42: "His Sacrifice Shall Be More Sacred unto Me Than His Increase" (Doctrine and Covenants 115–120)
Deciding what to name a stuffed animal, a doll, or a pet is usually a pretty fun thing to do. In those situations, the stakes are low and imaginations can run freely. But naming a person, a business, or an important organization? Now those are decisions to take more seriously because people’s perceptions and expectations for something will be influenced by its name. This week we will dig into Doctrine and Covenants 115–120 where the Lord reveals the name He decided on for the Church in this dispensation. We will learn why that name matters and what the Lord expects from us as a Church community living under that name.
Title for Section 115: “Name of the Lord’s Church,” and “Far West, Missouri”
What the Lord teaches the Church should be called:
*Cross reference with 3 Nephi 27:8
“The appropriateness of this title is self-evident, and in it there is a beautiful recognition of the relationship both of the Lord Jesus Christ and of the Saints to the organization. It is ‘The Church of Jesus Christ.’ It is the Lord’s. He owns it. He organized it. It is the Sacred Depository of His truth. It is His instrumentality for promulgating all those spiritual truths which He would have mankind acquainted. It is also His instrumentality for the perfecting of the Saints, as well as for the work of the ministry. It is His in all these respects; but it is an institution which also belongs to the Saints. It is their refuge from the confusion and religious doubt of the world. It is their instructor in principle, doctrine, and righteousness. It is their guide in matters of faith and morals. They have a conjoint ownership in it with Jesus Christ, which ownership is beautifully recognized in the latter part of the title. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ is equivalent to ‘The Church of Jesus Christ,’ and the Church of ‘The latter-day Saints.” (B. H. Roberts, History of the Church, 3:24)
The expectations the Lord has for the Church:
6 And that the agathering together upon the land of bZion, and upon her cstakes, may be for a defense, and for a drefuge from the storm, and from wrath when it shall be epoured out without mixture upon the whole earth (Doctrine and Covenants 115:5-6).
The two books Tammy mentions:
- Spiritual Physics of Light by Aaron D. Franklin
- Freakonomics “A Roshanda By Any Other Name”
Conference talk that tells the story of BYU students at the Jerusalem center: “The Light in Their Eyes,” President James E. Faust
Definition of “Standard” in the Webster’s 1828 Dictionary: “A standing tree or stem; a tree not supported or attached to a wall” (See webstersdictionary1828.com).
Title for Section 116: “Adam-Ondi-Ahman”
Further references for Adam-Ondi Ahman:
- Daniel 7:9-14
- Doctrine and Covenants 107:53-55
- WW Phelps wrote a song called “Adam-Ondi-Ahman” (Hymn 49). It was sung at the Kirtland Temple Dedication
Background for Section 116:
“In the afternoon I went up the river about half a mile to Wight’s Ferry, accompanied by President Rigdon, and my clerk, George W. Robinson, for the purpose of selecting and laying claim to a city plat near said ferry in Daviess County, township 60, ranges 27 and 28, and sections 25, 36, 31, and 30, which the brethren called ‘Spring Hill,’ but by the mouth of the Lord it was named Adam-ondi-Ahman, because, said He, it is the place where Adam shall come to visit his people, or the Ancient of Days shall sit, as spoken of by Daniel the Prophet.” (History of the Church, 3:34–35) (Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, “Section 116 Grand Council”).
Adam-Ondi-Ahman means “Valley of God where Adam dwelt.” According to Orson Pratt in Dan Ludlow’s: A Companion to Your Study of the Doctrine and Covenants.
“This gathering of the children of Adam, where the thousands, and the tens of thousands are assembled in the judgment, will be one of the greatest events this troubled earth has ever seen. At this conference, or council, all who have held keys of dispensations will render a report of their stewardship. Adam will do likewise, and then he will surrender to Christ all authority. Then Adam will be confirmed in his calling as the prince over his posterity and will be officially installed and crowned eternally in this presiding calling. Then Christ will be received as King of kings, and Lord of lords. We do not know how long a time this gathering will be in session, or how many sessions may be held at this grand council. It is sufficient to know that it is a gathering of the Priesthood of God from the beginning of this earth down to the present, in which reports will be made and all who have been given dispensations (talents) will declare their keys and ministry and make report of their stewardship according to the parable. Judgment will be rendered unto them for this is a gathering of the righteous, those who have held and who hold keys of authority in the Kingdom of God upon this earth. It is not to be the judgment of the wicked. When all things are prepared and every key and power set in order with a full and perfect report of each man’s stewardship, then Christ will receive these reports and be installed as rightful Ruler of this earth. At this grand council he will take his place by the united voice of the thousands who by right of Priesthood are there assembled. This will precede the great day of destruction of the wicked and will be the preparation for the Millennial Reign” (President Joseph Fielding Smith, The Progress of Man , 481–82).
“He [Christ] will come in private to his prophet and to the apostles then living. Those who have held keys and powers and authorities in all ages from Adam to the present will also be present. And further, all the faithful members of the Church then living and all the faithful saints of all the ages past will be present. It will be the greatest congregation of faithful saints ever assembled on planet earth. It will be a sacrament meeting. It will be a day of judgment for the faithful of all the ages. And it will take place in Daviess County, Missouri, at a place called Adam-ondi-Ahman” (Bruce R. McConkie, The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man , 578–79).
Section title for 117: “The More Weighty Matters”
Background for Section 117:
“On 6 July 1838, the last large group of faithful Saints, for the most part the poorest of Kirtland's inhabitants, began making their way west to Missouri. Known as the Kirtland Camp, or sometimes as the Kirtland Poor Camp, this group of more than five hundred Saints traveled through the summer and arrived in Far West on 2 October 1838, less than a month before Missouri governor Lilburn Boggs's Extermination Order drove them out of the state. When the Kirtland Camp left Ohio for Missouri, two notable Ohio Church leaders were missing from their number. Stake president William Marks, who was called to preside as stake president at Far West, and Bishop Newel K. Whitney had remained behind in an attempt to protect investments in Kirtland without simply walking away from them. On 8 July 1838, two days after the Kirtland Camp left without those brethren, Joseph Smith received a revelation informing him of that fact and commanding the two leaders to give up the Ohio properties and move to Zion” (Stephen E. Robinson, H. Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, Vol. 4, "Doctrine and Covenants 117, Deseret Book).
Instruction the Lord gives William Marks and Newel K. Whitney:
8 Is there not room enough on the mountains of aAdam-ondi-Ahman, and on the plains of Olaha bShinehah, or the land where cAdam dwelt, that you should covet that which is but the drop, and neglect the more weighty matters? (Doctrine and Covenants 117:8)
*Cross reference: Abraham 3:13
Olaha = Moon
Shinehah = Sun
“The Nicolaitans were an ancient religious sect. They said they were Christians, but they strayed from the principles of the gospel to follow worldly practices” (for more info see Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, Section 117).
Further references for Nicolaitans:
The Lord’s instruction to Oliver Granger:
12 And again, I say unto you, I remember my servant aOliver Granger; behold, verily I say unto him that his name shall be had in sacred remembrance from generation to generation, forever and ever, saith the Lord.
13 Therefore, let him contend earnestly for the redemption of the First Presidency of my Church, saith the Lord; and when he falls he shall rise again, for his asacrifice shall be more sacred unto me than his increase, saith the Lord (Doctrine and Covenants 117:12-13).
“What did Oliver Granger do that his name should be held in sacred remembrance? Nothing much, really. It was not so much what he did as what he was. …
“The Lord did not expect Oliver to be perfect, perhaps not even to succeed. …
“We cannot always expect to succeed, but we should try the best we can” (President Boyd K. Packer, “The Least of These,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2004, 86).
Background for section 119:
“Beginning in 1837, the Church experienced significant financial difficulties, as did many individual Church members. These financial problems resulted from a national economic depression, mob violence in Missouri and Ohio that drove Saints from their homes, and the unwillingness of some Saints to live the law of consecration. By 1838, with more Saints gathering to Caldwell County, Missouri, the Church needed money to accomplish what the Lord had commanded them to do, such as the building of the temple in Far West. The bishops in Ohio and Missouri had been encouraging the Saints to bring their tithes and offerings to the storehouse” (Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Seminary Teacher Manual, “Lesson 125).
Title for Section 119: “Lord’s Law of Tithing”
Title for Section 120: “Disbursement of Tithing Funds”
The Lord’s answer to Joseph’s question about how much the Lord required in tithing:
4 And after that, those who have thus been atithed shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them forever, for my holy priesthood, saith the Lord (Doctrine and Covenants 119:3-4).
James E. Talmage quote about tithing in a talk given by Elder Marion G. Romney:
“’Do you know,’ said he, ‘that the soil can be sanctified by the tithing of its products? The land can be sanctified. There is a relationship between the elements and forces of nature, and the actions of men.’” (In Conference Report, Oct. 1929, p. 68.)(Marion G. Romney, “Trust in the Lord,” April 1979).
Have you ever named something, like a pet, a car, a child, maybe a stuffed animal? Um, maybe an imaginary friend who I named Deborah and she sat in the back of the station wagon with me, circa 1979. And she was my older sister that I never had. She's the only one who truly understood me. But I digress. If you have felt the weight of responsibility of coming up with the perfect name, then you will totally appreciate today's discussion about some significant names as we study Doctrine and Covenants sections 115-120.
Welcome to the Sunday on Monday Study Group, a Deseret Bookshelf Plus original brought to you by LDS Living where we take the Come Follow Me lesson for the week, and we really dig into the scriptures together. I'm your host, Tammy Uzelac Hall. Okay, if you're new to our study group, real quick, I just want to make sure you know how to use this podcast, so follow the link in our description. It's going to explain how you can best use this podcast to enhance your Come Follow Me study, just like my friend Terry Flint, who's been a longtime listener and who we love. Hi, Terry.
Now another really great thing - and my favorite thing - is each week I get to invite two friends to come and discuss the scriptures, so it's always different and this week, Oh, I'm so excited. They're reunited, they're back. Reunion tour, Sharon Staples and Ellery Howarth. Hi, ladies.
Hello out there, everyone. So glad to be here with everyone.
Ellery Howarth 1:15
I'm so excited to be back with Sharon. No one I'd rather podcast with love, to be on the 'pod'.
Seriously. Well Ellery has been busy. So we haven't had her on for a while because she's been sorting out everything with life. I mean, you, where do you live right now?
Yeah, I recently moved to Dallas, Texas. I'm here. I do Teach for America. So it's a, it's a program where you teach in a Title One school for two years. So that's what I'm doing, I'm a second grade teacher.
Second grade. And how's it going, sum it up. (laughter) After she had been teaching for a couple of weeks, she came here for her brother's farewell, and I said, Have you fallen into the fetal position yet on the floor of your classroom?
And the answer was yes.
I have done that. I know.
So during the soundcheck, I was like, I was just crying. Can you tell?
It is hard. It is hard, but it's cool, because she's teaching and you're getting your master's degree at the same time. I'm super proud of you. Good job, sis. That is awesome. Okay, so we're back together. And this is going to be so much fun because this discussion is packed with some really good things. In fact, I can't even wait to get to Section 116. It's one of my favorite sections, of all the sections. And I'll tell you why when we get to it.
Okay, before we get into any of that, though, if you want to know more about my guests and read their bios and see their pictures, you can find those in our show notes which are at LDSliving.com/SundayonMonday.
Now, here's what you need to know. The saints - they're now living in Far West, Missouri. We studied that last week; there's roughly 5000 members who are living in the vicinity of Far West. And so today's discussion is about the area of Caldwell County and Far West, Missouri. So friends, grab your scriptures. Let's dig in. Alright, you two, have you guys ever named something?
What have you named Sharon?
Well, I named my dogs over the years and my cats over the years, and I I named my brother on occasion - names that he did not appreciate nor did my parents appreciate my naming him those. However, he deserved it at the time. So
The nicknames, sure. You dabbled in nicknames.
Um hmm. Yeah, so yes, I have, I have nicknamed. Ellery, have you named things?
Oh, yeah. I am notorious, my friends and I, for naming each other's crushes very interesting things. You know, so, uh yeah, I have that named. I've named cars.
What's a car name you've had?
Oh, my first car's name was Tarzan. It was a 2000 Land Rover Discovery II. It kinda, something was off with the suspension so you felt like you were on the Indiana Jones ride? You know, you take a turn.(clk,clk,clk) And then you would like be like, okay, and it was, you know, a nice gross colored green, sure. Yeah, Tarzan.
Oh, that's so great. And Sharon, the pet - your dog, right now. What's the name of your dog that you have?
Her name is Pebbles. And she's the light of my life. She's just absolutely charming, darling, and wonderful and fun.
She's a brown Lab. Oh, she's, prettiest dog ever. Okay, well, for anyone who's ever had to name anything, the reason I asked that question is because, let's go into Doctrine and Covenants section 115, verse 4, and find out what this verse teaches us about a name. Okay, so here's what you need to know: verses 1-3, the Lord addresses the First Presidency in verse 1, the Bishopric of the church in verse 2, and then in verse 3, He addresses the High Council. But then at the very end, He says, "and people of the church". Ellery, will you read verse 4, because here is what He says to them.
4 "For thus shall my church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints."
Okay, highlight that. That is the very first time that the church is given its official title name, and that's the name that stands
Except in Third Nephi, Chapter 27, verse 8, where they want to know what to call the church back then, and they call it The Church of Jesus Christ. The Latter-Day Saint part came in this dispensation, not in Nephi's dispensation, but it has always been the Church of Jesus Christ.
Excellent. Sharon. Will you give us that reference against so we can put it next to verse 4?
3 Nephi 27, verse 8.
Okay, so here is the name. The title for Section 115 is "Name of the Lord's Church", and then "Far West Temple, Missouri", which we'll talk about later. But here is the name of the church. And so this is so interesting because I found this great quote, and I sent it to Ellery and Sharon ahead of time, and I asked them to read it because I want us to discuss it. This is by B H Roberts. Now, B H Roberts was one of the Seven Presidents of the Quorum of 70. He was a historian, and he edited <The History of the Church>, where we get all of our information, and a lot of stuff that we quote.
I was going to use the quote from the Prophet when he asked us to finally go by the name The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, but we've used that and we've talked about it. And then I saw this quote, and I thought, this is the quote we have to talk about. So we're going to read it and then discuss it. Sharon, will you read this quote for us?
"The appropriateness of this title is self-evident. And in it, there is a beautiful recognition of the relationship, both of the Lord Jesus Christ and of the saints, to the organization. It is the Church of Jesus Christ. It is the Lord's, He owns it, He organized it. It is the sacred depository of His truth. It is His instrumentality for promulgating all those spiritual truths, which He would have mankind acquainted. It is also His instrumentality for the perfecting of the saints, as well as for the work of the ministry. It is His in all these respects. But it is an institution which also belongs to the saints. It is their refuge from the confusion and religious doubt of the world. It is their instructor in principle, doctrine and righteousness. It is their guide in matters of faith and morals. They have a conjoint ownership in it with Jesus Christ, which ownership is beautifully recognized in the latter part of the title. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, is the equivalent to The Church of Jesus Christ, and The Church of the Latter-Day Saints."
Okay, when you guys read that ahead of time, I want to know what stood out to you.
Yeah, I really like the part where it says "they have a conjoint ownership in it with Jesus Christ, which ownership is beautifully recognized in the latter part of the title."
Tell me why.
I guess I had never thought that I, myself am part owner of the church, you know. It's an interesting thought, but the more I think about it, and ponder, it makes sense., you know. God is a loving Heavenly Father, and like most fathers, they probably want their children to be in the family business.
Oh, I like how you said that.
Yeah, you know, you always see 'father' or, you know, 'something and sons', you know, 'something and daughters', hopefully, but like, He's Latter-Day Saints, you know, that's His term for His kids. And we're joined in His business and His venture of coming back to Him.
And I had the same impression; I was over, I was kind of overtaken to think that I am part of His church with Him, in that it's a partnership. And that the church would not exist without its members, and the members would not exist without His name, and His church and what He has promoted for all of us. So, I was taken by what you were taking by Ellery, and that is the sense of, a sense of ownership. And a sense of responsibility to maintain the image of the church. And you know, when I'm out and about and doing whatever with members and non-members, that if I'm part of this, and you know, in the Sacrament meeting, we take His name upon us, but now we're taking His church name upon us, as well. And so that became a sense of, of belonging and responsibility.
Beautifully said both of you. I like that you pointed that out. I didn't even notice that when I read that. I just kept reading all the things that it is for me, but how beautiful that after He says what it is for us and then like you said, it's kind of like being part of the family business. 'Here's everything that I've saved up over all these years, I've tucked it away. I've been - you know, it's like a father would do - I've put all this money into savings and when I die, you're going to get it all.' And I just think it's cool where the Lord's like, 'here's everything I've worked on, like, I've been doing this forever. None of this is new, and we're gonna figure it all out together.'
It's one of my favorite things, Sharon, you've said to me over the years. You have taught me where, as we try to figure out things together, you've said, "You can't help be part of the change if you're not part of the team." And cuz I asked you, I said, "Why have you stayed in the game after all of these years? Because you have seen a lot of change." And you just said that to me so bluntly, "Well, because you can't be part of the change if you're not part of the team." And that has stuck with me forever. Like that just goes back to that conjoint ownership.
I wish I'd said something more profound., but I'm glad that stuck with you, you know. It would be nice if it were a little more profound than that. But yeah, it's true. Yeah. And I believe that. And then the other thing that I learned in my reading and doing the research is that in order for the church to be His church, it has to have, it has to bear His name. And it also must be built upon His gospel. So, I mean, the gospel is included in that name. So it, you know, it's just, it's profound,
Very profound, and packed with power. Wow. Thank you, I love that.
I mean, I was just thinking when you were talking, Tam, about how like, I think part of us having ownership in it means that He trusts us and our ideas and our ability to run it in a way that we see fit. You know, one of my big things about, I've always felt about agency, is sometimes we're too quick to give it back to God. Be like, what do You think I should do? No, why don't you do something and use the brain and knowledge and wisdom that you've been given to make decisions? And I think he does that with his own church, too. He wants us to make decisions and to do things with His, you know, His doctrine, His power. I mean, He'll correct us, of course, you know, as a good father would, but I think He believes in us and knows how capable we actually are.
That's a good point. Really good. Thank you.
Well, and now I'm forever gonna love "The Church of Jesus Christ and Sons," or "The Church of Jesus Christ and Daughters". That is so good. It's so good. Well, thank you, both of you for sharing your thoughts about that quote, it's such a powerful quote. So the name has been established. What I love about this is in the next verses He lays out the expectations of these latter-day saints and we're gonna discuss that in the next segment.
Segment 2 12:21
All right, you two, you're both educated women. I want to know, especially Ellery, because you are a teacher, and Sharon, you were a teacher. Of all the names you came across with all your students, do you think parents name their children with an expectation of greatness or uniqueness?
Um, I think some do, and some don't. Some just look at the label in a medicine cabinet and say, "Oh, yeah, let's name her Aspirin, or you know and some people just, or some people really, (laughter!) I'm sorry.
No, I just love Aspirin, I can imagine it.
Yeah, I know. We'lll call her hydrocodone. That is
We'll call it 'Oxy' for short.
Yeah, exactly. That's so great. (laughs)
But I think others do take time to do that, you know, they name them after their, the great-grandmother who was so loving, or the great, you know, or a grandfather who was so kind. I mean, you know, most, I would think most people of the names I came across in schooling was, you know, people had a background to that name. So, yeah, I think they do, but on occasion, some don't.
Yeah, I've had a pretty unique experience, you know. Like I said, I teach at a Title One school in Dallas and almost everyone in my class is a refugee from either a country in Africa or the Middle East. So there's a lot of names that I've had to learn. And I had a meeting not too long ago with my my faculty, like my administration, where they said, learn your kids' names. Do not give them nicknames. Do not let them give you an American name. Because their name is powerful and it is their identity. And it's theirs and you as a teacher should always respect it.
And so I have like two or three students where like, I struggle with their names and they have said, Oh, you can just call me this. And I have been like no, like, your name is Subhanallah, like I'm gonna get it right one time. And I finally have it now, but you know, first two weeks I was like 'Sub, Sub who lee'. (laughter)
Wow, well Ellery. I love what you just said, because you just taught us and sanctioned the Prophet's words on why we should use the full name of the church. There's power in that. Wow, that was so cool. Thank you. A couple years ago, I read a book called Freakonomics and in that book - have you read that Ellery? - I love your face. You're like, Uh huh.
Yeah, I mean, I haven't read it. But I mean, I have it. Yeah.
Okay. Well, if you have it, go to the chapter called "A Roshanda By Any Other Name. Because they did this incredible study, and what they found is that naming your child really can influence how they perform in school or their career opportunities. They did this whole research on it. And it is so fascinating. And it explores the naming of children and the expectation that you have based solely on their name. And given that exploration and study of that, it made me think about, here's Heavenly Father naming His church, and then He gives the expectations. We're going to read what the expectations are then and why the Lord named it and here's what He's hoping that the church does. It's in verses 5 and 6. So Ellery, will you please read Doctrine and Covenants section 115, verses 5 and 6. And as Ellery reads those, let's mark - I would like to know what you mark, what are the expectations you find in these verses?
5 "Verily I say unto you all: Arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations;
6 "And that the gathering together upon the land of Zion, and upon her stakes, may be for a defense, and for a refuge from the storm, and from wrath when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole earth."
So tell me from those two verses, what's the Lord hoping out of His church?
Well to be the ensign that it is to all nations, every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, that I mean the whole earth.
Yeah. I think it's, the word I think of is community. I think a community does all of those things.
Yeah. I was so interested with the wording in there when he said to be a light to shine forth. There's an interesting book by a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University. And he wrote this book called <The Spiritual Physics of Light>, and how there is an actual physical light that we have. It's a fascinating read. And I'm just thinking, like, have you ever been able to notice somebody's light by looking at them? Is that a real thing in your experience?
The only experience I can think of, and of course, people have told this story over and over and over again. When, when the church built the Jerusalem Center in Jerusalem for the church, and they were told they could never do missionary work, and that's true to this day; all the students, the faculty, anyone, cannot do missionary work at all. And they explained that to the Mayor, and said, 'We promise you they will do not, no missionary work, we won't preach the gospel.' And he looked at - I think it was, it may have been Elder Holland or Brother Faust at the time - and said, "What can we do about the light in their eyes?"
So the Mayor at the time, I think it was Koch was the mayor at the time, knew that the light of the gospel shone through the eyes of those students and those faculty. It's obvious. I mean, when you have the light of the gospel, and you're among a lot of other people who do not have the light of the gospel, you do shine forth. It's significant. It's, it's an actual thing. And I think that if you have the light of the gospel, then then you're on the right path.
Sharon, I love that you brought that up because Ellery was one of those students. Ellery, tell us about that experience with the light?
Did I have the light? I hope I did.
Did you experience light with other people. Is that a thing over there, did you think?
Yeah, I think there definitely is a light. I think people are definitely drawn to you, especially there. I just think everyone kind of has a light, though. I feel like if you love God, and you truly love people like He loves you, you have that light as well.
Right. It's not exclusive. It's, it's not exclusive to the to the Latter-Day Saints, but I think it's noticeable. But no, yes, I think any. I mean Mother Teresa, gosh, hello,
The Light of Christ right there.
Yeah, right there. Yes. Yeah. That's not just our trademark. It can be anybody's trademark who's following the Savior, and doing His will and keeping His commandments. Yeah.
Well, I found so much strength in verse 6, where it says that it will be "a defense for a refuge from the storm and from wrath". I just think about the church, in my own experience, the times in my life where going to church has been that for me. I remember when I graduated from college, I didn't have any friends. It was like the first day of kindergarten. I moved into my grandparents' basement, and I ate frozen jam and walnuts, because I had no money, that was in their food storage. And I didn't know a single soul. And the only thought I had was, Go to church. All right, so I walk in. And I actually physically felt just this (sigh).
Okay, here's my first step into the rest of whatever happens in my life, I don't know. And it was so scary. I didn't have any friends. I didn't know who to sit with. And it turned out that that ward was a defense and a refuge from the storm. And it has been every Sunday I walk into church, even with crazy kids, and I'm trying to get them to not fight during the Sacrament. There are moments when it is a refuge from the storm and from wrath in my life.
I think you're right and I have many friends who are not members of the church and they say, Oh, well, I get my religion when I go to the mountains, you know, I can, you know, I can go up to the mountains and be close to God. And I, that's fine. I think it's wonderful that you can do that. And in my mind's eye and in my heart, I'm saying, And I get to go to church and take the Sacrament. And it just is a contrast for me, like you said. It's a sense of belonging, of comfort, of being loved, of being in a safe place.
I agree. You know, I think the church has been great. I also think my home, my house where my parents have cultivated an environment where Christ is the center, where the gospel has been taught, where covenants were made. It was also a refuge. I feel like it's more of like a micro level version of a church. And I definitely have felt refuge there more personally, more than I ever did on the pews. I think you know, I have a very unique experience, and probably my mom will go more into detail about that - next episode, so stay on and listen to that one next week.
But definitely my home, which I think is just a micro extension of the church has definitely been a place of refuge where I have felt safe, where I have been engulfed with that light that my parents and my siblings, my brothers - whoo, I'm crying - have always extended to me.
And always will.
Always will. Yeah,
I know your family, always will. What a beautiful testament to them, Ellery. And especially when using the word covenants. I think that's what is such the big difference in all of, in the equation for all of this is. It's based on covenants, that the Lord will protect you, and that the Lord loves you. And it goes back to you're part of His family. I love how you called Him the father, Ellery, in the previous segment. That's what a loving father does, and always will do. I mean, that was pretty great. So,
And then it's kind of cool, because then He then teaches them and says, Okay, and by the way, start building the temple, build my house. We're going to need my house here for all of the saints, for people who don't come from a strong home like Ellery does. I love that the Lord's provided a home for us, and that's in the temples. And so that's so cool He does that for them. So, is there anything else you wanted to talk about with section 115, Sharon or Ellery? Because we're going to end there and go into section 116?
Well, I think for me in verse 5, where it says, we had to be a standard for the nations. That means that Ellery, you and I and others, we have to be that standard. I have to be the light. I have to be the doer of the word and not just the reader of the word.
And it's hard.
Um-hmm, sometimes it is.
It's not easy!
Sometimes it's hard. Yeah.
Well, and I thought this was interesting. So I looked up the word 'standards'. "Cuz I thought, Okay, what is our definition here? And in the 1828 dictionary, it says, "a rule or a model" - but this is what fascinated me - it says, "a standing tree not supported or attached to anything." Now that, given what we talked about a few weeks ago, and Ellery you know this, because your brother Ben taught it to me - the idea of these trees that like, died because they were in the perfect condition without wind. And then I talked about that two weeks ago on the episode about these trees, and that the wind actually gives you what's called Stress Wood, and it makes you stronger and able to stand and you're standing there alone.
And I, and then all these trees are around you. I just thought that was so cool, this idea that "thy light may be a standard", "a tree, able to stand on its own". And that was so powerful to me. Because that's what we're asked to do. And then we're all going to help each other as trees of Zion. And we talked about that; it was such a cool episode. So I love that connection. Thank you, Sharon, for bringing that up.
Well, I mean, going back to the name thing, I hope it's okay. I say this, but I was just thinking, since I moved to Dallas. I'm from Utah, grew up my whole life. I went on a mission, and then I went to the Jerusalem Center. So, surrounded by members of the church my whole life. So this has been my first time where I am a minority in every sense of that word. And so people are like, Oh, you're a Mormon. You're Mormon. And I'm like, actually, like, I'm like, Oh, yeah, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and they're like, so what are you, even Christian? I'm like, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. (laughter)
So I never realized how much power the name has when we've had this nickname for so long that people didn't even realize we were Christian. Like, all these very educated people who are in my program, right? You know, they're doing what I'm doing, they're getting their Master's with me and they're like, you guys are Christian? Like, it's in our name! They're like, oh, I've never heard that name. They're like, Oh, anyways, it just kind of show like, the power of a name. When you let a nickname take over, you lose so much.
Absolutely. Great. Thank you Ellery. Okay. Well, it's just so cool to me. Because with these verses where the Lord's telling him to build a house, the Lord is consistent in His ask, because He wants them to build the temple in Far West. But unfortunately they were never able to. So here's what happened. They are harassed and run out of Missouri in about two years time. And after they left, members of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles and a few others, they returned back to Far West to dedicate a temple site there in obedience to the commandment from the Lord, in Section 115 verse 11, and in 118. So we're going to stop for just a second because in the next segment, we get to read a section that relates to the only thing that I wanted to hear about in my patriarchal blessing, and I cannot wait to talk about it.
Segment 3 25:38
Okay, here we go. Oh -ho-ho! I love this section so much, it's only one verse long. I used to always tell my students, Hey, memorize section 116 and you can brag you have a whole section memorized in the Doctrine and Covenants! Just a few 37 words long, that's all it is. And I, it speaks volumes. So let's just jump in to Doctrine and Covenants section 116. Alright, here's the section heading: "Adam-ondi-Ahman." That's what it's called. Sharon, read this section for us.
The whole section?
The whole section 116.
"Spring Hill is named by the Lord Adam-ondi-Ahman, because, said he, it is the place where Adam shall come to visit his people, or the Ancient of Days shall sit, as spoken out by Daniel the prophet."
Thank you, Sharon. Okay, that's it. That's the whole section. Phew! It was a lot, I know. Now, this section was written in what we talked about last week, in his Scriptory Book. Now if you notice, it was given near Wight's Ferry at a place called Spring Hill. So here's a little bit of background about this. Wight's Ferry is named after LymanWight, and he had a ferry that he established along the Grand River, which was about 25 miles north of Far West. And he also built a log cabin at the bottom of a hill called Spring Hill.
And Joseph comes for a visit to see Lyman. And when he's there, he receives this revelation about Adam-ondi-Ahman. And this idea of Adam-ondi-Ahman is not new, it's not something Joseph Smith created. You can cross reference section 116 to Daniel chapter 7, verses 9-14, as well as Doctrine and Covenants 107, verses 53-55. So it's really cool. There's a song that's written about it by WW Phelps called "Adam-ondi-Ahman", it's hymn #49. And it was the song that was sung at the Kirtland Temple Dedication, which I thought was neat. Tell me, what do you guys know about Adam-ondi-Ahman? What's going to happen at this place that's so fabulous?
First of all, Adam-ondi-Ahman is in the Adamic language. And it means "valley of God where Adam dwelt", according to Orson Pratt. And that's from Dan Ludlow's book on <Companion to the Doctrine and Covenants>. I mean, not Parley, it was Orson Pratt, and it's 25 miles north of Far West. So it's in that vicinity. And when I read that information I thought, it ties together, he's restoring the gospel. I mean, Joseph is an instrument in restoring the gospel, even to the point of using Adam-ondi-Ahman and the Adamic language. I mean, it just connects me to that part of the gospel 3000, 4000 years ago. For somehow that was reassuring for me. It's reassuring that the Prophet keeps going back to things as they were to bring them to us, so that we can flourish. And just, I became appreciative of his words and his naming this Adam-ondi-Ahman.
Yeah, great insight. Because in this valley, there's going to be a big old meeting that's going to take place. And I don't know why, but I learned about this at 16 and I really did go to get my blessing. And I was saying, Heavenly Father, just please say I'll be there, please say I'll be there, please say I'll be there like, I just want to go to this meeting. And now that I'm older, I've even tried to like, negotiate with the Lord: I'll clean bathrooms, I'll set up chairs, whatever it is, let me go. Because we believe that prior to the Savior's second coming, there will be this big gathering of the children of Adam.
In Daniel chapter 7, verse 10, it says that there will be 10,000 times 10,000 people there. Now listen, I'm not good with math - 'pi r square, carry the one' - but I did times it and it's like 100 million people. I mean, this could be literal, or it could be the Hebrew meaning of that '10,000', which we love, which just means 'a great multitude', lots of people will be there. And at this meeting is when Jesus Christ will be received as King of kings and Lord of lords. And every person who has held a key of the priesthood will be gathered at this meeting. And all of the keys of the priesthood will then be handed back to the Savior, Jesus Christ. And, everybody has to make an accounting for how they used their specific key. And whether they did good or not.
It's almost sort of a mini judgment for the righteous, and there's two really great quotes. One is by President Joseph Fielding Smith and the other by Bruce R McConkie. They're in our show notes, so go ahead and read that. But I mostly appreciate that Bruce R McConkie said it won't just be men; that faithful Latter-Day Saints, men and women will be invited to this meeting. I mean,
How are they going to do that? How are you going to get 1000s, 10s of 1000s, millions in Adam-ondi-Ahman? I don't know the work
It's a of land, and it's really nice land. I've been there and I like it.
We're talking millions. We're talking millions of people.
If it's real, according to Daniel, it is 100 million people. I'm not good at the math, but I'm pretty sure we did it when I taught seminary. And I'm like, that's a lot of people.
Well, I just hope I have my iPhone with me or my or something to where I can tune in, because I can't imagine that I will be there with 100 million people. I mean,
I don't know how it's gonna work.
United States is large, but 100 million people. My goodness gracious.
But what a cool meeting,
But you're going to be there obviously.
Well, I mean, I'm hoping. But to be there and then look over and you're like, "Huh? That coat looks like it's of any colors. Oh, yeah. Yeah, that's Joseph. Or, (laughs) I mean, we'll find out what that really means in Hebrew. But anyway, high humor me, or this beautiful woman with a crown and you're like, I'm pretty sure that's Esther. I mean, I just imagine all of us hanging out together. We're all hanging out and we're chatting underneath our breath go, "Oh, that's gotta be, that's gotta be Esther. I'll say, Ellery, Go ask her for her autograph.
Right, right. Yeah, I'm sure there will be pen and pencil there.
I'll offer her a Diet Coke and be like, you've been missing out.
Oh, I think Esther would totally be drinking Diet Coke with us. And so here's this really cool meeting and Sharon, I like how you brought up that the Prophet Joseph Smith is restoring this knowledge, like, and it's just a little bloop. 'Oh, by the way, here's something you might want to know: where I'm standing, Adam-ondi-Ahman.' No one had heard of it. I mean, it's just, it's been around. But he's, he's restoring that knowledge back to the earth and that is so cool. I like that you brought that up.
I don't believe in miracles usually. But I think this church is a miracle. I think most miracles are just the Lord using the laws that have been established to bring about something that can happen. But this, this church, we started with 6 members in 1830. And we now have over 16 million. And we have the Doctrine and Covenants.; we have the Book of Mormon; we have the Pearl of Great Price; we have all the scriptures. That is to me a miracle. It's just amazing.
Well, I love that you just brought up the growth of the church because yeah, 1830, in eight years time, there's 5000 members. That's incredible growth!
The Churches is true.
Just this. So okay, that's section 116. So much fun. Go to the shownotes because there's a lot of stuff you can read about it. And I put it in there because it's one of my favorite topics. So Adam-ondi-Ahman and read the scriptures in Daniel that talks about who will be there, and it's just, it's worth the study.
So, what you need to know is the saints then are moving into Far West and in July of 1838, the very last group of saints, called the Kirtland Camp - and I thought this was endearing - sometimes they were called the Kirtland Poor Camp, because they were some of the poorest saints in Kirtland, Ohio. And they began their journey; they were, there were roughly 500 of them, and only about half are going to make it to Far West in October of 1838. The other half, they drop out due to illness, but they're gonna later meet up with the saints in Nauvoo after everyone is driven out of Missouri due to the extermination order, which is so sad.
So when the Kirtland camp left Ohio for Missouri, there were interestingly enough, two men missing from this camp. And in the next segment, I'm going to tell you who they are, and why they were missing, and it has to do with section 117.
Segment 4 33:41
So here we go, Doctrine and Covenants section 117, then. In Section 117, and the section heading, tell me who are the two men this revelation is given to. Who are the two men that are missing?
William Marks and Newell K. Whitney.
and Oliver Granger?
Yes, in fact, it's, right now it's William Marks and Newell K. Whitney, and then Oliver Granger's kind of added at the end of this section. But he wasn't part of the group of men. And so I'm glad you brought that up. So the Lord gives this revelation to Joseph about William and Newell because they stayed back to set apart the land to build the temple. And then also to kind of take care of the lands and do something with them.
And so it's interesting. I have here, when President Marks was called to preside as the Stake President at Far West and Bishop Newell K. Whitney, they both stayed behind to protect the investments and the land in Kirtland without simply walking away and losing everything, because they knew they had money in the land. So they're like we're gonna stay and take care of this, you guys go ahead.
And then Joseph received section 117 at a conference that was being held in Far West. And it was directed at these two men as well as one other person, and that's who we're gonna talk about, Ellery, is Oliver Granger. So I'm glad you read all three of those names. So here is instruction that the Lord is giving William and Newell and I really like how He sums this up for them. In verse 4 and 5, let's read these two verses and tell me in just our own language, what is He saying to these two men? Sharon, will you read verses 4 and 5.
4 "Let them repent of all their sins, and of all their covetous desires, before me, saith the Lord; for what is property unto me? saith the Lord.
5 "Let the properties of Kirtland be turned out for debts, saith the Lord. Let them go, saith the Lord, and whatsoever remaineth, let it remain in your hands, saith the Lord."
What's He saying? Sum that up in our language.
Uh, don't covet properties, don't sweat the small stuff. I mean, He's saying, You're holding on to stuff you shouldn't. Let it go, we need to move on. I think that's what He's saying. At least that's what I heard Him say.
What did you hear, Ellery?
Yeah, I heard the same thing. Sometimes we hyper-fixate or focus on like, the wrong things or more - I don't want to say worldly but like - I mean money and land are very important, life-providing things. But ultimately He's telling them like, Hey, I am God. Like, I'm telling you to leave it.
I love the wording in verse 4, how fun is this? "What is property unto me?" 'Let it go, who cares? Get back with the saints. That's what I, I need you to do.' And then what I love, is in verses 6, 7, and 8, He then just proves His point to them when He says, 'What is property unto me?' I love these three verses. And so let's read these. Ellery, read verses 6 and 7. And then we'll stop there for a minute.
6 "For have I not the fowls of heaven, and also the fish of the sea, and the beasts of the mountains? Have I not made the earth? Do I not hold the destinies of all the armies of the nations of the earth?
7 "Therefore, willI not make solitary places to bud and to blossom, and to bring forth abundance? saith the Lord."
What are those words telling us about the Lord?
He's in charge. 'I can do this, you know, the beasts, the fishes, the mountains, everything. They're in my hands. Don't worry. Don't sweat this stuff. I've got it.' He's just saying I've got this. You know?
I almost feel like He's also being like, I made this. Like, do you not understand? I feel like He's being a little sassy. (laughters)
Yeah, for sure.
I believe my god has a personality. My God is funny. My God laughs at my jokes. Um, and He could be sassy. And so I'm right here. I'm sensing the sass. Like,
I'm sensing the sass. (laugh)
I am, He's like, being like, I made the bird's, I control wars. Like, don't you get it?
Ellery, I love that you brought that one up at the end of verse 6. "Do I not hold the destinies of all the armies of the nations of the earth?" I mean, if He's, and then I apply that to me. Like, if he, if He holds the destinies of armies, surely He holds the destiny of me in His hands. Like, He's got me. He's got all of this planned out, He has it all figured out. And I love the "will I not make some solitary place to bud and blossom"; I can do anything I want to do. And then He hits us with verse 8. And there is so much power packed in this verse. So Sharon, will you read verse 8, because there's two Hebrew words, and we're going to need your help on these. So hit it.
8 "Is there not room enough on the mountains of Adam-ondi-Ahman, and on the plains of Olaha Shinehah, or the land where Adam dwelt, that you should covet that which is but the drop, and neglect the more weighty matters?"
Okay, what notes do you have on this verse, Sharon?
Well, I have that 'Olaha' means moon, and that Shinehah means sun. So it is the Valley of the Sun and the Moon, in the vicinity of or on the plains of Adam-ondi-Ahman.
It's so amazing. I have all that in the Show Notes, so you guys can go and read about those words in Hebrew. But I mean, He doesn't miss anything; He has over everything. And that's what He's trying to say to us, and so isn't it interesting that - just kind of help me out with this - think in your educated brains, and I know you guys think this deep, how heavy these words are. Because He says, "Is there not room enough on all of everything that I've created - the sun, the moon, the valley where Adam dwelled?"And then He says this, "that you should covet that which is but a drop".
He's saying, And you're worried about something that's just a drop. Something so insignificant, you're so worried about it, and I'm telling you right now, it's just a drop to me. I need you just to breathe, because then He says, 'because you're neglecting the more weightier matters'. Now, what is He teaching us with that verse today in the life we live?
To me, He's, the council I'm getting from that is, Sharon, pay attention to what the Lord would have you pay attention to and don't worry about the world. Don't worry about the other stuff that is not significant in the eternal perspective. I put the eternity things on mostly what He says and think that I need to pay attention to the eternal perspective of what He's telling me. Not the drop in the bucket that He's, you know, not this little piddly-wot piece of property in Ohio. You know, so that, that's
Great application. What about you Ellery?
I'm just thinking, it's so much easier to read this and, you know, know the background and be like, yeah, you guys, it's just a piece of land. But, you know, as we were talking about the history of what's going on during this time, and you know how the saints are suffering, and, you know, there's not money in the church, like, there is now.
So I'm just thinking about in my life when things are hard, it's really hard to keep the eternal perspective. It's really hard to keep the eternal perspective when you, you know, don't really want to make it to the next day because life is so hard. And so, you know, I'm just sitting here thinking this, and I'm like, agreeing with it. But as I'm thinking about my own life, it's not easy. And so it's like, kind of hard for me to hear God be like, you know, don't covet just the drop, but I'm like that drop is my life, and it's hard. I don't know. That's what I'm thinking.
Well, and it was hard for Newel K and for Marx and Granger, because they fell away for a while. They estranged themselves from what was happening. Fortunately, they came back, but they were, I think they were experiencing the hard stuff like you were explaining, Ellery. I agree with you 100%. It's hard, and that they found it hard.
I want to know, in your life right now, how are you managing the drop? Is there advice you'd give someone to help them when it comes to the drop?
Good question. Um, I mean, I only have my answer. And I don't want to say it's like, applies to everyone. But I have a therapist. That's number one. She's awesome. But number two is covenants. Knowing them and knowing their blessings has been good for me. And knowing that if I keep them, even though maybe I don't understand them, and it's hard, I can still get those blessings. I think using the Atonement is really great. You know, I had, last time I came on, I talked about how one of my favorite scriptures is Alma 7:11, about the Atonement, and how the Lord felt all of our feelings and emotions in Gethsemane. And so calling upon that and not feeling as lonely. Sorry.(emotional)
Well, at least you have some options. I mean,
Yeah, no, there's options
Yeah, there are options, I mean, you're not stuck.
No, you feel pretty stuck. I won't lie.
I mean, you have backup: with the covenants, with your therapist, with your family.
You know, last week's episode, I said, I started out the whole episode by saying, The three most important relationships you'll have in this lifetime are with God, yourself, and Jesus Christ. And when you know who those three beings are, you are unstoppable. There is no amount of good that you cannot do. And God will use you because you know who you are, and you know who they are. And it will look different for everybody. And I just love, Sharon, that you said the backup plan. Wow, that was good. What about Sharon, for you? How have you managed the drop?
I think, like Ellery, the covenants, and I have throughout my life felt the Savior's love. And knowing how many times I drop, how many times I drop the drops or whatever I do, He's still going to love me and help me to fulfill the measure of my creation, you know. I'm in my 80s, I've never married, I don't have children. Where's the measure my creation? Hello. I don't have children. I don't have grandchildren. I don't have great grandchildren. So I have to talk to Him about the measure of MY creation, not yours with four children, or anybody else's with 10 or seven, whatever. I have to figure that out and gratefully and blessedly, I have our Savior and the Holy Ghost and God the Father to help me figure that out.
Thank you. Thank you both for sharing that. I appreciate that. Satan loves the drop, he will have us hyper-focus on the drop. And I just love where the Lord's like, 'It's just a drop. Like, I got you, remember? I just told you that, don't I hold the destiny of all the armies? Surely I hold the destiny of Ellery in my hands. And the destiny of Sharon, and of Tammy, and every person that's listening, I got you. I just tried to point that out. So don't focus on the drop; focus on the weightier matters,' what really and, and it goes back to how we started. 'What really matters is that you're my child, and I adore you. And you're part of my church, you're part of my family, the Church of Jesus Christ and Daughters.'
Like, I just think that's so powerful for me. That's the title of Section 117. That's the only thing that we need to learn from this is: "More Weighty Matters." What does that mean to you? And that's what we're here to figure out. And we're all just figuring it out every single one of us.
Yeah, trying to get back to him in the best way we know how.
Absolutely. Thank you ladies, that was beautiful. In fact, I want to know how those of you who are listening, how do you manage the drop? I think that's an interesting question. I'd love to know what you have to say about that. Okay, well, we're not done talking about this section, because in the next segment, we're going to talk about two more names and their significance.
Segment 5 46:51
Okay, in Doctrine and Covenants section 117 there was a very weird name in verse 11. So do either one of you, Ellery or Sharon have anything about the nickel light? Nicolaitions?
Nicolaitane. It's called the Nicolaitane band in verse 11 and Newell K. Whitney's being warned about this Nicolaitane band. So if anybody read that and thought, What in the world, and their secret abominations? We just have a little bit of here's what you want to know, because it's just another name. So what do you got?
Well, there was a Nicholas in the Old Testament that founded this kind of thing. I think this nicolaitane movement. But that's all I, that's all I know.
It's interesting, because it's, it was an ancient religious sect. They said they were Christians, but they strayed from the true principles of the gospel, and they followed worldly practices. And you could read about this in the Bible Dictionary and in the Book of Revelations. And so he's kind of using this as, as an idea for Newell K. Whitney. He's bringing this up saying, Listen, you're following worldly practices, let it go. Like, that's why that is in that verse. So that's all you need to know about that verse and that name.
But now let's talk about a more important name. It is Oliver Granger. And I love this person's story and I love these verses to him. So who is he and what did he do? Let's read these verses about him. It's verses 12 and 13. And Ellery, we're with you. Will you please read these two verses about Oliver Granger. Here's what the Lord has to say to him.
12 "And again, I say unto you, I remember my servant Oliver Granger; behold, verily I say unto him that his name shall be had in sacred remembrance from generation to generation, forever and ever, saith the LORD.
13 "Therefore, let him contend earnestly for the redemption of the First Presidency of my church, saith the Lord; and when he falls he shall rise again, for his sacrifice shall be more sacred unto me than his increase, saith the Lord."
Now, did anything strike you about verse 12? Look back at that verse. What did the Lord say specifically about him and us?
We're gonna remember his name forever.
Do you know it?
Considering t never heard it until now.
Right? That totally struck me. I was like, uh, come again. I've never heard this guy's name in my life. So we, today, on this podcast, are going to learn his name so that we can remember him forever and ever throughout generations to come. I just think this is so awesome. So Oliver Granger, Sharon, do you have anything about him?
No, I don't. Other than I've written in my scriptures, "a good man, a businessman, a loyal disciple." That's that's what I wrote.
That's exactly who he is. Here's a great quote by Boyd K. Packer about Oliver Granger, and Sharon, will you read this for us.
"What did Oliver Granger do that his name should be held in sacred remembrance?Nothing much, really. It was not so much what he did as what he was. The Lord did not expect all Oliver to be perfect. Perhaps not even to succeed. We cannot always expect to succeed but we should try the best we can." Amen, Brother Packer.
Amen! I mean, that is, I love it. What did he do ? Nothing, really.
Not much, really, hmm?
But here's how he's gonna be remembered. And it's what is in verse 13. So go back to verse 13, where He says right here, that "when he fails, he shall rise again". Now highlight this: "for his sacrifice shall be more sacred unto me than his increase." Tells us about that, like, what does this teach us about our sacrifices that we make in our lifetime?
They're important to the Lord, that He recognizes them.
Absolutely. And that they're hard. What did you write again next to that verse, so we can write that?
That he was a good man, a good business, a good businessman, and a true disciple.
Perfect. I like that. I'm gonna put that in my scriptures. Okay, so there's Oliver Granger. And now we're just gonna jump into section 118 with this, because this is one of those sections, Sharon, where we talked about like, it's really hard. We're squeezing as much as we can out of Section 118. Because section 118 was specifically given to the 12 Apostles, and the title for section 118 is "12 Apostles- Faith and Obedience". Now I asked you both ahead of time, what can we learn from section 118? Why is it important enough to put in the Doctrine and Covenants?
Well, the Savior needed to have His church complete. And at the time He had had four of the Apostles defect. And so He needed to have four more called immediately and explain to them what their duties were, so that they could go out and spread the gospel. He had to have, well He was restoring the church. And that the restoration of church means 12 Apostles, not eight and counting, but 12. And for me, it tells me, He's in charge. The Lord is in charge. It's His church, and He needs to have this done, so that it can move forward, regardless of what's happening in Missouri. Regardless of what's happening in Ohio; get those 12 apostles on board and get them out to all the nations. That's what I got from it. I don't know.
That's a great answer to the 'so what' question. All right, what about you, Ellery. So what? Why do we have section 118?
I think it's just a repeated example of missionary work and then the Lord providing for the families of the missionaries, right? It's, it's a repeated theme all throughout Doctrine and Covenants, like, this, the same same verbage, right? Like, I promise that I will provide for their families. It's always a promise. And you know, when you get a promise from the Lord, He keeps it. That's pretty powerful. Just show, showing how much He values missionary work.
Will you read that verse for Ellery. It's verse 3 that you mentioned. It's a great verse.
3 "Let the residue continue to preach from that hour, and if they will do this in all lowliness of heart, in meekness and humility, and long-suffering, I, the Lord, will give unto them a promise that I will provide for their families; and an effectual door will be opened for them from henceforth."
Thank you. What a powerful promise. And I love what they have to do: lowliness of heart, meekness, and humility, and long-suffering. Praying for those things and doing those the Lord will provide and protect. So that's a great answer to the 'so what' too, so thank you Ellery, excellent job. All right. That's section 118. So before we can move on, here's what we need to know.
Beginning in 1837, the church experienced some severe financial difficulties and many individual church members suffered. And we talked about this last week, the financial problems resulted from a national economic depression, mob violence in Missouri and Ohio that drove saints from their homes, and an unwillingness of some saints to live the law of consecration. So by 1838, with more saints gathering in Caldwell County, Missouri, the church needed money to accomplish what the Lord commanded them to do, such as building a temple in Far West.
So the bishops in Ohio and Missouri, they encouraged the saints to bring all their tithes and offerings to the storehouse. In the next segment, we're going to find out what specific question Joseph asked the Lord about this situation and what the Lord had to say.
Segment 6 54:28
Alright ladies, I want you to look at the section heading for Doctrine and Covenants 119, and tell me, what specific question did Joseph asked the Lord?
Well, he says, "O Lord, show unto thy servants how much thou requirest of the properties of thy people for a tithing." So he's not really asking a question, he's saying, Tell us, okay, show us thy servants, how much thou requirest of the properties of thy people, the tithing.
Very Good. And at the very end of that section heading, it says, "The Prophet asked the Lord how much of their property he required for sacred purposes." And so we get an answer in this revelation. And the answer is found in verse 4. Sharon read verse 4 for us. Actually, verse 3 and verse 4, because they're good.
3 "And this shall be the beginning of the tithing of my people.
4 "And after that, those who have thus been tithed shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them forever, for my holy priesthood, saith the Lord."
What is significant about those two verses for us today?
Still doing it.
Yep, still doing it.
There it is. Up until that point, the saints had not been commanded to pay 1/10th; there wasn't an actual number value on it. And so they were just paying into the law of consecration, which I think is interesting because I almost feel like the law of tithing is sort of a law of Moses. Like it's a baby step to getting us to live the law of consecration, don't you think so?
Like, when all is said and done in Zion, we're not really gonna have to pay 10% because we're just going to be free flowing with everything, right? But the Lord's like, Listen, they're not getting this law of consecration thing, so let's just start with 10%. Which I'm grateful He didn't go with 20. So I'm thankful for the 10. (laughter) We'll start with 10%
or even 50%.
Well, yeah, thank you. They could have done with, and 50 would have been beneficial to the saints at this time. That 10%, not a lot. So the title for Section 119 is "The Lord's Law of Tithing." We're going to combine it with section 120, because section (1)20 is a question, well, who's going to disperse of the tithing funds? and that's the title for (1)20 "Disbursement of Tithing Funds".
So what I want to know about this section is, we're learning from the Lord that it's important to pay tithing, we all understand that. And I like how in Section 119, the Lord lays out what exactly it is preparing us for, and that is in verse 6, so Ellery, will you read verse 6, please. And then let's talk about what the Lord is preparing us for with the law of tithing.
6 "And I say unto you, if my people observe not this law, to keep it holy, and by this law sanctify the land of Zion unto me, that my statutes and my judgments may be kept thereon, that it may be the most holy, behold, verily I say unto you, it shall not be a land of Zion unto you."
What is it preparing us for?
To be a glorious Zion people. Do you fell that way when you're paying your 10%?
I just know that the blessings come from the 10%. What struck me and then I looked it up was it said, "sanctify the land of Zion". And so I have a quote here from James Talmage. And he says, "by this law, sanctify the land of Zion". And this is what Talmage said,
"Do you know that the soil can be sanctified by the tithing of its products? The land can be sanctified as Malachi 3: 8-10. There is a relationship between the elements and forces of nature, and the actions of men."
So if we pay our tithing and we have a garden, the garden may produce more because we're paying tithing. He's making a connection between what we can produce from the land, in addition to the land of Zion, but that the land is important to us, and that paying tithing connects us to the produce of the land. I just think it was an interesting little side thing that I had not thought about before.
Well, me neither, because let's talk about that, Sharon. we were just talking about gardens before we started and sometimes our gardens do great and sometimes they don't. How do we reconcile that when you are paying your tithing?
Right, and I still have sufficient for my needs. And I'm not sure that's a black and white situation like that. Pay your tithing and you'll have a great produce. I'm just making the point I think for me, paying my tithing will help me in somehow, some way consciously, subconsciously, whatever, take care of the land as well.
I like this connection. Ellery, how do you see paying your tithing as a way to sanctify the land?
I mean, I think the act of paying tithing is one of the most humbling experiences someone can have. Because I really don't have anything of value to the Lord. He doesn't need my money. Like, we just literally read those scriptures saying, like, He controls wars, He made the battles. And he's sitting here asking for my money? Like, He doesn't need it. And especially again, especially now, the church does not need my teacher salary 10% you know? Yeah, I mean, probably back in, you know, this time they did, obviously, but I'm thinking about, you know, the doctrine of it lasting up until now.
So that's where I think like the concept of tithing, as you called it "a Moses step", is humbling me and preparing me one day for a higher law. But I think it's humbling in the way that like, I do need the money. Like, that 10% could definitely help me out or I could do other things with it. And there are people where they need it more, but it's a sacrifice and we just learned from our friend in the other chapter, whose name I will always remember - Oliver Granger - that God cares more about our sacrifices than anything. So that's exactly what I think it is. It's a sacrifice and that's why it's humbling.
I'm so grateful you connected it back to Oliver Granger; that our sacrifice, our tithing is more sacred than our increase. I'd never had that connection till just now. That is so cool, Ellery. That's what it's about.
It is, it absolutely is. I have a, had a dear friend who's passed on now and he thought he was a good member of the church, but he wouldn't pay his tithing because he said, I can't. I don't have a voice in how the church is spending my money. And I thought, Wait, wait a minute, you've, you've forgotten something here. And I think what you said, Ellery, is part of what he had forgotten. He was not willing to sacrifice his 10% because he couldn't tell the brethren and how he wanted it to be spent. I thought, you missed the whole point.
And I think, Ellery, your point is very well taken. It is humbling, and it is a sacrifice. And it's for me, it's saying, Heavenly Father, I love you and this is one way of my showing my love for you cuz I'm willing to do this. I'm willing to do this. And anything else you would ask. It's a good, a good point.
Yeah, definitely. I mean, at some point in all of our lives, haven't you kind of thought, Boy, you know, that tithing check could have gotten me out of a couple of jams. Like, I could have used that extra cash. And when it comes back to this idea, like I think of us at Adam-ondi-Ahman, or Judgment Day, or how that's going to work out and the Lord, yeah, like he's just like, You did it. Your sacrifice meant more to me than anything you could have gained.
Yeah. I think it's interesting, too, that Abraham paid tithes to Melchezidek. So again, the Prophet Joseph Smith is restoring, he's restoring and restoring and restoring. He just didn't come up with it. Like, we're poor. Like the United firm has been dissolved and it's now the United order. And it's, it's the law of consecration and it's tithing. He didn't come up with that stuff out of nowhere. Restoring what was done originally, and I just, again, I'm overwhelmed at what the Prophet Joseph Smith did to restore the gospel in its fullness. That means continual. You know, it hasn't been totally restored.
Excellent. Thank you, Sharon. So before we end, do either of you have a tithing story you want to share or anything you'd like to share about tithing?
My mother was a member of the church, but not active. She just just wasn't active. She didn't believe in Joseph Smith, she didn't believe all kinds of things. But she paid her tithing every week?.
Every week she paid her tithing and her offerings. And I said, "Mom, you don't even believe in the Prophet Joseph Smith. You're a member the church, what are you doing?" She said, "I believe in the principle of tithing." And I think, Okay, I'm gonna pay mine the rest of my life.
Oh, your sweet mother. What a great story.
Wow, Sharon. Thank you. What about you, Ell?
Well, I was just thinking, I growing up was in the camp of 'the church doesn't need my tithing'. I don't want to pay it. You know, I was just in high school. And then I went on a mission and I taught it. And you know, and then I served in Guatemala, so I was asking banana farmers who had nothing, to pay it. And so that's when I started doing my research on tithing,where I've come up with my testimony of you know, like I said, it's about sacrifice, and it's humbling too. The best way to humble yourself before God.
And so ever since then, I've been a full tithe payer since coming home from my mission. I think I've seen blessings here and there. I think the best blessings are the ones you don't realize that you're receiving. I personally feel like I'm being blessed and I don't know it. And I am of the persuasion like, if I stopped paying tithing, those blessings will go away. I don't know what they are, but I'm grateful for 'em.
That's great. Ellery. Thank you. Wow. Well, ladies, thank you. Thank you for sharing everything today. What a great episode for, like we said, Sharon, the tougher sections in the Doctrine and Covenants. Turns out there's good stuff.
Very good stuff. Absolutely good stuff.
So good. Okay, so just take a minute and gather your thoughts and tell me what your takeaway was from today. Something you learned that you didn't know or
I think something I'm going to take away, I'll start with the first one, is at the very beginning of the pod when you guys talked about, Sharon, staying on the team if you want to win the championship, or something like that. My mom and I have been talking about that a lot this past about 10 days or so. I mean, I've been thinking about it my whole life like, staying on the team to win the championship. You know, I'm big sports family. Like, I feel like it's a testament to me, like God personally is telling me like, Hey, stay in the team. We need you in the team, even though I'm like, I don't want to be on the team. I'm being completely frank. I'm like, I'm throwing in the towel, like I'm done with this team. But God's like, No, you're not.
So I just like, I will say it's almost like I'm serendipitous, that it was brought up once again. And then my other thing that I really loved though, was I got a soft spot for for our boy Oli, Oli Ganger, Oliver Granger. Sorry. But um, I love the idea of that, like, the Lord's gonna be like, Your sacrifice. Everyone will know your name. And then we're like who's he? But that, in reality like, his sacrifice was so important at that time.
Yeah. I love that. Me, too. Thank you, Ellery. Great takeaways.
Well, kind of two or three things like Ellery was saying, the one probably most significant to me was that this man, Joseph Smith, was constantly going to the Lord to know what to do. The gospel is true. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the Church of Jesus Christ. And as I read each section I thought, how does the Prophet do this? How does he get these revelations to run an organization as now, as huge as the church is today? But he started it. So that was my takeaway was, my sense of awe at what he did.
The second thing that I took away from was, it's important for me to know the background of a commandment, of a law. It's not just, oh, the church should do this because it would be a good thing to do. So for me, when I read now, I go to some of the history books and say, Why did the Prophet ask this question? What was going on? And then you read about everything that was going on. And we get the answers. I get the answers as to why. So those two takeaways.
Wow, great takeaways
And an appreciation for Ellery and her understanding of the gospel.
Aw, that's gonna make me cry. Again.
No, I think you have a really solid understanding of the gospel, and I appreciate your sharing. Thank you.
Thank YOU, my gosh.
Um, two takeaways for me, is, again, when Ellery said, 'The Church of Jesus Christ and Sons', or 'The Church of Jesus Christ and Daughters', because in my mind, I pictured this gigantic white moving truck, with the writing on the side. And it went all along, and it's it's got God at the wheel, and just driving all of us and whoever wants to hop on can. Come along, come for the ride; it's gonna be hard, bumpy, sometimes smooth. But guess what, we're all going to get to the same place. And so, come join us and you, and if you're going to take a break? All right, we'll circle back around. That's how great God is. And so I just, I love that idea of this van in my brain. So thank you Ellery for that.
And the Oliver Granger part connecting that to tithing. That changed, wow, that is, that was so powerful for me. And then Sharon, just when you were talking right now, the why behind all of this. I, in my mind, I'm like, Yeah, like, why would He bring up 116 in the midst of all of this turmoil? Like, what was the point of that? And then it, I made me think, here they are in such sadness and turmoil, like you said, it is tumultuous. An extermination order is about to come out and here's this calm prophet that's reminding us, Oh, by the way, Jesus is coming. Let me just, like I know it's tough. I know you don't like what we're going through right now and it's harder than you ever imagined. And some of you did leave the church because remember, I tried a bank and it failed, and you lost everything.
But Jesus is coming. So just stay with me. It's gonna be okay. Even though in a couple months we're gonna get kicked out. He just does that. The Lord continues to remind us amidst all of these trials, that's what I have noticed. That is a pattern in the Doctrine and Covenants, when times are tough God is quick to remind us who He is and what He's doing, and it's for the benefit of our good.
And you know what? I gotta say, I kind of feel like that was the message of this past General Conference. It was to remind us of Jesus and to have us just take a big deep breath. Remember that He's coming and that He has us; He has our backs. And I loved the challenge to take time for Him every day, from our Prophet. I thought that was so perfect. It's perfect for this section. It's, I think it's just perfect for the second coming to take time every day. So, anyway, wow, ladies, thank you.
I love you both so much!
You're great. You bring out the best in me, so I appreciate that. Thank you.
Well, thank you, because those were hard sections. And that was powerful. Well, we would love to hear what your big takeaway was from this episode, because that would be so fun. These are harder sections and so I'm excited to hear what you guys learned. If you haven't already joined our discussion group on Facebook or Instagram, go do it It is so great. It's an awesome place to ask questions and answer questions. And this might be a fun one to discuss.
And then at the end of the week on Saturdays, we post a call for what your big takeaway was from the week, so comment on the post that relates to this lesson, and just let us know what you learned. I read all of them. It's my favorite part of Sunday. You can get to both our Facebook and Instagram by going to the show notes for this episode on LDSLiving.com/SundayonMonday and it's not a bad idea to go there anyway, because that's where we have the links to all the references and the transcript of this whole discussion. So go check it out.
The Sunday on Monday study group is a Deseret Bookshelf Plus original and it's brought to you by LDS Living. It's written and hosted by me, Tammy Uzelac Hall, and today our incredible study group participants were Ellery Howarth and Sharon Staples. And you can find more information about my friends at LDSLiving.com/SundayonMonday. Our podcast is produced by Erika Free and me. It's 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, as a member of His family, you are His favorite.