority of the higher, or Melchizedek Priesthood is to hold the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the church--"
Okay, this is cool, because if everyone is able to administer in spiritual things, then let's find out what the spiritual blessings are that come from our efforts and from this priesthood power. So verse 19, is I read verse 19, I just want you to underline or number the spiritual blessings, Okay, here we go,
19 "To have the privilege of receiving the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, to have the heavens opened unto them, to commune with the general assembly and church of the Firstborn," - which remember, firstborn is Christ, so the Church of Christ - "and to enjoy the communion and presence of God the Father and Jesus the mediator of the New Covenant."
Okay, what are some of the things you marked? What are some of the blessings that come, the spiritual blessings from this priesthood?
I look at 'heavens opened unto them'. I think sometimes things feel so far away. And I think when you're able to have the heavens open, you're able to see Heavenly Father's plan, I think for you, and it helps you feel the love of our Savior. And when people feel that, sometimes we have aha moments.
Thank you. Thank you for that.
It was so cool, because when you said we have aha moments, I looked down at 19 and I had an aha moment. I just gosh, I love it. Whenever you talk scripture, the spirit is here. This is so cool. Like it's so strong right now. This is awesome. This is one of the blessings right here. But I loved how when I saw 'to commune with the general assembly and church of the Firstborn', I thought, Oh my gosh, I finally understand that and it's Susanna's story she shared. That is what those boys did. That is one of the blessings. They communed with the general assembly and church of the Firstborn by passing the Sacrament. So thank you for sharing that story. Because I finally now get that verse, or that line in the verse. Anything else that stands out to you in that verse?
Through this COVID thing, and we didn't really get to go to church for quite a while. I miss being with the saints, and I missed communing with our congregation and our saints and singing together and praising the Lord and taking the Sacrament together. And I took that for granted, even though there might have been times that, oh, this is kind of nice, that we can be home and do this. But I love when it says, you know, you enjoy the communion and presence of God. And that's kind of what I felt my first time really going back and being with the saints again, being with our family, our word and enjoying serving each other again, and being in that presence of God.
Absolutely. Thank you, Susanna. That's a great example of that in the verse. So when we look at these spiritual blessings that come because of the Melchizedek Priesthood, I love that our Prophet is helping us understand on a big, broader approach, that the priesthood includes all of us. And that is huge for us as women, that we really do have a role like, I am going to love forever Steph, when you said, "It's me, it includes me". I'm like, it does.
But we, you know, we weren't saying that when we were 12 years old. We were reading this thinking it just meant the men. And so I'm so grateful for this discussion of how we administer to each other. And I'm just curious to know, is there a specific story or example that stands out to you of women administering? Do either one of you have one where someone ministered to you? The heavens were opened for you to administer to someone?
Lately, I want to say, I'm selfish. I haven't had a chance to serve. And it's hard.
Let's be clear, though. Steph just had twins. Okay.
Yeah. You're a busy mom.
Yeah. Like, I want everyone to know why she hasn't been able to serve.
You started over.
They did start over.
You had 3 kids. How old was your youngest before you got pregnant with twins?
Uh, 10. Ten years old.
And then, outta nowhere, twins.
And then twins. And boy, have they just, they are definitely meant to be here. They are definitely.
They are the cutest things.
They are. I don't know. It's pretty crazy starting over. And I always think, well, if I screw these three up, maybe these next two, I'll actually be okay.
Yeah, you're, you're a pro, now.
Oh. I, you know, I was just about to say, I hate accepting service. And I don't know if it's because of my grumpy old age, but so many people have served me lately in the last year, just taking the babies or bringing me food. And I always feel inadequate when people serve me. But I really do love serving other people. But it's been nice to reap the benefits of that.
Well, I was just gonna say, I'm like Steph, too. I have a hard time receiving. But I just remember cute Sister Kimball always said, "Never suppress a generous thought." And I've tried to kind of teach that to my kids and instill that in them. If you see an elderly person going to get their garbage can, you pull over and you go get the garbage can. Or you help someone at the grocery store that is struggling,. Or, I've just had many examples in my life of women and men that have been a huge example to me of service.
Thank you, both of you for those really great thoughts and personal stories. And one thing I love about all of this whole discussion is then, adding to our discussion of administrating and service. Then when you add the administration of ordinances, and the ability for us to keep and make covenants, that's what this is all about. And so it's kind of cool how this umbrella of the Melchizedek priesthood is enormous. And I'm thankful that it includes all the ages of the world, all the offices of the church so that we can all bless each other by administering. And going back to Section 106, I'm thinking of the joy this must bring to heaven. It all ties in. So cool. Thank you, both of you for sharing everything that you shared.
So within these two divisions of the priesthood, the Lord uses section 107 to outline specific rules and guidelines for their success. And we're going to study how one word - this is a cool - one word will make a huge difference in what the Lord expects of just the quorum of the 12 Apostles in the next segment.
Ready for this one? Tell me something that is special to you.
Umm. Nothing's special to me. (laughter) No, there's so many things special to me. But you know, the jokester in me just wants to be like, 'eh, nothing's special.' But there's so many things special: families, in-laws, friends. There's so many special things out there if we just sit down and realize what's around us.
Good answer. Good answer.
I'm with you. Everything is special, but right at this moment, well, in this week, let's say, every week, there's some, you know, every day there's something. Oh that was special, that was sweet. This week, it is my cute 82-year-old mom and the way that my girls look at her. I don't know what it is, but it's every day, every single night before bed, "I miss Grandma". And I said, "She's five minutes away, and she just left like 10 minutes ago." But it is just the tears and it's, "I just miss her and I want her and I want to hug her and tomorrow, I just want to hang out with her all day and I don't want to leave" and just those little special tender moments that aren't gonna be here forever.
Well, and you have your first child is leaving for a mission.
And my first child is leaving. Yes.
Yeah, I get it. Like those momemts. This, it changes forever after this moment.
It's joy and it's hard.
Thank you for sharing.
Your mom is a good example to me to Susanna. I've really, she's embraced me like her own, as well.
Honestly, who doesn't love cute Mona?
Everyone's, "Oh, how's Mona?"
She reminds me of my grandma Norma; she just 100. She's never said one bad thing about anyone in her life. And she's
Wow that's special.
Oh, it is.
Oh, my Gosh.
Special right there. But yeah, it's just, I have boys that are into sports. And we're rough around our family. We're Erickson's, you just don't know. You just have to know rough.
We'll discuss that in segment 6.
We might need to skip that section. (laughter) To see them serve my grandmother. And my grandma hasn't been able to go to church and to watch the boys serve the sacrament with her. And it's just been such great examples in our lives. So thank you for reminding me about
There are moments that you don't ever want to forget. Because this is history. I mean, that is their great-grandma. And they get to be with her. I mean, that is amazing.
Yeah. Well, I love both of your stories, using the word 'special', because there is something so special about that word 'special'. Let's go to Doctrine and Covenants Section 107, verse 23, and read how the Lord uses the word 'special', because I think this is pretty cool. So Steph, will you read verse 23 for us.
23 "The 12 traveling councilors are called to be the Twelve Apostles, or special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world--thus differing from the other officers in the church in the duties of their calling."
Thank you so much. So okay, according to verse 23, the apostles are also called what?
Yes, perfect, special witnesses. Now we're going to also go down to verse 25. Because this is interesting. The 70 are also kind of similar, but there's a different spelling in the word in verse 25. It says, "The Seventy are also called to preach the gospel and to be especial witnesses unto the Gentiles, and in all the world. " Now highlight the word special and then highlight the word especial.
A lot of people wonder, what's the difference between these two words? And the answer is: nothing. They are the same thing. I have a great quote from Boyd K. Packer. Here's what he has to say about these two words and the meaning of the word to be especial witness. Susanna, will you read this quote for us, please?
"The difference between especial and special is in the spelling, and it really does not mean anything more than that. To be a special witness of the name of Christ means that you have that witness and that authority that is unfailing, and it will be with you everywhere in the world."
Okay, look at that definition of what it means to be a special witness of Christ. You have authority that's unfailing, and that it will be with you everywhere in the world. That is the role and responsibility of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Now, I love words. And so I looked up the etymology of the word special because I was like, what's the definition? How do we define this and there's so many things. But what was interesting is that the old French word 'especial' is where 'special' comes from. So that's why it's spelled that way in 25. I thought that was neat.
The definition and where it comes from is, it says, "It's a sense of selected for an important task, specially chosen, and that it's individual, and it's limited as to its function." So when it comes to being a special or especial witness of the Savior Jesus Christ, you're like, well, what exactly does that entail? Have they seen Jesus? Do they know him personally? What are we talking about? And I really loved how in a 2019 BYU Devotional, the Prophet said this about the witness. Steph, will you read this quote for us.
"Each of the Lord's Apostles is in a position to observe and feel the love that Heavenly Father has for His children, particularly for those who are struggling."
And then I thought, "Is there anything more special than that, for them to be able to have that gift and ability?" So Steph and Susanna, as we've read that these 12 men and the 70 are special witnesses, like, if you were to describe this to your kids, what are they witnesses of? Or what have they been witnesses to you in your life? How would you describe that to them?
I don't know. I've always felt like they're a grandfather of mine, or they're just these cheeky old men with great personalities. And you just want to hug them, and you just feel so close. And you want to hear what they have to say. And they are a special witness. And I think sometimes you don't even need to explain it. It's just the feeling that you have when you are around them, or when they speak.
I have a story of when I was growing up in Southern California. President Nelson, who was an Apostle at the time came to minister to our stake. Some leader that was helping the youth had told us that Elder Nelson can point out when you're singing off key, and he will call you out on it. I remember thinking oh my goodness, he's gonna hate me. He's gonna, he's gonna call me out, you know. And so I got nervous when this General Authority was coming to our stake. And he walked in the room. And he was like my grandpa, and he just was so kind and loving. And you just knew that he had something special. And there was something special about him, and you just wanted to have what he had. And he didn't care if we sang off key. He just was there to love us and to show us the love of Christ. So, I thought that was pretty cool.
Oh, that's a great story Steph. That's what I planned with that quote, the ability to feel the love, they have. Oh, perfect example. Thank you. I'm gonna read a quote that I love. And it is from our Prophet, President Nelson. And I want to know your thoughts on it about this idea of being special witnesses, K? Here's what the prophet had to say.
"Sometimes we as leaders of the church are criticized for holding firm to the laws of God, defending the Savior's doctrine, and resisting the social pressure of our day. But our commission as ordained Apostles, is to go into all the world to preach his gospel unto every creature. That means we are commanded to teach truth. In doing so, sometimes we are accused of being uncaring as we teach the Father's requirements for exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom. But wouldn't it be far more uncaring for us not to tell the truth, not to teach what God has revealed? It is precisely because we do care about all of God's children, that we proclaim His truth. We may not always tell people what they want to hear. Prophets are rarely popular, but we will always teach the truth."
Tell me your thoughts as you heard that.
I love that they will teach truth. I look forward every six months to General Conference; I wish it was every other month. But I really, truly do feel like they are inspired of the Lord and what they teach us. And yeah, people may not always want to hear what they have to say, or they don't agree with that. But they'll always teach the truth. And that's why I think I love listening to their, their messages, because it will be the truth. It is from God.
It's a lot like parenting to me.
Our kids don't always wannna,
Like you just like, you know, we're just trying to figure out this together, you know, with our own children. When they finally realize, 'Oh, man, they do know what they're talking about.' It kind of hits home. You don't know why you may question but sometimes you think, I don't know why I'm doing this, but I'm going to leap forward with faith because I know in my heart what is right and what. So anyhow, I don't know. It just kind of made me think of parenting because parenting teenagers is quite exciting.
I know, and aren't we all teenagers at heart on some level?
Okay, listen, I just have to acknowledge this, that for some, this is really hard. This is uncomfortable. And you know what, that's okay. It's okay to be uncomfortable with this because then you can let the Holy Ghost do what the Holy Ghost is supposed to do, which is comfort. Just sit with this, and then let the Holy Ghost comfort. So these special witnesses are sometimes then, like we read, they're commanded to teach truth. But what I thought was interesting is that in Section 107, there's actually a time when they're asked to make decisions for this Worldwide Church. And the section 107 will tell us how they're supposed to do that. And we're gonna study that in the next segment.
So you two, when there are big decisions that need to be made at work, because you work, and you also are married and at home. I want to know, how do you go about making these decisions? Do you have a set protocol, do you have rules? I'm kind of laughing because I'm like, Susanna, already I know your answer.
Oh, geez. I can't wait for Susanna's.
Susanna, how do decisions get made in your home?
Oh, I just have to say, this is what we're doing. And I don't give a rip what anybody says. (laughter)
It's so true. 100%. "Scott, this is what we're doing."
But see, you know my husband. Yeah, we just do it, because I said, so. (laughter)
I love it. I love it. Um, Steph, what about you at work - how are decisions made?
I do get teased at work a lot. Because when there's something to be said, or when we're in a conference call, one of the gentlemen that I work with will always say, "I get it. You need to pray about it." (laughter) I always, I'm like, I'm so sorry. And they have no idea. I don't know. Next time I should ask them if they want to get down on their knees and pray with me. But
in your office in Las Vegas,
my little tiny office. Sometimes I think I get some eye-rolls sometimes. But I'm serious. That's how I do; I tease but it's really, it's helped me over the last 20 years. So...
Absolutelly. Oh, that's great. Both of your answers were perfect. Let's jump into Section 107 and see what the Lord teaches us and the Quorum of the Twelve about how they're supposed to make decisions. I thought this was so cool. So Doctrine and Covenants Section 107, verse 30, and Steph, can you read this verse for us?
30 "The decisions of these quorums, or either of them, are to be made in all righteousness, in holiness, in lowliness of heart, meekness and long suffering, and in faith, and in virtue, and knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and charity."
I read that and I went, "Yeah, a little different for me." Okay, look at that verse. I mean, what were you thinking as you're reading that about how to make decisions?
Oh I don't do that. I'm really behind, failing.
I mean, just one of those. I'm like, boy, maybe I should bring one into the ring when we're making decisions. But that is a big take when you think about how decisions are made for members of the Worldwide Church. By 12 men.
It's hard, it's hard. I would not want that job.
Oh, no way. Not at all. Well, how much did I love this talk by our Prophet, because I thought this was so interesting. President Nelson gave this talk in October of 2014, titled 'Sustaining the Prophets'. It's a little long, the quote, but it's totally worth it. So just sit back, listen. You're gonna like this. Susanna read this for us.
"The calling a 15 men to the Holy Apostleship provides great protection for us as members of the church. Why? Because decisions of these leaders must be unanimous. Can you imagine how the spirit needs to move upon 15 men to bring about unanimity? These 15 men have varied educational and professional backgrounds with differing opinions about many things. Trust me. These 15 men, prophets, seers and revelators know what the will of the Lord is when unanimity is reached. They are committed to see that the Lord's will truly will be done. The Lord's Prayer provides the pattern for each of these 15 men when they pray, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven".
Thank you. And then he went on to say this. Steph, will you read this quote.
"The Apostle with the longest seniority in the office of Apostle presides. That system of seniority will usually bring older men to the office of the President of the church. It provides continuity as seasoned maturity, experience, and extensive preparation as guided by the Lord."
So ladies, knowing this about the Apostles, how does it affect the way you think about these 15 men just from what the prophet said about them?
That would be hard. There's, they're all different personalities and opinions. And, oh, that would be a fun meeting to be in.
The middle of the quote, I'm just staring at right now. It just is very bold, "trust me." I imagine these men getting together and just, you know, having so many different backgrounds and just, I can't even imagine. I think of groups of women when I go to Bunco groups, how overwhelming they are.
Absolutely. I mean, you think of a presidency. Just four people trying to figure out and how to make a decision. You've got 15 people, and I appreciate how he says, 'with differing backgrounds and opinions about many things.' I didn't think they really would; I just assumed in my mind, they all get together and they all say, "Okay, that sounds good." But they really debate and discuss and talk. And so when you go to verse 30, how it says, in order for these decisions to be made, you have to have all of these qualities. I mean, that's,
I get it now. Why do you have to have that.
Well, mainly, probably, so that the Spirit can really be there when there are big decisions being made. You do need to have holiness of heart, meekness and long suffering, temperance and patience and godliness. I mean, just to have patience. Look at Joseph Smith, and trying to make his quorum and so many opinions back then before there was even really an organization like it is today. Could you imagine back then, and all of the personalities and decisions trying to start all of this? And it's still hard, even 200 years later, but I see now why the spirit really needs to be with these men. And that's why they are Apostles and our Prophet, because they are strong, spiritual leaders.
Well, and how much do we love verse 31, then, after it?
31 "Because the promise is, if these things are bound in them they shall not be unfruitful in the knowledge of the Lord."
And so we just have to trust that when they get together to make these decisions, that either they're special or they're not, and I believe they are. And as special witnesses this is what abounds in their meetings, because they're making decisions for a Worldwide Church. That's got to be so hard. And they're just doing their best. But to not be unfruitful in the knowledge of the Lord helps me have trust in them, that they are witnesses of Christ. And Christ loves me and so they'll be able to make that decision. So, awesome.
They care about us that much. And the Lord cares about us that much that this is why they have to come together and it would be an amazing time. My sweet grandmother was able to go up and see President Monson. She took my little niece, who was one and a half at the time, I believe. She walked in there and was greeted by all the Apostles. And there was - President Monson was the first counselor at the time to President Hinckley - but my little one and a half year old niece walked in there, and when she saw every Apostle, she folded her arms, and President Monson was able to give my grandmother a blessing. And I thought, Gosh, if I could have been there with all these Apostles, just to feel that spirit of knowing that these men are called of God, and they're special.
Amen. Wow, Susanna, thank you for sharing that. Thank you, both of you. So there is obviously so much more in Section 107 that we don't have time for. But I have a ton of show notes. So if you guys want to go there, you can follow along, because we don't have time to cover everything. Like for instance, in verse 39, it talks about evangelical ministers. Turn there real fast, underline it, those are patriarchs. And then we talk all about the patriarchal order of the priesthood, meaning who the patriarchs are, that was handed down from father to son. I have a really cool story. So check out the show notes for that.
And then it ends in verses 99 and 100. And you just have to mark this.
99 "Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty," (I'm gonna put 'every woman', too) "wherefore, let every man (and woman) learn his (their) duty and to act in the office in which he is (they are) appointed, in all diligence."
Because that's what this is about, all of us.
100 "And he that is slothful shall not be counted worthy to stand. And he that learns not his duty and shows himself not (appointed) approved shall not be counted worthy to stand. Even so, Amen."
And we have just had an example, after example of stories that have been shared, where we know what our duty is in administrating to people, and in doing the Lord's work. So thank you for sharing everything you guys did. That was awesome. I love that President Hinckley said this about that: "Your obligation is as serious as your sphere of responsibility, as is my obligation in my sphere. No calling in this church is small or little of consequence. All of us is in the pursuit of our duty to touch the lives of others."
I agree. There is no small calling in this church, every calling matters. We are all here to administer to each other and to learn our duty. And when we really begin to believe this, we can have a powerful effect in God's kingdom by administering to each other. And the next piece of advice that we're going to talk about, which is found in Section 108, is what our callings or our duties are about. So we'll talk about that in the next segment.
All right, this is gonna be so much fun. I want you guys to describe, What is it like when the Ericson men get together? Because it's one of my favorite things about this family. And not just me. All my kids like, we love the Ericson family so much because we guarantee this will happen. So what is it like? Tell everybody.
Uh, Oh. You know, we're tired just thinking about it.
I have told Jared once, "If you get arrested, I am not coming to pick you up."(laughter)
But Scott did one time get him out of jail. Yeah, he did call Scott on that one.
I mean, it's complete chaos. Am I right?
Oh, chaos and mayhem and crazy. Before YouTube even was a thing people would say, "Can we just hide some cameras in your house just to have the "Scott show", just to see what your life is like?
Well, guaranteed every time the boys are together, inevitably, what do they always end up doing?
Oh, wrestling, bloody noses, who's stronger, I'm stronger, I can lift more than you can. Let's go see who can lift the most.
Who can hit me the hardest?
Oh, hit me in the gut. Oh, the poor, sweet little Deacons coming for the fast offerings. He opens the door and he's like, "Punch me as hard as you can in the guts." And these little 12-year-olds were like, "oh, like, oh my gosh." And he's like, "Come on. I want to see how strong you are." And they will punch him as "Oh, that was like Tinkerbell walking around. Like, you punch me harder." These poor little boys or like, and then he'll go to grown men and say, "Punch me as hard as you can in the gut."
To the nieces and nephews, like my daughter's think it's the greatest thing. They can't wait to see Scott to punch him.
Yeah, yeah, I know.
But with that comes, I really get joy out of seeing pictures of the three of them together, just their love for one another. And um, oh, I don't know. Like, I'm just so thankful for his brothers in his life. Because I know family means so much to him. And Jared is the youngest. He's the youngest of seven. And I had an amazing mother-in-law. I have an amazing, we have an amazing mother-in-law who raised these kids, single and on her own. And people are always amazed that they actually turned out, that they, they came out and they're actually, I mean, it really - they just have a bond that they have. And I don't know what Jared would do without his family. There's just something special that he has with his brothers and his sisters and his mom. And everybody knows that Jared's the favorite. (laughter) I'm just joking. I always say that I'm the favorite. I say if I say it enough, people will start to believe it.
Well, you probably are..
No, it's totally not true.
You're up there and I'm down here.
No. Yeah, no one likes Susanna.
I'm going to go eat worms.
I love everything you just said about those men. And the reason I wanted to talk about them is because when I read Section 108, I'm like, this is the Erickson boys. They love me so much. And what makes me so emotional, is, I wouldn't have expected it for men to do this for me at a time that was so difficult. I mean, I married their sister's husband. Their sister died of breast cancer. And I, here I come into the scene. It would have been well within their right to not like me, or to still be grieving, and to need time, but they didn't. They were Section 108, verse 7.
So highlight verse 7, here's some background. This is a revelation given at the request of Lyman Sherman. And he just wanted to know, what's my duty? How do You want me to administer? What can I do? And I love how the Lord told Sherman, "Here's your duty. Here's what I want you to do." And it's verse 7. And Susanna, will you read that?
7 "Therefore strengthen your brethren in all your conversation, in all your prayers, in all your exhortations, and in all your doings."
Thank you. It is amazing to me that as crazy as the Erickson boys are, they do verse 7. They are examples to me of strengthening their brethren in all their prayers. I mean, we pray all the time as a family. Every time we get together, there's a prayer and or two involved. We pray for each other. And I love this even "in your conversations." They're always spirit-driven. We talk about church stuff, and "in all your exhortations." And I love that the word exhortation means to cheer or to encourage. And I've absolutely seen that in our family. I want to kind of talk about this because according to these verses, 7, and then let's read verse 8 also. Steph, will you read verse 8.
8 " And behold, and lo, I am with you to bless you and deliver you forever. Amen.
What a powerful blessing for people that can strengthen their brethren.
And they have that gift. Those
They're genuine. It's a real genuine love. And that's like Steph said, it is a gift.
And they don't get together very often. So when they do, there's joy, there will be joy. But what's really neat about those boys is, these men, is just hearing of how they serve their communities wherever we're at. And then coming together.
Yeah. That said, you know, we need all the help we can get in these last days. And we need strong, powerful people that hold us together. And I love every time he's with his buddies, or if he comes around someone that he hasn't seen for a long time, he's like, "Hey, you still believe, you still believe? And they're like, "Yep, Scott, we, we're in it." And he goes, "K, cuz we need ya". You know, and that's kind of how these boys are, is they gather people in and they love them. They're gonna fight till the end.
They're lifers. Well, I'm going to ask you on social media, because I just would love to know and hear some more answers about what are some of the ways that we can strengthen our brothren, I mean, talk about administering, that's a great way to administer to people is to strengthen and what does that look like for you in your life? or How have you been strengthened by someone in conversation, or in prayers or in expectations? And then at the end of verse 7, - in all your doings. So basically, in everything, strengthen each other.
And Susanne, I love how you said, Scott was like, ''cause we need you." That is so true. We need you, we need everybody. And we need to strengthen each other in any way that we can. Because Jesus is coming; He's absolutely coming. And he's gathering right now. And we are getting ready for an incredible coming of the Savior. So, I've loved all of the connections with this, and how special it will be with these Twelve special witnesses. Either they're special or they're not. That's what I've learned. I've loved our discussion. So thank you. Thank you, ladies. That's the end, we're done.
Big sigh. Not really. You have to think of your takeaways. So think really quickly, go back through everything we've studied and talked about today. And just tell me, what was your big takeaway?
My takeaway, there's a couple of them. But I loved just that verse of how we need to be when we make a decision. I'm going to try harder to be more patient and have meekness. I mean, Tammy, I remember when I met you, and you said that you prayed for long-suffering. And I thought, Oh, wow, she is a way better person than I am. So I'm going to work on those because it makes those decisions that the Prophet and Apostles have to make that much more special, because it does come from love. And all those spiritual aspects.
And then just Steph, I loved when you said that you sing Primary songs. It reminded me of Mona, because that's what she's always said, "Just sing Primary songs if you're in a, in a place where you can't leave." And I want my kids to know that if you're in a place like that, or anyone, that you don't feel good or comfortable, just remove yourself, even if you have to go in the bathroom and lock the door and sing Primary songs. Because the Lord will be there, and He'll help you through it.
I still sing my Primary songs.
I know my mom said, "That's all I want at my funeral, is just Primary songs.
My takeaway is also, is Susanna's. I need to make a checklist on my door before we leave, or in my scriptures of 107, verse 30. Because if you're trying to make a decision, and you're trying to live your life, and you have this checklist, it makes it so much easier, even though doing these things is pretty hard. And it takes a lot of faith in doing it.
Great takeaway. I liked our discussion on 106, verse 6, about the joy in heaven and how the scepter meant he was humble. And then the crafts of men when you said the chaos. That really struck with me because it is so chaotic, and how crafty men are in the world today and loud and chaotic. And then the idea of just stepping away from that, and how that will bring joy in heaven. Singing Primary hymns, joy in heaven. So thank you for doing that, because it reminded us of how we started. And all of this is about, again, joy in heaven. Great discussion. Thank you. I love you both so much.
Oh, we love you.
You made it so much easier. So I just, I'm thankful to be here. You'll still have me, then? I'll be a part of anything you do.
We'll still invite you.
Alright, we would love to hear what your big takeaway was from the episode. So if you have not joined our discussion group on Facebook or Instagram, just go join. It's so fun. And then you can ask questions throughout the week or just read what people have to say, which is so much fun. And then at the end of the week on Saturdays, we post a call asking for your big takeaway. So comment on the post that relates to this lesson, and just let us know what you've learned. And I read all of them and then on Mondays I do a video telling everybody what my favorite takeaway was that somebody shared. And there's always, it's hard to choose. Honestly, there's so many good ones.
You can find our information on Instagram and Facebook by going to the show notes for this episode on LDS Living.com/slash SundayonMonday. And you know what, it's not a bad idea to go there for reals for this section because there is so much information about patriarchs and more information about the priesthood. So go check those out. And we also have a transcript of this complete discussion. So go check that out.
The Sunday on Monday study group is a Deseret Bookshelf Plus Original brought to you by LDS Living. It's written and hosted by me, Tammy Uzelac Hall, and today our so incredible study group participants were Susanna and Stephanie Erickson. And you can find more information about these ladies at LDSLiving.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'll see you next week and boy, you better remember this week: You are God's favorite.
Annette Erickson, Kathleen and Bruce Burtenshaw, and the entire Burtenshaw clan - Hi guys!
Transcribed by Jenee Uzelac