42: “Before I Formed Thee in the Belly I Knew Thee” (Jeremiah 1–20)
Have you ever had that sinking feeling when you find out someone snooped in your diary? Or maybe you've done the snooping yourself? In someone's journal you can learn all about that person's most personal experiences—their pains, joys, hopes, and dreams. Well, the books of Jeremiah and Lamentations are no exception. In these writings, we learn about the deepest and most personal thoughts of a great prophet. But in Jeremiah 1–20, we also learn that despite Jeremiah's sorrows, God had a plan for him—and it serves as a powerful reminder that He has a plan for us too.
Jeremiah 15:10 (We hear of Jeremiah’s mother)
CR: 1 Nephi 1:4
Jeremiah 10:10 (Jeremiah’s testimony)
Jeremiah = God will raise up
“Most prophetic books in the Old Testament focus primarily on the word of the Lord as revealed by the prophets but not on the lives of the prophets themselves. The book of Jeremiah is an exception. In addition to including Jeremiah’s prophecies, the book contains biographical information about Jeremiah and insights into the emotional and mental anguish he sometimes experienced as he ministered in the midst of so much opposition” (see Jeremiah 8:18–9:2; 15:15–18; 20:7–9; 26; 32; 37–38). (Old Testament Teacher Manual: Jeremiah)
Jeremiah 1:4-5 (God knows us)
Foreordination = “The doctrine of foreordination applies to all members of the Church, not just to the Savior and His prophets. Before the creation of the earth, faithful women were given certain responsibilities and faithful men were foreordained to certain priesthood duties. Although you do not remember that time, you surely agreed to fulfill significant tasks in the service of your Father. As you prove yourself worthy, you will be given opportunities to fulfill the assignments you then received” (True to the Faith: A Gospel Reference , 70).
Jeremiah 1:6-9 (God calls child Jeremiah to be a prophet)
Jeremiah 1:10 (Thesis of Jeremiah)
Jeremiah 2:13 (Don’t forsake the Savior)
Jeremiah 3:12 (Proclaim repentance)
Jeremiah 3:21-22 (He can heal us)
Jeremiah 3:25 (Repent)
Jeremiah 3:13-14 (Follow God and no one else)
Jeremiah 6:16 (Stand on the good way)
Backsliding = meshuvah - turning back, apostasy
Return = teshuvah - repentance
Jeremiah 16:16-18 (Hunters and fishers of men)
Good Fisher and Hunters need:
Patience, bait, skill, intuitive, know your prey, go to your prey, see everything.
Jeremiah 18:2-6 (The potter’s house)
“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of—throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.” (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: Touchstone, 1996), 175–176.)
When I was a teenager, I totally kept a journal. And it was your typical teenage journal - stories about family, friends parties, you know, dances I never got asked to and countless stories of unrequited love. Well, one day I went to write in my journal and I found three pieces of paper that had been inserted by my dad. He wrote at the beginning, "Dearest Tammy. I stumbled, okay, snooped upon your journal." And then he wrote me a very loving long letter right there in my journal. Now, I wasn't really devastated because unfortunately, there wasn't anything in there to be devastated about. But the reason I share this with you is because the book of Jeremiah and Lamentations both read like we are stumbling upon someone's journal. That's how intimate the writings of Jeremiah are. And I think you're going to love this prophet.
Welcome to the Sunday Monday Study Group, a Deseret Bookshelf Plus original brought to you by LDS Living, where we take the Come, Follow Me lesson for the week and we really dig into the scriptures together. I'm your host, Tammy Uzelac Hall. K, if you're new to our study group, just want to make sure 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 podcast to enhance your Come, Follow Me study, just like my friend, Melinda Crapo, who crocheted me the cutest little red heart. So hi, Melinda and thank you. Now another awesome thing - my favorite thing about the study group - is each week we're joined by two of my friends, so it's always a little bit different. But I am so excited. As H.B. said, "The band is back." And we have a little reunion tour. Here we got HB and Tamu. Hello, ladies!
Oh, oh, oh. We are so excited, aren't we?
I've been looking forward to this. This is the only reason I've held on today.
I feel like that too, though. You're gonna, I've been living for this moment tonight. Living for this episode. And Tamu, you have some exciting news.
I do, I have a new grandbaby! Her name is Jane Elizabeth. My daughter actually not that we, I think as women we make this mistake of comparing ourselves. But actually I did compare myself a little bit when she was giving birth and I was just like, Oh, so, oh, so we're doing it without an epidural. Cool, whatever. You don't get a trophy for it. She did it.
Good for her. You know what, my doctor he came in and said that cuz I had an epidural. And he said, "I mean, it was probably a little bit easier because you had an epidural." And I said, "Let me be very clear. I still climb Mount Everest. The epidural was my Sherpa." Like I still did the work, okay.
And my doctor, on the other hand was like, please get the epidural. People get 'em all the time. It doesn't mean you didn't have it naturally. Just get it so we can all breathe.
Yeah, they knocked me out; I have no memory of giving birth.
Oh, yeah, you were out cold.
Yeah, I was out cold. And you know what? Still feels pretty natural.
They still got here.
Yeah. They're still here.
Those triplets? Absolutely. So, okay. Well, if you guys are listening and you want to know more about my friends, you know what we say? Go to our show notes, which are on LDS living.com/sunday On Monday, and you can read their bios and see their pictures. And I think we still have the awesome picture of Tamu on roller skates. So I'm gonna recommend you go check that out.
It's pretty awesome. It is.
Okay, so grab your scriptures, something to write with, and you will for sure need your scripture journals or a piece of paper. I'm already going to tell you about that. So get all of that together and we are going to begin our study of Jeremiah. All right, you two. Have you guys ever read someone's journal? or had your journal read? How about that story at the beginning?
Yeah, I cannot confirm or deny. I mean, I certainly don't want to incriminate myself. And yes, I have had my journal read. And yes, it did create a situation between me and my cousin, Robert Cole Jr. and I say his whole name because I actually broke the window on his car because he had my journal and I threw something at it. And it was a mess. It was a mess. You know teenage years.
Wow! That's a good story.
I didn't throw it to break the window. But apparently I threw it harder than what I thought I did.
But ya got the journal.
I got that and I got beat down. So I mean, you better be respectin journals.
Then yeah, something to write about
It wasn't a really a type of like or anything like it was, it was,it was crazy at the time, but really, it was not what he thought it was going to be when he took my journal. He says, You have a boring life. And I was lilke, it was exciting to me.
Yeah. That was my journal. Sure. Sure. Real, real boring.
Well, my journals have been under lock and key,especially during the single years. I was so afraid that maybe one of my children might stumble upon it and question all their life choices as I was doing in the 90s. And so, boy, oh boy, but then, you know, I think last year I just said, Whatever. Read what you want, and want what you read. You know? Yeah, because when I would look back on that time, I was so embarrassed that I felt that way. And now I just think, Wow, we got to be where we are. Right?
Yeah, well, and my kids don't want anything to do with my journals. They don't like to read, kinda like me. So there you go. HB, maybe your kids can come over and read my journals. Your kids love to read.
I'll read your journals,Tammy.
Yeah, you ever you. You're welcome to read my journals. So I want to read this quote. The reason why I want to talk about these journals is because this is such an interesting fact about the book of Jeremiah. HB, will you read this quote for us, please.
"Most prophetic books in the Old Testament focus primarily on the word of the Lord as revealed by the prophets, but not on the lives of the prophets themselves. The book of Jeremiah is an exception. In addition to including Jeremiah's prophecies, the book contains biographical information about Jeremiah and insights into the emotional and mental anguish he sometimes experienced as he ministered in the midst of so much opposition."
Thank you. So I kind of feel like we're reading Jeremiah's journal. Like for the next two weeks, as we cover Jeremiah and lamentations, we're gonna read about his personal anguish and what he is experiencing emotionally and mentally. So kind of keep that in mind as you guys are studying the book of Jeremiah. Here's some fun facts about Jeremiah that I just want to share with you. So we've got this: #1, we have Jeremiah, he was born into a family of priests and into a Levite family. #2, his mother is mentioned in Jeremiah 15:10, you can go there and mark that. And now back when we were studying 2 Kings, we all drew a map that explained the division of the kingdoms: the Northern Kingdom and the Southern Kingdom. What we want to know is Jeremiah is preaching to the Southern Kingdom of Judah, approximately 40 years, seeking to stem the tide of idolatry and immorality. So think of that. He was eventually imprisoned in Jerusalem, and according to tradition, they stoned him to death.
Now, we know Jeremiah wrote the book; he's responsible for much of the content. He also used scribes to help write these words, and his preaching. Now, this is kind of cool. You guys are gonna like this. His preaching overlapped with the ministries of other prophets, including Lehi, from the Book of Mormon. So in the Book of Mormon in 1 Nephi 1:4 where it says, "There came many prophets, prophesying unto the people that they must repent, or the great city of Jerusalem must be destoyed." He's talking about Jeremiah. He's also including Zephaniah in that. So I thought that was pretty neat. Like Jeremiah, Lehi are contemporaries that would have probably known each other.
I wonder if they had like, prophet club?
Yeah, maybe. Potluck for sure.
Or just like, you know
A prophet pot luck? Like,
Yeah, prophet pot...Yeah, they're having that downtown every other Sunday.
You bet they are.
Yeah, no, I just
Tamu's been to one, Tamu, you've been to one of those right? You've been you've been invited to a prophet potluck.
Um, kind of. I went to a birthday party. They had no cake.
Birthday Party, oh. I was excited, I bought a new dress. I thought I was gonna be at an actual party. It was another church service.
That's a real let down.
That is a let down. No cake?
But I was thinking maybe they, you know, got together to, I don't know, like, confer and comfort one another. And who knows?
Yeah. It's kind of cool to think about. So somewhere on their page of Jeremiah put that cross reference - ! Nephi 1:4. Jeremiah's name means 'God will raise up'. Pretty cool. So in Hebrew, that's what his name means. His testimony is what I love. So somewhere on your page, put Jeremiah 10:10. And we're just gonna go there real fast and read his testimony because it's short and sweet and powerful. Tamu, will you read for us Jeremiah 10:10. This is his testimony.
Okay, I'm reading this out of the Good News Bible, the Ghana Edition. And it's Jeremiah 10:10.
"But you, Lord, are the true God, you are the living God, and the eternal King. When you are angry, the world trembles and nations cannot endure your anger."
Oh, I like that def; that is a good version. Wow, powerful words, right? Calls Him the true and living God. That's Jeremiah's testimony of the god: He's a true God, a living God, the Everlasting King. Powerful stuff, so that's what we need to know about Jeremiah. And in the next segment, we're going to begin our study of Jeremiah. We're going to study the word of the Lord to him, as well as we're just going to read from his journal as what we're going to kind of think about it, and why he was prophesying to a wicked people who needed to repent.
Segment 2 9:51
Okay, so ladies, I have not really annotated my scriptures like this since my mission and I, I was not anticipating getting getting sucked into this like I was. But I'll tell you what, I yeah, I found this like, visceral. I mean,
What do you mean by that?
Like, like Jeremiah was gut-wrenched, like he gave it his all in these writings, you know, he laid it down. You know, I'm sure you're gonna help us out with this. But I finished chapter one here and I kind of have some second thoughts about just just how invested I am in all of this, you know? I was like, whoa, whoa, yeah. And so I'm excited to dig into this with the with the two of you, because this is some, this is scary stuff in here. It doesn't seem like there's a lot of leeway.
Yeah, it's a good way to put it, for sure. So we're gonna put in our show notes, a picture of all of HBs notes, you would not believe this. I haven't seen annotating done like that since you were in college. That's impressive.
Okay, this is gonna be fun to dig into this. All right, so let me ask you this question to both of you. I want you to think back to what your life plan was when you were young? Is it different? Or the same than you expected?
How is it different?
I was at a friend's house and I don't know where my yearbook is from my senior year, you know how you leave your, your senior message to yourself and like, there's that last newspaper. And my friend had it in his yearbook, and mind said some things. So it was crazy. It was like, So I'm leaving here and I'm going to run track at Mount SAC. (Junior College in California). And if that, and then when I'm done there, I'm gonna go into the Air Force. And I'm gonna, like I had all these plans and then it was like at 27 - I specifically said, I don't know why - at 27 I'm going to serve a mission for my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And then and that's where I'll find my husband.
A little bit different.
Everyone was going on their mission looking for a husband except for me. Apparently, that's what I was gonna do.
Oh, I I love that. I loved every Elder I ever met.
Oh I would've married any male Elder from my mission, while I was on my mission. Who are we kidding?
Oh, yeah. "If called upon by the Holy Spirit"? You bet.
SoTamu, how was your life different then? You gave us how you thought it would be? What ended up happening?
So, I did go to Mount SAC. I knew I was going to Mount SAC. I went to Mount SAC, I started in the summer - it's a track school and it just was not, it wasn't for me. And so I did a summer term and sent myself right back home and worked and told my parents, I'm just gonna go to Ricks (college) I'll work and you know, because I think they were a little bit disappointed. I met Keith when I came home, my husband, when I came home, and by the time I got to Ricks I was married. So
How old were you?
Oh, so you're living my life plan? Sure.
That was not part of the plan. But yeah, I did not meet him on his mission. And he did not meet me on, I did not meet him on my mission. And he did not meet me on his
Yeah Tamu, that's your vision board. At circa 86.
Yeah, yeah, a little different for me. Okay, I want us to go in the book of Jeremiah, because we're going to read about Jeremiah's nearly 40-year life plan that I don't think he had any idea about. So let's go to Jeremiah chapter one. And we're going to read verses 4 and 5. Here we go. HB Will you read those verses for us.
1:4 "Then the word of the LORD came unto me saying, Jeremiah,
5 "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations."
Okay, let's just talk about that verse. Now, HB, you have annotated stuff about that verse. And I want to know what're your thoughts on this? So what do you think it means "before I formed thee in the belly"? "I knew thee". Like, what does that teach us about Jeremiah and our relationship with God?
You know, it just goes along with what we know; that we didn't come into existence the day we're born. Right? And, you know, we've, we've always been since our spirits were created, but I, I really, I really like that. It's so personal, that the Lord is saying here, I've always, you know, I've, I've always known you. I've always known you and then you know, when you think about it like that, and that relationship that comes from, you know, somebody who has I've always known you, you know. I think about my, my very oldest and dearest friends and there's just so much understanding between you and forbearance and grace and love and cheerleading and like all those, just being surrounded in that love. And so, I don't know. I really I really like that.
I liked how you personalized it by saying at the beginning "Jeremiah, before I formed thee". I wrote my name next to that. So now it says "Tammy, before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee." And TAMU, "before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee. Before thou camest forth out of the womb, I sanctified thee. I want to know from you, Tamu, what does that teach you about God?
So for me, it just, I talked about in my notes, I say, you know,v this is something that Jeremiah is not the only, I mean, I think that when God speaks to one, He speaks to us all. And Jeremiah is not the only one who was foreordained. We were all forordained to something
Pause right there. Hold on, everybody write that word that she just said, next to verse 5, put 'foreordained'. I'm so glad you said that word foreordained. We're gonna talk about that. Keep going Tamu.
And so as I was reading that I was thinking about what what does it mean to be foreordained? And and I feel very blessed in my life. Because in my, my formative years, my first year as my foundation of religion was a religion that really pushed you to know who you were in Christ. to help you build a testimony in Christ separate of my, my uncle, who was the pastor, separate of any of my family members. To really try to forge that relationship between myself and my, my God, and with Jesus as our Savior. And so as I went, I was thinking of that being foreordained. And before he, he knew him. He knew who he was, and the mother, you know, I formed you in your mother's womb, I knew you. And it made me there, there were so many thoughts that I had, but also knowing that before you know who you are, before you step into your blessings, before you step into your voice, God knows you and he forordained you. And you are, like your blessing is coming.
And so when things don't work out for, you know that you are forordained, believe that you are forordained and seek like, figure out for yourself what that means. For me, I have always felt a connection and felt I do feel foreordained, I really do. And and when you feel foreordained in Christ, you feel foreordainied in the word, it, it helps you to be able to navigate differently. So and the only way that I can explain that while I love President Nelson, if President Nelson declares tomorrow, which he won't, but if he did that he was leaving the church, I was feel sad. But that's his testimony. And he gets to do what he wants to do because we have free agency. That does not affect my walk with God, that does not affect my membership in the church.
And so I just, I feel like God has has chosen me for something. And I want to find out what that is.
You know, Tamu, you joined the church as a child. Is that right?
Yeah, I was 10. How old? Are you?
Yeah, so we were about the same age. And I went to church before that, a beautiful church. But it wasn't, it wasn't a personalized gospel at all. You just kind of did things out of duty because the Puritans did and so that's what we do, too. And I remember the day of my baptism, going back into my room, and feeling this overwhelming feeling that I had a work to do, that there was something special about me, that was different from everybody else. And it's, I mean, I remember that as clear as day. And I think that's so beautiful how you described that, that you, you had always known about that relationship, you know, you were raised that way. And but, you know, I think that, that can dawn on people at any time in their life, and it's come back to me many times, especially when things have not gone my way, right, the way I wanted them to.
And I think that I agree with you. I think that for me, I knew at an early age because I had to know at an early age, right? I don't think that I could be this age for me. And God knows my, He knew my spirit, He knows me. And so for me being the age that I am, I don't know that I would have joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It had to be something when I was young and I was moldable. And when I had, when I had real questions that that nobody else could answer, and not only could they not answer it, no, they couldn't explain it away. And there was no justification for why things were the way they were, except for, and the answers that I would eventually become okay with, were only answers that were held and found in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Had I been older, I would have figured out, my brain would have just allowed me to, to be okay with the way things were. And within my family, having the positions that we had in the Church of God in Christ, it just would have been okay for me. And I just would have been in another church, and I think that that would have been fine, too. I think that foreordination you know, it's something for the most part for for those of us lay people, is for us personally to help to solidify our relationship with with our Heavenly, you know, Parents and our brother, Jesus Christ. It's supposed to help us connect greater, better with them, and also with each other. And so I just, I think that I, I look at who God talks to at a young age, and what they go on to do.
And you know, Tamu, when you said that I, I read in that moment, you know, in that process of joining the church, which took a few months, I felt like that that was the first time that God saw me. Like, when I asked to know if the church is true, I remember saying, Hello, God, this is Holly Butterfield. I mean, you know, it was very formal. I, you know, just to get, because I didn't know that He knew me. And so reading this is, is really is beautiful to me, because I didn't, I didn't know that. But you're absolutely right, that, you know, we come into it at the right time.
When as both of you shared your story, I mean, I felt in my heart, that what you were saying was true. I love that moment, where you knew you were foreordained, and I appreciate Tamu that you said is for everyone. It's not just for a few people. Like this is such a great quote, it's from the "True to the Faith:, a handbook. This is what it says about foreordination.
"The doctrine of foreordination applies to all members of the church, not just to the Savior and His prophets. Before the creation of the Earth, faithful women were given certain responsibilities and faithful men were foreordained to certain priesthood duties. Although you do not remember that time, you surely agreed to fulfill significant tasks in the service of your Father. As you prove yourself worthy, you will be given opportunities to fulfill the assignment you then received."
And I just like, I love how both of you said you both felt like you had certain responsibilities, like you knew there was something you were supposed to do. My question is for people who are listening, how can you find that out? There's probably people wondering, Well, how do I know what I've been foreordained to do? Well, what would your answer be?
I want to go back to what you read Tammy, and I wrote down "God lives in eternity and we reside in time" The ladder is a matrix that God created within eternity. So God sees us as our eternal selves, the interaction between Him and Jeremiah in chapter 1, really, I got to see things in chapter 1 that I had not seen before. Because, you know, I'm developing this different relationship with the Old Testament. Just because when we come here, we forget. We forget, right? And when we forget, because we've forgotten it doesn't mean that God forgot, because He's eternal. And so He, the remembrances in the things that He says to Jeremiah in here, in chapter 1, to me, it spoke to me because He talks about, He says to Jeremiah it's his job to root out, pull down, destroy, throw down, build, and plant. And so, so it just, it was, it's one of those things that it was, it was as I was reading it, it was an aha moment for me because God is eternal. And we are eternal beings, Like we can, we have opportunities to become eternal beings, but God is eternal. We are eternal beings, but we have to go through this earth life. And when we come through that portal, we forget. But God remembers. And He knows us. And He knows what are, like He knows what He has created in us, He knows what is in us and be, He knew that before we were in the womb because we dwelt with Him. And so to me, it just took me on this journey, this beautiful journey. He knew that, He knows me because He knew me. And, and if He knew me, that must mean that I knew Him. And so it made me think about when we are lost, when we're lost, you're not lost unless you are coming from someplace, You're not lost unto yourself, you're lost because you know who you,, you come from someplace, and someone is looking for you.
So let me ask you this, then, for everyone who's listening, and people are wondering. They haven't experienced what you both, either one of you have, what's your advice to someone? How do you know what you're foreordained to do? or how do you know if God knew you? How can they have the experience you've had?
When you, when you said that, Tammy, and just listening to Tamu, I had the thought, they've, all of us have already started. We just have to recognize it. So it's not like God's holding out on you. And just, you know, going to kind of keep it a secret, what you're meant to be here to do. But other things cloud our vision, and we get lost, like Tamu said. And, but if you, I believe if we take a moment to reflect on our lives, and even the last week or two or, you know, then I think that the Spirit will let us know exactly why we're here. That was so great.
That was so great. I think you're right on.
I don't know, don't, what I need to do os lose our confidence in that, like, we're, you know, Well, what am I really here to do? Well, first of all, like, about 5 million things, right? It's not just, it's not just one thing, and I don't mean do like do the dishes and like, you know, walk through a Walmart like your soul has died. (laughter) But it's, you know,
I walk through Walmart every day, like,
every time, because I don't write a list. But like, you know, it gets clouded by other things, but yeah.
But He knows you. He knows you. That's the key to all of this.
Yeah. And, and we, and we actually already do know, we just have to uncover it.
Perfectly said. Thank you, both of you.
I have a question for both of you. Did you feel like like, in your life, do you feel like you were ever like, you feel like you were out of place? Like even amongst your family do you feel different? Do you feel like, umm
Yeah For sure.
And so that's where, I mean, I, it made me think about Jeremiah the kid. And what his life looked like. Because I remember being the, I was such an awkward kid, because I was the kid that was like, Oh, let's go to church, And my cousins were like, what's wrong with you? And I mean, I would always like, whenever I was dating a guy, I was like, you want to go to church with me? And of course, they're not going to say no, but I mean, and so I just thought that for me, it just felt so natural. But then the older I got, the more I felt very different from everyone else. And so it made me, when you are going through this process, it made me think about Jeremiah, and what type of kid he was, and what type of teenager he was and what type of young adult he was.
Because when you're foreordained, the things that you want to do sometimes don't always align with what God has for you to do. And so when things aren't working out, and you feel out of place, I mean, those are things that we need to recognize. And, really, it's hard to say, it's hard to say it when you're going through it, but when you're feeling out of place and you're, you're feeling like you're, and you just don't match up with everybody else in the family and what they want to do, or your friends and you just feel a little bit off. I think that that is when it's time for us to then turn to our Father and say, what is it that I am supposed to be doing?
Okay, oh my gosh. I love that you asked that question, because in the next segment we are going to get to take a little peek into possibly who Jeremiah was as a little kid. Because I think this next conversation feeds into something about him. I'm so glad you asked that. So we're going to do that in the next segment.
Segment 3 29:56
Okay, so let's go Right now everybody jumping into Jeremiah 1:6, that's where we're going to start. And I want to know according to this verse, how did Jeremiah respond to this calling as the prophet? HB; read verse 6.
1:6 "Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child."
Okay, how would you respond put that into normal terms for us?
Well, and I want to change that because the am is italicized. For I am a child. You know, as we were having the discussion we just had I think, that, you know, the Lord is saying I foreordained you, but we feel the weight of that, like, you gotta be ready to roll. But the the Lord knows that we grow into that through our experiences, right. And so you know, I don't know, Tam, I'm and Tamu I'm looking at this. I mean, he seems like he's saying like, whoa, whoa, I, I can't like I can't be a prophet. I'm not ready for that. What are you talking about? It's not. That's exactly me, Jeremiah.
What about you, Tamu. In verse six. Jeremiah's response: I can't, I'm a child. How do we say that in our modern day terms when we get a calling
Urban translate it, Tammy? Is that what you mean?
I love it when you do that.
Jeremiah was like God, please. God, stop playing with me. You know, I'm 12. Right? You got all them other people. You got you have Moses got to be old. Yeah, kids. I mean, you
You can put me on the bench.
Like, you know, I'm a kid. Give me some time.
I am not prepared for this. Yeah, there's no way.
I mean I had to be reminded to shower by my mom.
So here's my problem. I think every time I get a calling, I think you bet. I'm at a rock this then I then I get in a month. And I think, Wow, this is a you know, like the first morning of the MTC when you're rollover, and you're next to that yellow cinderblock wall. And you say, I have made a terrible, terrible decision.
I am way over my head in for sure. Okay, let's go to verses seven through nine then because we're going to see how the Lord responds to his lack of confidence, insecurity, whatever it is, I think that just kind of plays into why Jeremiah felt like he couldn't. It's interesting because he you you do go into callings, like great. I'm all over it. And sometimes we go into things like, like Tammy said, I don't think this is not going to be a good fit.
Like he goes into college like that. He would not be the person that got caught because she too excited. He's like, she don't know. Forgive her father. She knows.
Yeah, exactly. The all one of the only times I yeah, I am overconfident, not like I think I'm gonna be the best at it. But when I paid $5 in Sacramento to go to circus school, and I found myself yeah, they had a circus school. They're real circus school with Eastern European trainers. And like, you know, they're making fun of, you know, naughty accom and each is trainer Bella. They're like all ballet. What could he do you know? And oh, yeah, yeah. Next thing I know, I'm up on top of a ladder with the trapeze bar in my hands. Took me 45 minutes to let go. I thought, You know what, I've trained all my life for this. i There's nothing's gonna stop me now. So I got up on top of that ladder and I realized I was in way over my head. Apparently you weren't foreordained for that.
I was not ordained to be in the circus.
Okay, let's read these verses because the Lord's response is phenomenal. So Tammy read for us, verses seven through nine,
Seven through nine. But the Lord said to me, Do not say that you were too young. But go to the people I send you to and tell them everything I command you to say, Do not be afraid of them for I will be with you to protect you. I the LORD have spoken. Then the Lord stretched out his hand and touched my lips. And he said to me Listen, I am giving you the words you must speak.
Now Tamu, you brought this verse up earlier, the verse eight and it didn't say it the same way in your Bible as it doesn't ours but you love this verse. It says, Be not afraid of their faces, for I am with thee to deliver thee safely saith the Lord. Why did you like that verse?
I liked that verse because It was in my mind, I see this happening. And I see how young Jeremiah is. But also the fact that he is speaking to people he knows. People who know. And so would I be bold, I can be bold with my friend Tammy, I can be bold with my homegirl HB, am I going to be bold with my neighbors? Am I going to be bold with my bishop? Am I going to be bold with people who know way more about the scriptures than I do? Because God is telling me to be bold. And so he's saying to him, like, like, Look, don't pay attention to their faces, their faces might look shocked, their faces might look disappointed their faces might look, however they're going to look and when sometimes I think about it, when we take our eye off of the goal, and we look at the faces of the people, we become discouraged. Because we know, I mean, people sounds like people of old are just like people of today, when they're disgusted with you, or disappointed their faces don't lie. And I wish they did sometimes, but their faces didn't back then. So we are who we are: don't look at their faces because I don't want you to be discouraged. I need you, I have a work for you to do. And when you look at them, it will distract you.
I have a question for you. Tamu. Because you know, you, you're a public figure. And sometimes I read through the comments that are made. And first I try to find their address, so I can go cut them. But then I get through that. And I think it's so interesting that someone feels someone who is in the same who's made the same covenants that that you have made that I have made. Like, like you can see that like contempt, you can't see their faces, because it's a comment. But like, how does that not like, like, decimate you?
Well, because I mean, really, if I'm thinking about it, God knew me before I got here. My mission may not be their mission. My relationship with God clearly is different than their relationship with God. And so my trust and my faith is in the Lord. And if he says move, I'm going to move. And if people don't like that, take it up with him. I don't always want to be in a position of saying, Yeah, I don't agree with that. Or I don't believe that. Or, you know, I don't always want to be in a place where I'm having feel like I have to tell people or remind people, Hey, we made these baptismal covenants not to argue with each other. But actually, if I'm mourning, you said that you would mourn with me if I need comforting. You said, If you don't need it, that's fine for you. But this is what I need. So can you do this for me? Can you yoke up with me? And, and your truth doesn't always have to be my truth. Right? But then it can still be your truth. And so I think that when people but when people come from a place of people come from a place of fear, because if you believe something different than what they believe, and there are times where like, you can believe the same thing in Christ. I mean, you could believe different things in Christ and still be right.
That's crazy you just said that. Because Tammy and I were just having breakfast with our old college friend Sandy. And she she said that she thinks people are more threatened. When, when someone in your ward or your family circle or friends circle worships different than the way you do. It's not so much from the outside, but when it's from the inside, and when when people don't live the gospel the way you think it's supposed to be lived, then, oh, man, oh, man, like we've we feel really threatened by that.
It's when we allow because we allow the Article of Faith number 11 for people outside of our faith, but we don't allow for article of faith number 11 for people within our faith, let them worship how where or what they may, right?
Yeah, we believe that we and I was just actually talking to my doctor yesterday about this whole thing. Hey Lisa, how you doing girl, but I'm just talking to her yesterday about this same thing because I think that we we make room for people who are coming into the church or people who are investigating the church. We do not make room for people to be at different stages of their testimony within the church and when they are and it is something that is contrary to what we believe to be right, we push back on it. And then we tried like it's almost and there's there's a shaming that comes along with that, right? That there's this shaming of and I can't believe that you're not here yet. And,
And I've done that I have done that in my youth where I I've thought like, well, that's not the way we do that. That's like, there's there's only one way we do that, you know, we make the green jello the way you make the green jello, although I I never have and we don't have that Maine. But, you know, I've gotten caught up in that before. And it just breeds ugliness.
Well, this is so interesting, because look at verse 10. I've never connected this verse to this, this conversation, I've thought in a different way. But now that we've had this conversation, how much more powerful is verse 10? Because here's Jeremiah's assignment. And, Tamu, you brought this up in our earlier segment. But if you're wondering like, Well, how do I allow people to experience Article of Faith number 11 in my church, and and how can I do all of this, I think it's pretty cool. We have some action words in verse 10. And now it gives me a new perspective on who Jeremiah is teaching, especially when you said, Tamu, He knows their faces, like these are people that he's going to know. And so these are going to be people who are active, not active, middle, active, whatever they are. Let's look at verse 10. And as I read this verse, I want you to, to circle all the action words that the Lord wants Jeremiah to do in this verse, here we go. "See, I have this day, to set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms to root out and to pull down and to destroy, and to throw down, to build and to plant." What are all the words right there?
Yeah, the first one is set. I didn't notice that before when I was reading.
Yeah I didn't even recognize that!
Like my mission leaders, Dave and Connie Bailey used to say to us, that you are born at the right time in the right place to be in the best chance to get back to your heavenly parents. And when I see that, like, God is saying, I have set you right here right now at this time to do to do all of these things.
Wow. And there's a lot and you start out with him being harsh to root out, pull down, destroy, throw down. But don't we love how he ends with build and plant? Yeah, and I think there's a sense of peace in that like, oh, okay.
I said, because God is the Master Gardener that just sounds like yard work to me. Pull out, destroy, throw down.
But when I think about the things I really need, when I think about the things that really need to be rooted out of my own self, it's judgment it's intolerance. It's lack of faith and confidence in the men and women around me. It's like, you know, like, those things need to be like, those are the things I need routed out.
Yeah. Yep. And the Prophet encouraged us root out racism. I could do this verse. So many ways. Yeah. So good. So I want you next to verse 10. Put thesis statement. How do you like that HB my English professor.
I'm sorry, Professor Uzelac. Yes.
Verse 10, is the thesis statement of Jeremiah. So in the next segment, and throughout today, as well as in the next week, we're gonna see how the mission of the Prophet went, and how he did when it came to all those words, rooting out, pulling down, destroying, throwing down building and planting, and we'll talk about that next.
In Jeremiah three, there is one word that is repeated many times, so I asked my guests to look for it and come prepared to discuss the word. Ladies, what is the word?
Backsliding! Very good. Now for those of you listening, you can find it in verse six, in verse 8, in verse 11, verse 12, verse 14, so go ahead and mark it. Oh, and then in verse 22, we're gonna talk about the word backsliding. Now this is interesting, because in Hebrew, the word for backsliding is meshuva. It means turning back or apostasy. Now we're gonna talk about this word. And I asked both of you to consider this question. What context does the Lord use the word for backsliding? Why does he repeat it so many times about these people?
I think issues in the context of I don't want to say sin but turning back to their, their idol worshipping.
Yeah, I mean, definitely. Yeah, definitely there are just like, you know, yeah, like going back to what's comfortable, or what made sense before or, you know, I noticed in verse 22, though, that backsliding is an adjective, and it's also a noun in verse 22. So the Lord says, return, come back, you backsliding children, and I will heal your backsliding.
Right. And so it's not just that they're turning their back on the lord over and over and over. Because there's something that can be healed. It's a thing, right, that, that the Lord will heal that. And so I was thinking about, like, it's really not all or nothing. I know, we talked, we talked a lot about fence setting and black and white and gray and at but I think that really kind of oversimplifies that. You know, you can have a backsliding moment or time period in one aspect of the gospel. But you don't have to throw the baby out with the bathwater, right? Like just because you're struggling with with one thing. You know, it's not all or nothing.
What's the imagery of backsliding, like, in my mind, I'm thinking of me climbing up a hill. And yeah, it's muddy, and I'm up, and then all of a sudden, I lose my grasp, and I fall back and trying to get my feet solid again, I'm trying to find a footing for them. And I finally do, and I'm stopped. And I'm like, okay, but I look around for a different way to climb back up that mountain, and I go a little to the right, and I go up a little bit. And then I slide down a little bit more, because I was like, that's the imagery in my mind. Is that the right image that we're, he's trying to portray in this verse? Like, as saints, we're moving a little bit up, and then we lose footing or whatever, like, tell me about that? Why would he use the word backsliding?
I don't know. I'm from Maine, and you can, you can be driving along in the snow. And you think everything's, you know, hunky dory. And then it just gets slick. And you, you end up taking all kinds of different paths to get from point A to point B, you know, within 100 feet. And so I picture it that way to Tam that, like, you're scrambling up this, you know, kind of rough terrain. And then sometimes you have to, I don't know, it's kind of part of your life, you sometimes you, you know, it's too hard to keep going straight up. So you go back down, and you realize you're further from where you wanted to be, but it gives you a chance to go a different way.
Growing up in in the Pentecostal church, that they actually still use the term backsliding today.
Oh, absolutely. Yeah. Like, oh, have you seen you know, where's Tamu? Oh, you know, we haven't seen her for a while. But she's, she's backsliding, she's still, like, you're still on the path. You're just, you know, you just back slid, and so you backslid into your old way of life. But you're still on this path. Because once you know God, you know God. And so you're still on the path, you just, you know, lost some footing and, and, you know, if sometimes they'll come and they'll get you as fishers of men. And sometimes they allow you to walk whatever journey you walk and keeping in touch with you, because you are backsliding.
So what are some examples of backsliding? Let's talk about this, because there's some obviously, you know, there's some very obvious ones, but there's also some little subtle ones too, like, you know, starter kit for backsliders. Like, what are we talking about here, especially in the world we live in today.
So I was just saying that it's amazing to me that so many people in the scriptures get their testimony. And even Joseph Smith gets his testimony at an early age. So saying that God works with children. And I think that as adults sometimes we forget this because I mean, it also goes back to don't look at their faces when you share your testimony when I when you do these things. Because I can tell you that if one of my kids came to me and was like, Mom, you gotta get your life together. You just like I would just... if they looked at my face, they would not talk to me ever again. I would just be in shock. And so my face would not look like shock it will probably look like anger, because that's probably what I was feeling like like, who are you like to tell me how to live my life, and so that God not only works with children, but that it works through them. And I think that as adults, we forget that, but also the flip side of that is so to Satan. And so and I think that when God went Satan, like, just like we just like God knows that we were foreordained. Because he remembers, he remembers us. Satan remembers us. And so he knows which one of us which ones that he really should attack, because of what they were foreordained to do.
Mm hmm. Yeah, I agree with that. And I, you know, I, I see Satan right now, like, we always talk about how he's wily and tricky. But right now, I don't think he's been very tricky, it's just like blatant, a blatant assault on young people. Just in every possible digital way. And in online life. I mean, it's, he is undermining their very self worth. They are placed in this kind of never ending loop of constant information and this comparison trap, because their brains are ready to process those things that they see online. And Satan is like, oh, boy, howdy. This is gonna be perfect.
Yeah. Well, I think in Jeremiah chapter three, one of the most powerful verses about backsliding is found in verse 12. Because if we're wondering, well, then how do we combat this? In verse 12, he calls out the children of Israel, he calls them the backsliding Israel. But here's how here's why they back slid. And if we can just flip this and go, Oh, this is how we can prevent ourselves from backsliding. I thought this was awesome. But one of the verses that I want us to go to is before he started calling them out for their backsliding. He calls them out for what is their main sin. Go back to Jeremiah chapter two. And we're going to look at verse 13. Because if we can flip this verse and do these things, then I think that was how we're going to be able to overcome backsliding. He says in verse 13, for my people have committed two evils, and here are their evils. Number one, they have forsaken me, the fountain of the living waters, so they have forsaken Christ, and two, and hewed them out cisterns broken cisterns that can hold no water. So they created the cistern thinking, oh, if I make a cistern that looks like I'm gonna hold the water, but they knew it was broken, they've always known along, they weren't really going to carry any water at all. It was just for show. And so if we can just teach right now in any opportunity, we have to not forsake the Savior, the living water and to truly have, we become vessels that are not broken, that can carry this water. And the way we can do that, turn the page to Jeremiah, chapter three, verse 12. And here's how we can do that. Verse 12, HB will you read that for us?
Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, return that backsliding Israel, saith the Lord, and I will not cause my anger to fall upon you. For I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep anger forever.
And then cross reference that with verse 21, and 22. And will you read those first HB?
A voice was heard upon the high places weeping and supplications of the children of Israel, for they have perverted their way, and they have forgotten the Lord their God, return you backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee for thou art the Lord our God.
Thank you. In both of those verses in 22, and in 12, mark the word return, because it's really cool. In Hebrew, the word return is teshuva. And that's how you say repent. That's what he's asking. And it's interesting because we we started out at the very beginning by saying that the Hebrew word for backsliding was meshuvah. And the Hebrew word for repenting or returning is teshuvah. The difference is one letter. So I thought that was really fascinating to return to something simple as one little letter one little change. We just need to do one little thing for many of us in our lives, to return to the Lord and He will heal our backsliding. I think sometimes it is that simple. It's just turning to the Lord and finding that one thing that we need to fix.
I always feel like I have 16 things to fix, right?
Because Satan wants you to!
Yeah, exactly. The truth is, we're already like, we are the ones who think that the cistern is broken. And we think that we're not fixed. And we think that we're wrecked. Because Satan wants us to think every time we make a mistake. Small or large that yeah, that we're garbage, right.
And we think backsliding is falling all the way down the mountain, but maybe it's just a little.
Yeah. You're gonna never have to look to the Lord if you never backslide.
Yeah. Because you're on the path. Like Tammy said, you're still on the path. Even if you back slid, you're still on that path. You're just sliding a little. All right, get your footing.
This is just really a good reminder to me, because I'm such an all or nothing person. God loves me or he hates me.
I'm good. Or I'm bad. I've kept all the commandments or none of them. Right.
Exactly. And it's just futile to live like that.
Jeremiah is not it's not a it's not a feel good. Like, it's okay. It's like they're getting cussed out. And Jeremiah, like it is it gets intense like I was, I was reading chapter two. And I had to stop for a minute. Because I was just like, this actually sounds like me, when I'm snapping on my kids and in my mind, I'm like, say less, say the thing and then get out. And then two hours later, I'm still saying the thing over and over and over again, right?
Can you just take a breath, like breathe?
Yeah, he's not messing around. He's got stuff to say
He is like going off.
Yeah. And he's angry, even after he he says, Repent, verse 25, we lie down in our shame and our confusion covereth us, for we have sinned against the Lord our God, we and our fathers from our youth, even to this day, and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God.
Like can we just get to Lamentations already? Because Jeremiah, we get it.
You know, and I'm one, I'm not one to pick up on mercy. I wouldn't say that's my strong suit, is to be looking at how merciful the Lord hath been, you know, but I keep seeing it in this. And I know, he's doing the throwdown. But like, if you look in 13. And he says, all you have to do is acknowledge what you've done.
And that you have just lost your way you've you've stopped listening. So you've started following, you know, every stranger under every green tree. Any yayhoo, right? You started listening to that, and you haven't obeyed my voice. And but then he says, in 14. You know, just just turn around. I'm right here. I'm married to you. Like, there. There's, there's at when I first read this, I thought, well, that's all she wrote. You know, like, this is this is all the angry god stuff I hate. But then when I reread it a couple of times, I think it's got an equal amount of a way back and mercy and a lifeline.
I mean, in the book that I'm reading the Good News Bible, and Jeremiah three, verse 13, there's a part of it that you go down to it. And it says, confess that under every green tree, you have given your love or to foreign gods, and that you have not obeyed My commandments. Like where did that come from? Confess that under every green tree, your love, you've given your love to foreign gods, and that you have not obeyed My commandments. I the Lord have spoken. And this just to me, it is, at first I was like, goodness, gracious. Like why? But then it just as I read that it made me feel like not so much this angry god or this, this punitive God, but it's more vulnerable, a vulnerable parent that is pleading with his kids like, yeah, get it together, like yeah, you guys, get it together.
Well, and these kids will not listen. Well, and to give us some context for where these people really are. Jeremiah 6:16, had me kind of in stitches. But it makes me understand what what Jeremiah is dealing with. Verse 16, says, Thus saith the LORD stand ye in the ways and see, since we're talking about the path that we've been talking about, stand ye in the ways and see and ask for the old paths, where is the good way and walk there in and you shall find rest for your souls, but they said, we will not walk there in. They're like, Oh, nah we're good. We didn't really walk with want to walk in those paths. So we're just gonna kind of end up where we end up. And so here's what I want us to do in the next segment. We are going to discover who the Lord then is going to send to help find these people and get them back on the right path.
This is where you're going to need a piece of paper and a pen. So I come from a long line of men who fish and hunt and it's not for sport like this a true story, you guys I didn't even no beef stroganoff was made with beef until I was well into my 30s because my mother always made it with elk meat. Do you remember Holly you were with me? We were in a restaurant and somebody ordered beef stroganoff and I was like, ew why would you eat that? And they're like, what are you talking about? And I was like oh, you like elk meat. And they're like, what are you talking about? And I said, beef stroganoff is made with elk meat. And they were like, you're insane. Beef stroganoff was always made with elk meat or deer meat. I grew up with deer hanging in my garage. My father is a big time hunter. Everything. And I went deer hunting with my dad as a kid. The only reason I went was because I put candy in my pockets which ended up falling out as I hiked up the mountain. It's very devastating.
Oh Jenny's brothertherapy brother makes moose stroganoff.
Oh, sure. See, you know, you know,
Oh, yeah, they tricked me while I was pregnant with the triplets and then then said, Holly, how do you like the stroganoff? I said, Yes. Good. And they said, we made it with the moose caught, and I tossed my cookies.
Oh, dear. Go to Jeremiah 16:16. We're going to read what the Lord says about fishing and hunting. Here we go. Jeremiah chapter 16, verse 16, and HB will you read that for us?
Oh, I was gonna say is this a hunting trip? Sure, because I'd like to dedicate this to Curt and Jody Rawlins out there. Because every time a Cabela's is built, they come in a in a three piece suit made out of camo and they they lay the cornerstone and get the dedicatory prayer.
Let me give you a background before you read that. So we talked about that last verse for the children. We're like, nah, we're good. We don't want to be on the right path. And so the Lord has to send somebody to help them. And so here's who he's going to send, go and read verse 16.
Behold, I will send for many fishers saith the Lord, and they shall fish them. And after will I send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and from every hill and out of the holes of the rocks. Now, I love that.
Tell me why you love that.
Because he's not going to just send, you're not going to get just one chance. He's, he loves us so much. He's going to send out all the fissures in the hunters. And they're going to go to every nook and cranny upon the earth. Right? And the deep spaces in the high spaces in there. Yeah, like he will never abandon us.
Well do this with me. Okay, here's what I want us to do on a piece of paper, I want you to write fishers and hunters. Let's come up with a list of the skills that are needed skills and characteristics to be a fisher a good fisherman and a good hunter. What comes to mind, let's make a list right now. What do you got?
Okay, I like that. What else? So much patience, especially to fish
You need bait.
I like that.
You got to have skill, like you've got to be able to, you know, you gotta be able to aim and you know, hit what you're gonna hit or you know, cast and you got to be able to read the signs, right, you got to get into it. Like you've got to be in tune with the game that you're searching for.
Oh, I just said to know your prey. Yeah, well like, you have to know who what you're fishing for and hunting for and how they live, where they eat, where they sleep, what their sleeping patterns are. Oh, I remember fishing. There's only certain times of the day really where you fish. Yeah, and I remember my dad would teach me you have to fish certain parts of the lake where you find more fish so you have to totally know your prey.
I'm gonna be honest with y'all. Besides when I was little I have never in my life been hunting. And really most of the food that I've ever eaten in my life came from the grocery store. So I mean if you
There's no shame in that.
You're more of a gatherer.
I could tell you how to do that. You need some pre done and pre made hunting down you know some pork chops. I got you.
You know I've never been able to make a good pork chops. I'm gonna come down and see you. But I just thought like you have to be willing to be where they are.
Oh, you have to go to their environment.
You can't be like, Oh, we're just waiting for them to come back. They'll come back. Oh, they'll come back. They'll come back. We'll just be right here and they'll come back. You know, but yeah, we got to be we've got to be willing to get in the mud. And we got to be willing to be uncomfortable like when you're hunting, from what I've heard from the brothers Rawlings? You know, you'll be laying down a duck blind or sitting for hours up in some sort of stand where it's freezing cold. So yeah, you have to be you got to be tough. Because you gotta, you gotta wait it out.
Oh, I'm writing all of this stuff down this a good list.
Can I read from verese 17, Tammy?
Go, go to number 17. Yep, go to it.
It says that I see everything they do. Nothing is hidden from me. Their sins are not escaped my site. Oh, there you go. That's how you gotta hunt. You got to see everything they do. And nothing escapes from you.
And still love. Right? And still, and and not not judge? Right? So you gotta be, you gotta have a lot of temperance.
In this Bible, in the Good News Bible, it actually says The Lord says I am sending for many Fishers of Men be coming to catch these people.
Wow, those are so good. Like, my mind is spinning with all this.
Instead of saying fishermen, he's saying fishers of men.
Why does that strike you?
Because that I mean, that's a core belief of mine is that we should be fishers of each other. And when I think about someone who is a fisher of men, because we cannot survive the elements of water the same way. It is somebody who is saving, helping to you know, be a savior to us, not the Savior but but you know, doing the Savior's work by bringing us in out of this water bring us in out of danger of bringing us in, like fishermen bring in fish. And and so fishers of men, we're going to go out, and we're going to, you know, cast and when we get a bite or when we get some interest, we're going to bring you in.
Oh my gosh, I like that. I'm going to write that down, we're going to bring you in. This goes back to being foreordained, like is everyone forordained to be a fisher and hunter?
Yeah and for specific people like, Tammy, I've known you over 25 years, and you have sat in the little ice hut with the hole in the ice there. I'm down there down in the deep, you know, flailing around knocking on the bottom of the, you know, the ice and, and you've just been, you know, waiting for me and and casting a line down. You know, so many times and, and it's been not particularly comfortable for you. But thank goodness, you would still come for me.
Well, how many times we've done that for each other. I think that's what's so brilliant about this is that we're here, you're right, I will sit in that I sat for hours per day. And you do the same for me.
Yeah. And so I think like, all the you know, I think of all these people listening to this podcast right now. And this like sea of people that were called to fish, and to hunt. And to be fishers of men, right? Yeah, like millions and millions and millions. And sometimes we're the ones who need to be gathered, and sometimes they're doing the gathering.
Yep, absolutely. That is so cool. I want you guys, those of you who made your list, look over that list. And in my mind, I thought, I'm going to put a circle around the thing I'm good at. And then I want to put a square around the thing I need to get better at. Because we've all been sent here to be these fishers of men. I think the one thing that I want to get better at well, there's there okay, here's the one thing that I think I'm good. I'm willing to do the work sometimes.
No, you are you are
But I think what I need to get better at I need to know my prey. Like I need to be willing to go where they are and really learn patterns and habits and behaviors. And I'm not totally invested in that a lot of times as you know, I've said before to HB I don't really know if I've met anybody I love more than a plate of nachos.
Right. You're a misanthrope.
That's mine. What's yours? What are you good at? What could you be better at?
I'm good at going anywhere. I'm good at... I'm an adventurous fisher of men. Like I'm bold.
Oh, you are.
You know, but and I think you need that. But I'm not always willing to put my hand on the cross that they bear and really like understand how they got into that jam. I'm more focused on I gotta get them back. And not like walking with them on that path for as long as they need me to.
I mean, you'll, you'll invite someone to take the discussions in Walmart. And you've known him for five minutes. That's a true story. I've seen it happen many times. I wish I was making that up. I'm not. What about you, Tamu? What are you good at what are you want to get better at?
I think that I am good at meeting people and making friends. I believe that I'm good at meeting people where they are, and listening to them. As for me, it's not so much I don't think that everybody needs to be in my church. I want everybody to feel happy and confident in the church that they're in. And so for me, I look at similarities and ways that we're similar, not so much in ways that and things that we're, you know, that we are that we have our separations where, you know, you believe this, and I believe this, so that makes my church the most true church. I don't, I don't like to argue when it comes to, to, you know, doctrine. And so I try to live within that. Ephesians chapter four, verse 11. But I also think that I want to be better at is, I will, I would like to be better at maintaining relationships, I think that when I meet people, this is gonna sound here, I don't even want to do this. I want to friends, but not, I think, people, sometimes this is gonna sound horrible. They think that we're best friends. And I do feel that connection right there. And then over time, and so it makes it seem like I'm not a genuine person. And I remember random details about their life, like, oh, my goodness, does your mom ever get her glaucoma taken care of? But I just have a hard time maintaining the friendship and so I will see someone and for me, I can I I'm not gonna make you feel guilty over this, because it's been six months, and I haven't talked to you. And I think that people see that as a form of insincerity. And they think that it was just even in the church or even like, even my other religious friends, they think that I only want to talk to them about God, even though God gives me energy, I do care about their other lives. I mean, their that what they do in their everyday life. I could be better at being a sister, I will say that. Okay, that was a lot of words to say that I can be a better sister to people.
Well, those were both great answers. I love that you were willing to acknowledge what you're good at, and then to be transparent about you can be better at because I think every one of us are in that space. And I just kind of want us to be thinking about that. Especially in light of the idea that we are foreordained. God knew us before we were born and he knew the people that we need to go hunt and fish for before they were born. And he'll provide a way to do that. And all you have to do is ask the minute you get on your knees and pray and ask Heavenly Father to help you get better in that one area. You better be prepared, because God will answer it. And it might even be a little uncomfortable. And it's okay, if that's uncomfortable, it will be worth it. And we're going to discuss that in the next segment.
Okay, I'm gonna say some terms and I want you to tell me if you know what these terms mean, or what we're talking about here we go.
I love a vocab game.
Here we go, let me know if you know what we're talking about, HB.
I'm not here to make friends Tamu, I'm here to win.
Don't play with me, we in the Bible girl you better grab your scriptures.
Okay, here go the vocab words. Tell me if you know what we're talking about. The words are: coil. Don't you like that? Coil, pinch, slab, row, fire, centering. And wheel. Any guesses what we're talking about?
Wheel or weild?
Wheel. W H E E L.
Coil wheel slash a slab. I know it's not taffy.
Taffy no, taffy's not in the scriptures
Oh like forging?
Are we talking about clay?
Tamu. Tamu for the win! Yeah, Tamu for the win. Okay. Go to Jeremiah chapter 18. And I want you to bracket off verses two through six. This is an awesome parable. And it's so important for us to understand it and read it because it is. I just love the verbiage that's used here. So here we go. We're going to read Jeremiah chapter 18. We're each going to take a turn reading a verse, we'll start with HB and then we'll go Tamu and then me verses two through six. All right, HB hit it.
Okay, so this is the ceramic section.
It is the ceramic section.
Oh I love it. Okay, Arise and go down to the potter's house and there I will cause thee to hear my words.
As I'm reading the Good News Bible, because I did not bring my King James Version in this closet with me. So I went there and saw the potter's working, the potter working at his will.
And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hands of the potter. So he made it again another vessel as seemed good to the potter to make it.
Then the word of the Lord came to me saying
Haven't I the right to do with you people of Israel what the potter did with the clay. You were in my hands, just like the clay in the potter's hands.
I want us to talk about what's happening in this verse. And what the imagery is that the Lord's using here because I'm not gonna lie. Listen, my extent of pottery comes from the 1980s movie, Ghosts. Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore working on a pot. So tell me what we're dealing with here when he's saying, at the potter's wheel, and what does the potter do, it takes this thing and it's marred, and then he, he throws it down, right, because he's like, I've gotta start over and make it new, like talk to me through this.
It actually when when someone's working on a wheel, it can get out of whack and the whole thing will just like tumble down your whole piece. It's not like when you're sculpting, like Model Magic, you know? Yeah, it's, it's like the, it can be spinning around and get off kilter. And then just like, like collapse.
Well in and also you think about how clay comes, it comes in this big block. And so you have to beat it, and you have to, you know, you have to make it malleable, yeah, you have to manipulate it and you you have to, you know, you you use some moisture so that you can manipulate it and, you know, move it about. And so I mean, I remember, I actually took a pottery class that I failed at in high school, but I mean, I got I got the vibe, okay. Got the Bible. I know what it's supposed to do. And so she would give us our my ceramics teacher would give us our clay. And we would like you know, when she when she did it the first time it was actually really scary because she took hers and she threw it down. And she you know, started beating it to kind of try to take out the take the bulk out of it, and to flatten it. And so she you know, she had it in her hand, and she's mashing on it and beating it and, and so when you think about that, I think that we get to see that we think about the Patrick Swayze version, and we're just like, oh my goodness to be Demi Moore girl but and so but it was already like it was already starting to take shape. We don't see the part where they're beating it. And they're manipulating it, and they're pulling on it. And they're, you know, separating it and putting it back together and all of those things to create the the thing that they need it to become.
I have never considered that Tamu like, I am so grateful you explain that, you're right, the amount of effort it takes clay just to get it to the position where you can then start to create something beautiful is uncomfortable. And often it's harsh. Yeah, the pounding the beating, and then you apply that to us in our own lives. And the amount of work that the Lord is doing with us and it has done with us like I feel like I'm still in the beatdown phase right.
Ah, yeah. Yeah, for sure Tam.
I think there's different times in our lives where we feel that way, but really when you think about it, if you think of even olive oil and you think about wheat, God takes these elements including us he takes these elements and the thing that the finished product looks nothing like the beginning product. He takes you know, you're pressing you beat, you shake the olives in order to get the drops of oil. It's not like... you don't get that oil if you ate it all. I would not get the oil out of it. And so in order to get this finished product... You know, with wheat, we use wheat for our food and you know, to create baskets, but for the food for the nutrients, you have to grind it down, you have to beat it down, you have to, you know, you have to, it doesn't look like the plant in which you got it from at the end of this process in order for us to have wheat bread or, you know, rice or whatever. I actually don't really know what all wheat does. But
No, you're right on, you're right on.
I know it tastes good after you, you, you know, break down those elements of it. And we are no different. We should be no different in the hands of the Lord. And we can do the beating part but we don't like it when the beating part is done to us to create the to help to create the person that we need to become, in order to be a better servant, to our father. And to be a better sister, or brother to our earthly siblings. There's going there's going to be some beat down happening. So just prepare for the beat down.
You know, and I fight it every time Tamu I like how you, you said that. Just prepare for it because it's coming. And you know, I, I, I don't ever accept that.
No, it's not fun.
No, I always think like, I don't know, I used to be mad at God when it would happen. I'm not mad anymore. I just think like, Oh, you've got to be kidding me. Like, are we in the beatdown phase again, like, you know, I, I want to move through that.
Well, and then when you think of this pottery, like once you're finally formed on the wheel, then you still have to wait, let it dry, bake it, glaze it, fire it, like that whole process too is... That's gonna come later, I think the whole, you know, the firing part, the glazing, the shine that we get, you know, all of this discussion when I was reading this in preparing it, it reminded me of this quote, it's in Mere Christianity. And CS Lewis is quoting a man by the name of George MacDonald. And it's become one of my favorite quotes. Holly, will you read this for us, please?
Yeah, you bet. Imagine yourself as the living house, God comes in to rebuild that house. First, perhaps you can understand what he is doing. He's getting the drains, right, and stopping leaks in the roof and so on. You knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently, he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is he up to? The explanation? Yeah, that's right where I am. George, whoever you are. Yeah, right there like, okay, yeah, I know, I need a little work done. But like, you know what? The explanation is that he is building quite a different house from the one you thought of throwing out a new wing here putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards, you thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage, but he is building a palace, he intends to come and live in it himself.
Thank you. And when I read that quote, and I see that I, when he says, You were content to be a little decent cottage, I'm like, actually, I was content to be a tent. I have my bar so low that when I think of him making a palace out of me, where he intends to come and live in it himself, then I think, okay, I can handle this process, right, we can do this.
That caught my attention. And I want to, for anybody out there listening, because I think that for us sometimes, especially when you think about all the stuff that you have to go through to be in your face of becoming our bars are set so low, because the significance of what we are called to do is so much greater than that, that when you know what you're called to do, the beating and, and the reshaping, and the pain that comes with that is so minimal, so we just really have to, I mean, our thoughts are not his thoughts, but we actually have to think bigger, because I mean, and it's not a shaming, it's just one of those things. When you realize when the trees, you know, thinking thinking about the book, the three trees, when they realized the significance of what they would become. For them, their goal was so much higher than what they became, but even in their becoming, and there's a coming to In this face of okay, I guess I'm just going to be a little fisher boat. I wanted to be a big ship. But when you realize what this Fisher this fishing boat was carrying, and who it was carrying, then there is no ship that you would rather be greater than the boat that carries Jesus. Yeah, you know. And you know they're there. I just think about sometimes we're just like I just I'm content to be in this little corner over here. I just want to mind my own business. But we came here not to mind our own business we came here to, to work together. We came here to become gods, we are being prepared to become greater.
Wow. Amen. I am so grateful for the way you ended that. Thank you. Thank you. So let us remember then just like she said, like, let's raise that bar. Like we were sent here to be gods. And he knew us before we came. And we've been ordained to do amazing things. So thank you. Thank you, ladies. Wow, I love you. Ok so gather your thoughts and what is your takeaway? What's something you're going to take away from today's discussion?
You know, I'm gonna bring it back back to Patrick Swayze. And I'm gonna say, really, this has been so empowering for me, nobody puts baby in a corner. Right? Like, we have been called to a great work. And on the flip side of that, other people have been called to a great work to find us and to lift us. And so I like, I feel more hopeful. Right now at 9:09pm on a Wednesday, than I have in a very long time. And I'm, I'm so grateful to you two women.
Thank you, Holly.
Thank you. I'm grateful to you to Holly honestly, like you just I love how real you keep it. There's no pretense. And to me, that that the whole entire church could be like this would just feel like a safer place.
That makes me want to cry. Thanks, Timu.
Don't cry, because I'm alright. My eyes are already running and don't say.
Oh I love you both. For me, my takeaway was from both of you shared at the very beginning, that as young children, you knew you were you were different. You knew that you were sent here to do something amazing. I felt that in my heart. And then Tamu, when you said, I wrote it down, before you stepped into your blessings, before you stepped into your voice. God knew you. Like when you said that. I knew that was true. Like before you stepped in your blessings before you stepped in your voice that is so powerful. And God knows us. And he loves us. And He wants us. He wants us.
You know what? Deseret Book. I want that on a pillow.
She knows your name.
You listening to me out there Deseret Book? I want that. I want that in those vinyl letterings.
My takeaway is that, you know, and it is what you said, Tammy, because I think that sometimes I know that I do. And I'm just like, God, I didn't ask you for all of this. I am the queen of that. Even though I said what I said, I'm the queen of reminding guy. I don't want this. Like my life. I got kids that I'm dealing with. I don't need this other stuff. But my true self, my core self, I would like to say believes that. I want to be the person that I spoke up. So I just want you all to know that I want to be the person that says, oh, no, no, no, whatever you say God, mold me. But what I do know and my takeaway from this lesson is that God does not give us arbitrary pain. He gives us pain that helps us grow in him to become what he needs us to become. Yes, he gives us pain with a purpose.
I love you so much, ladies. I love you both, you're the best! Thank you for joining me. Oh, this is such a great discussion.
I've had the time of my life. Thank you so much. Love you. Love you.
Oh my gosh, they are so fun. Okay, we would love to hear what your big takeaway is from this episode. So if you haven't already joined our discussion group on Facebook or if you're not following us on Instagram, just go do it. It's so cool, because it's a great place to ask questions as you study and even make comments throughout the week. Go and post on Facebook. And then at the end of the week we do a call asking for your big takeaway. So comment on the post that relates to this lesson and let us know what you've learned. You can get to both our Facebook and Instagram by going to the show notes for this episode on LDS living.com/sundayonmonday and it's not a bad idea to go there anyway, because that's where we're going to have the links to all the references we use today as well as a complete transcript of this whole discussion. So go check it out. The Sunday on Monday Study Group is a Deseret Bookshelf Plus original brought to you by LDS Living. It's written and hosted by me Tammy Uzelac Hall and today's fabulous study group participants were Holly Butterfield Rawlings and Tamu Smith. And you can find more information about these friends at LDS living.com/sundayonmonday. Our podcast is produced by Cole Wissinger and me. It is edited by Hailey Higham and recorded and mixed by mix at six studios and our executive producer is Erin Hallstrom. Thanks for being here. We'll see you next week. And please remember, oh please remember, he knows you and He loves you and you are his favorite.
That's really true because my mission. My mission president said sister Butterfield, do you know who Jeremiah was? And I said, Well, I know is the bullfrog. Very good friend of mine. Very good. Very good. So yeah, yeah.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai