45: "A Voice of Gladness for the Living and the Dead" (Doctrine and Covenants 125–128)
Okay, let’s be real. As fun as emptying trash cans and vacuuming never ending hallways may be, not all of us are jumping at an assignment to clean the church building. All joking aside though, the less glamorous aspects of church service can sometimes be a little harder to gather participants for. Have you ever noticed or felt like the same five people in your ward are always the same ones showing up and doing the work? Turns out you might not be alone in feeling that way. This week’s study of Doctrine and Covenants 125-128 gives us a chance to dig into this conversation and how it applies to doing temple work for our ancestors.
Section 125 Title: “Saints in Iowa”
Quote: “About this time I received a revelation, given in the City of Nauvoo, in answer to the following interrogatory—'What is the will of the Lord, concerning the Saints in the Territory of Iowa.’” (History of the Church, 4:311)
Scriptures: Doctrine and Covenants 125:2
Definition: Essaying: Trying or making an effort. See merriam-webster.com
Section 126 Title: "Brigham Young, His acceptable offering to the Lord”
“Brigham Young left Montrose, Iowa, for Great Britain on September 14, 1839, just 10 days after his wife, Mary Ann, gave birth to their fourth child. Mary Ann was also suffering from malaria. This was the fifth time since they had been married [married in 1834] that she had sent Brigham off on a mission. Having been driven from their home and having lost most of their possessions in Missouri the previous year, they were in the depths of poverty. Brigham was able to leave Mary Ann with only $2.72 for their family. Brigham and Mary Ann trusted that the Lord would provide for them and relied on a promise from the Prophet Joseph Smith that the families of the Apostles would have their needs taken care of while the Apostles were away on their mission” (See Leonard J. Arrington, Brigham Young: American Moses, 74–75, 413, 420).
For more information about Mary Ann see:
- “Indomitable Mary Ann,” by Rex G. Jensen
- “Take Special Care of Your Family,” by Lisa Olsen Tait and Chad M. Orton
Section 127 Title: “Baptisms for the Dead, Witnesses and Recordings”
Section 128 Title: “Section Title-Baptisms for the Dead, Records in Heaven”
“In May 1842 an attempt on the life of Lilburn Boggs, former governor of Missouri, had stirred up anti-Mormon feelings again, and law officers had accused Orrin Porter Rockwell, a close associate of the Prophet, as the perpetrator of the act and Joseph as an accessory to the crime. Governor Thomas Reynolds of Missouri issued an extradition request to Governor Carlin of Illinois. The Prophet was arrested but temporarily released on 8 August 1842 (the charges against him were discharged on 5 January 1843). There was such feeling in Missouri, however, that the fear of the Prophet's being kidnapped and taken back to Missouri was not unfounded, and the Prophet felt it unwise to appear in public. He went into seclusion, staying at various places in Nauvoo as well as on an island in the Mississippi River and at the home of James Taylor, the father of John Taylor, future President of the Church. From the Taylor home, Joseph wrote two letters or epistles to the members of the Church concerning the need for eyewitnesses and recorders of the baptisms for the dead that the Saints were performing in the Mississippi River” (Stephen E. Robinson, H. Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, Vol. 4, "Doctrine and Covenants 127," Deseret Book).
Scriptures: Doctrine and Covenants 127:1-3
Anthony Sweat’s book: Repicturing the Restoration: New Art to Expand Our Understanding
Anthony Sweat’s painting: “First Baptism for the Dead”
October 2019 announcement about witnesses for baptism of the dead: Witnessing Ordinances
Anthony’s painting: “Voice of God, Chamber of Father Whitmer”
Y Religion Podcast episode with Michael MacKay: The Chamber of Father Whitmer
Scriptures: Doctrine and Covenants 128:20-21,
Quote: “We had for some time made this a subject of humble prayer, and at length we got together in the Chamber of Mr Whitmer [Peter Whitmer Sr.]’s house in order more particularly to seek of the Lord information, and if possible obtain what we now so earnestly desired. After some time spent in solemn and fervent prayer, the Word of the Lord came unto us, in the Chamber, commanding us, that I should ordain Oliver Cowdery to be an Elder in the Church of Jesus Christ, and that he also should ordain me to the same office, and that after having been thus ordained, we should proceed to ordain others to the same office, according as it should be made known to us, from time to time, also commanding us, that as soon as practicable we should call together all those who had already been baptized by us, to bless bread, and break it with them, also to take wine, bless it, and drink it with them doing all these things in the name of the Lord, but to defer our own ordination until we had called together our brethren and had their sanction, and been accepted by them as their teachers, after which we were commanded to proceed to ordain each other and call out such men as the spirit should dictate unto us, and ordain them, and then attend to the laying on of hands for the Gift of the Holy Ghost” ("History, circa June–October 1839 [Draft 1]," p. , The Joseph Smith Papers).
Apocryphal book of Tobit: Bible Dictionary: Apocrypha
Elder Siakahema’s conference talk: “A House of Sequential Order,” Elder Vaiangina Sikahema
Have you ever heard the acronym S. F. P.? I had never heard this until a few years ago. I was talking about, okay, maybe I was complaining about how the same five people seem to be the ones showing up and doing all the work in church callings. And then my friend said, "Oh, SFP, the same five people, they do everything." And I was like, really? Do the SFP really do everything? Well, we're going to discuss that today as we study Doctrine and Covenants, sections 125-128.
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. Now if you're new to our study group, we just want to make sure you know how to use this podcast so, please follow the link in our description and it's going to explain how you can best use this podcast to enhance your Come Follow Me study for the week, just like my friend Laura Burford Lobber, who has been listening since it started. Hi, friend, and I hope you ended up getting a Sodalicious raspberry dream drink like you asked about and I hope you love it as much as Diane Gertie Iman does.
Now another awesome thing, - and this is truly my favorite thing - is I get to invite two friends each week to help me discuss the scriptures and I'm so excited to have Rebecca Dowdle and Jalyn Peterson. Hi, ladies.
Rebecca Dowdle 1:15
Oh, I'm so excited. Okay, Rebecca, where are you from originally?
Rebecca Dowdle 1:21
Yeah, originally, I'm from Maine. But I was thinking about it the other day. I've been in Utah for I mean, Utah, Idaho, for 21 years.
Wow. So yeah, almost longer than Maine.
Jalyn Peterson 1:33
You're a Utahn now.
And Jalyn, we haven't heard from Jalyn in a while because she moved. And she's been in transition for the last couple months. Tell us about your move, Jalyn.
So I moved to the Memphis, Tennessee area; it's part of my work. I love it here. It's amazing. I'm not as weird here. I mean, when I talk to people in the grocery store and make friends with them, people just expect, people do it to me first. So I'm not as weird is my nieces and nephews think I am when I make friends at the grocery store, I fit right in.
She fit right in.
Fit right in.
Yeah, I like to talk to people at the store and make friends with them. People just do that here.
I don't. Our friend Holly does. Do you do that, Dowdle?
No, I can't think of anything worse. And every time Holly does it, I'm like, I just keep walking. I'm like, I'll just leave. I can't sit here and talk to people. I always just hope I don't see someone I know. That's kind of how I roll.
Oh, got it.
That's her baseline.
Yeah, there's nothing wrong with that.
Because for me, if we can't go deep, then I'm not interested at all. Like, I, and so I don't do just like
She has her, she has her own SFP. Her same five people.
Okay, so if, those of you listening want to know more about my guests and see their pictures, go check out their bios, which are in our show notes at LDSliving.com/sundayonmonday. Okay, so have either of you heard that acronym?
I've never heard that. I
In mine it was STP. It was the, "Same Ten People."
Oh, okay. Do you agree with it?
It's the same 10 people,
Maybe here? Or maybe it's, do feel like it's everywhere?
I don't know.
Look, I feel like it doesn't matter where you're at.
Well, let me ask you this, Are either one of you part of the SFP? Or do you think you are or have you felt like you are?
I'm 100% Not! I can tell you that with certain, 100% certainty. Nobody thinks that I'm
I used to be. I used to be, and now I'm not.
Alright. Well, I think after today's discussion, your opinion of yourselves might change. And I think our whole opinion of the SFP will change, at least it did for me when I got done because I heard the acronym and I'm like, Yeah, that's me. But then I got done. I'm like, Umm? So grab your scriptures. And let's dig in.
Okay, you guys, here we go. The SFP principle, let's turn to Doctrine and Covenants section 125, that's where we're going to start. I'm going to have Jalyn read a quote by Joseph Smith. This is what Joseph recorded in his journal, about the specific time that section 125 was received.
"About this time I received a revelation given in the city of Nauvoo, in answering to the following interrogatory: What is the will of the Lord concerning the saints in the Territory of Iowa?"
Okay, that's the question and that is verse 1 of section 125. So here's where this question came from. There were saints and Nauvoo who've been commanded to build the Nauvoo Temple, and they wanted to know, What about the other saints? What about the ones living in Iowa? Do they have to help? And so Joseph went and asked the Lord. Now the title for Section 125 is "Saints in Iowa". Let's read His response to that question. And we're going to read verse 2. So Rebecca Dowdle, will you read verse 2 for us. And as we're reading verse 2, I want you guys to tell me, how did the Lord respond to the saints in Nauvoo and to us?
2 "Verily, thus saith the Lord, I say unto you, if those who call themselves by my name and are essaying to be my saints, if they will do my will and keep my commandments concerning them, let them gather themselves together unto the places which I shall appoint unto them by my servant Joseph, and build up cities unto my name, that they may be prepared for that which is in store for a time to come."
Okay, we're gonna have you read it again in just a second. Go back to verse 2, highlight the word "essaying", that means 'trying or making an effort'. So now will you read it again and substitute 'trying or making an effort' for the word essaying.
Yeah. "Verily, thus saith the Lord, I say unto you, if those who call themselves by my name, and are (trying and making an effort) to be my saints, if they will do my will I keep my commandments concerning them. Let them gather themselves together unto the places which I shall appoint unto them by my servant, Joseph, and build up cities unto my name, that they may be prepared for that which is in store for a time to come."
Thank you. Okay, what did that verse just teach us? What did the Lord say about the saints in Iowa?
It's saying that if you're, even those trying to be saints, right, we're trying to do the the will of the Lord and keep their commandments, they're together wherever the Lord is appointing them to go. So even though the saints as a whole has been, have been charged with building the Nauvoo Temple, He's now saying, Look, if I say go to Iowa, then you need to go to Iowa.
Yeah. Yeah. And I appreciate you saying that, Jalyn, because I want us to put this into perspective for us. When some of us are prone to say, it's always the same five people who are doing the same work all the time, how does this verse change that perspective? Is it really the same 5 people or?
What does that first teach us now?
Well, here's the thing. When you first said that, or what I thought of is, everyone has, it's anyone who's trying to be the saints, right? And everybody has different seasons in their lives where maybe you are the same 5 people. Like, maybe you're part of that because you're single, or you know, you have the energy, you're not old and bitter. And there has to be some people to serve. We can't all have our crap together at the same time, right?
So that, that's God just accepts us where we are. And as long as you're trying, you're considered a saint. You're part of the group that's taking us all there.
Absolutely. I totally agree. Dowdle, go ahead.
Oh, it's just, I was lost at first. And so it just
Tell me about the light, what's going on?
Well, it just kind of clicked in because when you said the same 5 people, I immediately thought of like, who's going to clean the church? I wasn't thinking like, who is serving in different callings. I was thinking who cleans the church? And I'll be honest, I hate that they don't have custodians, paid custodians anymore. If we can get that to corporate, I'd really like it because all of my
I'll pay 15% titihing, I'll go up.
Rebecca Dowdle 8:10
Yeah. Bring those people back.
Tamu and Zander always joke, listen, I get, I get the every member of missionary but every member a janitor? I don't think so.
Rebecca Dowdle 8:18
Yeah, because our building now is disgusting. Like, there's four wards in there and it's not professionally cleaned. Well, I just, I really have a hard time with it. My mom was the custodian when I was a teenager. And it was a great little side hustle for her, where she got her work-out in, put on our headphones, cleaned the church, got paid, you know? Anyway, I think it would be great to bring that back.
I know, I think I think a lot of people are saying amen.
But do you think a lot of people like, maybe it is, I mean, it's a little more, you know, if you're the one that, you know, you have to get up and clean the church, like people are probably taking better care of the church building while they're at church. You know what I mean?
I think that's the goal of it, yeah.
There's probably a really good reason why it's like, look, we're not just going to throw money at this problem. You probably ought to chip in some, because here's the thing. Sacrifice is different for different people. I'm, I'm like, I'll throw money at the problem. That's not.... God gave it to me, I can throw it back; I'm totally fine with that. But I have a really hard time giving up my time, which is, God's teaching me that day to day, but that's a way bigger sacrifice to me than, than is money and for some people money may be the bigger sacrifice.
Well, and, I what I like what both of you have said here is that no matter what it is, it's a sacrifice for everyone. And it's different; everybody sacrifices differently. And so when we got caught, when we get caught in that rut thinking it's always the same people - I feel like I'm always the same person - I like how the Lord's saying to these saints in Nauvoo, "Alright, I understand. I gave you a commandment to build a temple and anyone who - and I love that word essaying - everyone who's trying or making an effort, they're doing their thing. And whatever that looks like for everybody in the church, great, you know. And I like how you said Jalyn: "times and seasons", for sure, for sure.
But I wonder if there were people who were totally bummed by it, right?
Oh, yeah. Or thinking, let's move to Iowa.
I want to stay and help build the temple. Don't make me go.
I wonder if there were people: "Honey, let's move to Iowa. Apparently we won't have to work as hard.
Listen, I would have been the person. Do we really have to leave England? Don't we need people here? (laughter)
Totally! Well, I'm so glad you said that, because here's what's so unique, cuz in the next segment, we're gonna see this idea taken to a whole new level. And I have to be honest, I'm not sure I could do this. So we'll talk about that next.
Segment 2 10:47
So for this next segment, I asked Rebecca to share with us the story that is the background for Doctrine and Covenants section 126. So Beck before you start, I just want to know what your thought was after you read the story.
Well, after I read the story, my thought was, this woman was a real champ. I went and Googled her because I wanted to know more. And so,
Cuz we're gonna talk about her.
Great! Cuz I was like that. No, no, but I wanted to know because I wanted to know which wife was she?
Yeah, you, we need to know about her when we're done. Okay, so here's what everyone needs to know. Doctrine and Covenants section 126 was specifically given to Brigham Young, and the title is "Brigham Young". And then it says, "His Acceptable Offering to the Lord." That's the title. Now Beck, give us the history behind section 126.
Rebecca Dowdle 11:43
Okay, so Brigham Young left Montrose. Is that how you pronounce that, Montrose, Iowa? Montrose, for Great Britain on September 14, 1839, just days after his wife Mary Ann gave birth to their fourth child, and Mary Ann was also suffering from malaria. This is the fifth time since they had been married - married in 1834 - that she had sent Brigham off on a mission. So she had sent him on missions five times. Having been driven from their home and having lost most of their possessions in Missouri the previous year, they were in the depths of poverty. Brigham was able to leave Mary Ann with only $2.72 for their family. Brigham and Mary Ann trusted that the Lord would provide for them and relied on a promise from the Prophet Joseph Smith that the families of the Apostles would have their needs taken care of while the Apostles were away on their mission.
Thank you. Okay. That's the background. Now, Brigham Young goes to Joseph Smith to receive a revelation when he returned from his mission. And Jalyn, will you please read for us section 126. It's just three verses.
1 "Dear and well-beloved brother, Brigham Young, verily thus saith the Lord unto you; My servant Brigham, it is no more required at your hand to leave your family as in times past, for your offering is acceptable to me.
2 "I have seen your labor and toil in journeyings for my name.
3 "I therefore command you to send my word abroad, and take especial care of your family from this time, henceforth and forever. Amen."
Thank you. Now, it's important to know that 1,000s joined the church because of the missions in England. Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and John Taylor served missions and it was very successful. But I want us to look back at verse 2. I love verse 2 where it says, I have seen your labor, toil in journeyings. And I highlighted and circled those three words: the labor, the toil, the journeyings, because I thought they all look different for each of us. Everybody has a different definition of labor, toil, in journeyings. And I love that because while his were extreme when you think, Oh, he served all these missions.
Dowdle, how much do I love that you said, Can we just take a minute and talk about Mary Ann? I even wrote that on here. Like, we just have to take a second, though and talk about Mary Ann's toil and labor in the journeyings she was experiencing back home. And what did you find out about her? I'm so intrigued cuz I was reading about her and I thought I need to know more. Tell us what you found out, Dowdle.
Rebecca Dowdle 14:18
So yeah, what I found was incredible. I actually wanted to know which wife she was. And I learned that his first wife had died. And then so she was his second wife, you know, before polygamy was the thing. But I felt like I connected so much with her. She was a wicked worker, and she knew all about, I don't know how you would call it, she was like an herb, an herbist, herbalist? Where she, walking across the plains, she helped so many people medicinally with different herbs and you know, because of everything that she knew about plants and medicines-herbal medicine. I love that.
I also found out she kept house in 11 different places within three months while pregnant. She rode across the Mississippi River with a newborn baby, soaking wet in November while suffering from malaria, in order to acquire food for her starving family. She built a log cabin with her bare hands in Nauvoo. She cross, crossed the plains, helping as many as she could with her skills in herbal medicine. I mean, she was amazing. And, as we know, Brigham Young Young went on to have a couple of different wives. And they all loved her.
Yes, well, and here's another bit of info that totally adds to her overall likability. Brigham Young's first wife died. But when she died, she left behind two little girls who were ages 4 and 7. And Mary Ann, two years later comes in and marries Brigham, raises those two girls, plus has three of her own. So she has got, she is a mother of five, doing all of this by herself. And I thought it was so interesting that Brigham Young will be gone for more than half of the first five years of their marriage. So here she is raising his children, having her own, he's on missions. And I just thought, I love this woman so much, because I get that; to marry a widower is tough. You're the second wife. That right there in and of itself.
And I don't know, maybe she was just so busy, she shouldn't have time to feel sorry for herself-unlike someone else that I personally know - maybe I should have been building a house in Nauvoo when I was first married to Jim. Yeah, it's hard to be a second wife, no matter where you fit, with the step mom, you know. I just, I thought, I wondered if those little girls ever yelled at her "You're not my mom", or, you know, just there just was so many feelings in my heart for this woman, Mary Ann and I, then I look back at those words, 'your labor and your toil in journeyings have been seen'. And I think the Lord saw hers for sure. I would love to know what blessings she would have received, you know.
But then, even to have to deal with, what, other wives while she's still married to the man. Like, you know, and I think the thing that's so, it's not, it's not labor and toil and journeyings how, it's not how I define them. But every one of us is given the labor, the toil, and the journeyings that we need, to be the person that God needs us to be. So, you know, she was clearly called to do that, and agreed to do that before this life, you know. And, and said, I want to have these experiences to, here's what I need to gain to come back and feel like I did a good job here on earth.
But well, so tell me then, what are some of those experiences for you? Would either one of you be willing to share?
Not like that, sister. I have not
You just said, everyone has their own, what has yours been?
Oh, ooh, ahh, that's real personal, Tam. For me, it was having food issues from the time I was 10, to dieting my way into a raging eating disorder, to trying to overcome that. Like, it just, you know, that was such an overwhelming part of my whole life growing up. It's a nice thing about turning 50 and being like, I can't believe I wasted all that time worrying about that stuff. And I do think that our generation, you know, here in the latter days. I've said this often, is that you can't just, you know, look at Mary Ann and go, Gosh, she had to take on those two babies, and she built that cabin, and she had malaria, yet she was still being an herbalist and probably helping all the people that had malaria there. Right, very physical demands.
And now our demands are so much mental, and spiritual, and emotional, that I think we kind of do each other a disservice by not sharing those things, because I can look at other people physically and go, well, they got it all. You know, like, she's, she's married, she has a kid, she's, you know, she's living the life I thought I wanted. And so I think we have to be a little more vulnerable with others in sharing that stuff so that we're not creating this otherness between us and even the person sitting next to us in Relief Society, that we're all sharing those things that we can't just see.
Ummm, that is so good.
Um-hm. Yeah, and thank you for getting personal; I appreciate you sharing. I know that was tender for you, so thank you. What about you, Dowdle?
Rebecca Dowdle 19:41
You know, when I thought about this, I thought, Well, man, when you read stories of the saints, you just don't really feel like you can complain about anything. But then Jalyn, when you just said that like, because I was kind of making a list of hard things I've gotten through. But the real hard things that I've gone through aren't the things on that list and I hadn't realized it until you just said that. Because the real hard things because, okay, flu with toddlers, thought it would never end, I had C-sections, I killed a gopher in my basement with my bare hands. And because
Okay, "Mary Ann"
Rebecca Dowdle 20:21
What am I gonna do? You know, like, but no, the real hard things were 15 years of marriage until the past year and a half when we started going to therapy and realized we really love each other now, because we, we worked on all of that. That was the hardest thing like, those, all of those years of not being taken care of by my husband, you know. All the pregnancies, doing all of that physical work, like asking for his help and he dug in his heels like a teenager. Just because you have issues, you have to go to therapy for. And then after therapy it's totally different. But that, I don't know, that, yeah, that's the hard stuff that you don't write on a list and share with people.
Yeah, staying in a marriage, I think is, that is hard stuff.
And, Dowdle, thank you for sharing that. Because that, I've known you through this whole experience, and it has changed your life. It really has. And how cool to just look back at verse 1. And to know that the Lord would say, Your offering is acceptable to me, like what you've given, and you don't have to give a Brigham Young-size offering to have that said by you. I just love Jalyn that you pointed out, it's different for everyone. And for us, it is emotional and emot, and mental and, gosh, you're totally right. And everything we're doing, our offering and whatever that looks like, however we are trying. And I love it in Section 25. Those of us who are essaying, those who are trying and making an effort? "Your offering is acceptable before me." And that, nothing feels better than that, I think.
I love that message from these two sections. So thank you, both of you for sharing and, and I love how in the next verse, I've seen your labor and your toil. He definitely saw you through it. 100%. Yeah. So thank you, thank you for sharing those. Okay, well, for the next segment, then, I'm going to just tweak our acronym a little bit. Instead of having it be the SFP, same five people, instead, I'm going to have it be SFP, So Few People. Because I think the So Few People will be asked to do this next task in the next segment, and there is a reward in heaven for those who do it. We'll talk about that next.
Segment 3 22:35
So I asked you both ahead of time to read Doctrine and Covenants section 127, just verses 1-3, and then to tell me what stands out to you. So before you do, though, here's a little background. Sections 127 and 128 are epistles written by Joseph Smith when he was in hiding. The titles for both of these sections is "Baptisms for the Dead". That's right, both sections 127 and 128 is "Baptisms for the Dead". And then each section has just a little bit more information. Section 127 is "Baptisms for the Dead -Witnesses and Recordings". And section 128 is "Baptisms for the Dead - Records in Heaven, Review of Restoration".
So he left his family and I thought this was so interesting, he left his family and went and stayed in the home of James Taylor, who was the father of the future prophet, John Taylor. And he's staying on an island in the Mississippi River. I thought that was unique. There's a home there, and he's staying on this home on this little island on the Mississippi River. And he's writing these two epistles. And so as you were reading these words, he's writing to his, to the saints and to us. And I just kind of wanted to like, how did Joseph's words make you feel, or are there certain words that stood out to you?
I'll tell you mine. First of all, it's so, it's the whole Christ battle, as well. Let me back up. So when I was little, I remember like, people would, you know, when, when one of the kids would do something and my mom would line us all up and like, who did it? And inevitably, me and my brother would get the giggles; he'd get the giggles so I'd get the giggles. And then you look like the guilty one because you're laughing. And you're not.
But, so then you're accused of lying. Like there was no worse feeling then, then people not believing you. Like not being heard, like feeling, being accused of lying when you know for certain within yourself, you are not lying. To me, that's one of the worst feelings ever. And it's horrible as an adult as well, is that someone thinks you're not who you say you are.
And I had the thought, like, a long time ago when I was going through one of those situations. And I remember thinking, wow, I mean, Christ was the ultimate person for that. Like He lost His life over that, right? And people just not believing He was the One and He was willing to do that. He was willing to go through that, to me, which is the most horrible feeling ever. And it's the same thing with Joseph Smith, like the same exact battle here of like, he's being accused of stuff that is not true. People are just, you know, without a cause, they don't have any coloring of justice or right on their side. But they're coming after me, being wrongly accused of all those things is so maddening.
And so he writes in verse 2, for but the perils I've been called to pass through, they're nothing but a small thing to me. Because he knew; he knew the end goal. He knew the point, he had a higher calling, right? He wasn't afraid of man and what they were going to do to him. He knew the eternal perspective of things, which I think when you're, you know, anyone in that position, and not even to his level, just being, you know, told you're being a liar when you're not being a liar. It's hard to see that perspective and not be like, well, this will all shake out in the picnic in the sky. But it's hard to like, not let that go and not have your sense of justice be so offended that you can just get over that.
I really like the words that you pointed out in that verse. Those were awesome, and a great way to talk about what he's going through. Dowdle, what stood out to you, how did Joseph's words make you feel?
Rebecca Dowdle 26:28
Um, I don't remember ever reading this before. And so I really liked a lot of the analogies that he made, you know, like the 'with the darkest ink', and stuff like that. It was really descriptive, and I liked it. And it made me think being hated is not great. It's not a great feeling. And even being not well-liked, I don't know, it's, that's hard. I, I've been a new kid at school where I wasn't well-liked. And I came from school where I was well-liked, I'd gone to kindergarten all the way through high school. And then we had to move in, in 10th grade. And I was very well-liked with all the different groups.
And I moved to this school and people made fun of my clothes, and they made fun of my laugh. And it was so difficult for me. So I just thought, I wonder how Joseph Smith was feeling, like if his self-esteem took a hit. And then I, I thought, when you are being hated, or even, you know, people don't like you, or you don't have any friends, you're just lonely. Those are the times when you are definitely the closest to the Savior, because there is nobody else. And so I thought of Joseph Smith, with that perspective. And I thought, I wonder if that's one of the things that kept him close, because he had to rely on it so heavily.
And I thought of a, about like 15 years ago, Elder Bednar gave a devotional at a single adult thing that, that I watched. He talked about his friend who got this truck, and he was so excited to get this truck and he drove it up into the mountains and got it stuck in the snow. And his wife did not want him to get this truck, she was so mad. And he was like, great, got it stuck right away. And so he just thought, well, we'll start putting wood in the back, you know, like chopping up wood and putting it in the back. And it was the weight of that that got him stuck. And how like, those burdens, those horrible things, if they don't believe you, and you're telling the truth. Injustices, being a victim, just the the heavy burdens of life is what maybe keeps you close and drives you out towards Him and that love, that life.
I love that you brought up that talk and that analogy, and that it was the weight and that is what gets us through it and brings us closer to Christ. Because, and you said this, in Section 127 verse 2, in the middle of that verse, I thought it was interesting, because he says, "But nevertheless, deep water is what I am want to swim in. It has all become a second nature to me;" He's like, this is how it is, it's just gonna be hard. It's gonna be hard for me, but I love at the very end, then he goes, "....lo, I shall triumph over all my enemies, for the Lord God hath spoken it." Like God said I'll get over it; God said I can do this. I'm going to be able to do it. And I think that's such a great thing for all of us to think when we're going through difficult times and trials and the burden seems heavy.
For those of you listening, I want to know, I want to ask you the same question that I asked our guests. After reading Doctrine and Covenants section 127 verses 1-3, how did it make you feel? What stood out to you as you read those verses? And if you have some time this week, would you please share with us on Facebook or Instagram what it meant to you to read those three verses?
I love what both of you shared with his words. He gives this great epistle in these two sections, and so they're so much fun to talk about. In fact, the title for this section though - that was what was interesting - the way that it's titled is "Baptisms for the Dead, Witnesses and Recordings". And so in the next segment we are going to talk about why this section is specifically titled "Baptisms for the Dead". And we have a guest who's going to join us and teach us all about it. And I can't wait for you to hear his voice and hear from him again. So we'll introduce him in the next segment.
Segment 4 30:29
Alright, everybody, we are so excited to have Professor Anthony Sweat with us today. Now, for those of you who can't remember, we had him on in episode 2, like the very beginning of the year, to talk about his incredible paintings in his book <Repicturing the Restoration>, which, if you haven't gotten it yet, I'm going to recommend you do. Because we're going to talk about a couple of his paintings that are in his book. And that's why I've invited him back. Because he has done an incredible job painting two of these sections. And I just, I'm like, how do we not have him on to tell us about this? So welcome, Anthony. We're so excited to have you here. Hi.
Anthony Sweat 31:02
Oh, thank you, Tamara. I'm so honored to be back on. Thanks for letting me back on your awesome podcast and for all the great work you do.
Oh, you're welcome. And Anthony and I go way back. We got hired to teach seminary at the same time. And we were just in the trenches back in the 90s.
Back in the day, back before the information superhighway was invented.
Boy, that's the truth.
Anthony, what do you teach?
I teach Foundations of the Restoration, which is the required Church, Church History and Doctrine class at BYU.
Oh, awesome. So you are a nerd about this stuff. This is awesome.
I love this stuff. I love it. I think there's so much just to benefit and learn from the Doctrine and Covenants and church history.
So let's dig in to what we have to learn then. We are in Section 127 in the Doctrine and Covenants and we ended at verse 5. So that's what we want to start with. Anthony's gonna give us some really cool background about verses 5-12, and then into section 128. And I'm excited because he painted this. So I'm gonna, and for those of you who have our show notes, go there; you can see this incredible painting. And Anthony, I just want you to tell us the background behind baptisms for the dead, how it got mentioned, started all that stuff, and then this need for a Recorder. So ready, set, go, hit it.
All right, let's do it. Well, you have to back up, and you know Joseph's writing these letters in, you know, September of 1842. But you have to back up actually all the way to 1836 when Joseph Smith has a vision of his brother Alvin in the Celestial Kingdom. You can read about that in Section 137. And obviously, we know this is a future vision. Joseph sees his brother Alvin, who was never baptized. And, you know, one of the ministers at Alvin's funeral, you know, made an assertion that Alvin must be going to hell because he was never baptized. That stung, obviously that stung deeply. I mean, just word to the wise, if you're ever a pastor, or a minister trying to comfort people at a funeral, that's not what you say.
And yet, Joseph has this vision when he's in the Kirtland Temple in 1836. And he sees his brother in the Celestial Kingdom there together with people, like, you know, he says, I saw Eve and Adam and then even he says "I saw my own father and mother in the Celestial Kingdom." That's how we know it's a future vision, because his father and mother were still alive. As a matter of fact, his father was in the room with him when he saw Alvin in the Celestial Kingdom. And that kind of seems to be, you know, Joseph gets the Revelation where the Lord says, all those who have died without the opportunity to accept the gospel who would have accepted it, will be heirs of salvation.
And then the Lord says, Because I will judge all men based off their works and the desires of their heart. And I almost picture God saying to Joseph, like, Isn't that awesome? And Joseph like me,- this is me reading into it, like - Yeah, that's amazing. Do you got any questions for me? And I can see Joseph going, No, not right now. Like, that's Oh, so awesome. And then at some point, between 1836 and 1840 somewhere, Joseph in essence says, I do have a question. So do they not need to be baptized? Or what about the requirement of accepting You through the ordinance of baptism? And then somewhere between 1836 and 1840 is where the Lord must have taught Joseph that you can, baptism is still required, but you can do these baptisms in behalf of those who passed on without the opportunity.
The reason I'm giving you those dates is because the first intimation we have that Joseph teaches about baptisms for the dead is in the summer of 1840. He's preaching at a funeral for a man named Seymour Brunson. While he's talking in the funeral, Joseph starts to preach about the dead who have gone on and he's preaching from First Corinthians 15, which is, that chapter is all about resurrection.
And Joseph sees a woman, one person there. Remember Joseph's saying, he "saw a widow in that congregation that had a son who had died without being baptized." And Joseph turns and points to this woman and says "this woman should have glad tidings." Now that woman's name is probably Jane Nyman and Jane Nyman had a son named Cyrus who had died without ever being baptized. And at this funeral, Joseph goes on to preach. And it's the first public discourse that we know of where he says that God has taught us that we can be baptized for and in behalf of those who have deceased that never received it. And he quotes First Corinthians 15:29.
29 "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?"
He's trying to show that this was an idea or a doctrine or a practice that was understood or talked about anciently, well at least in the New Testament Church anyway. So sometime shortly after that, Jane Nyman grabs her friend, an Elder named Harvey Olmstead, and they head down to the Mississippi River. And Harvey Olmstead takes her into the Mississippi River. And he does not have a prayer, a set prayer, so he makes one up on the spot from what we know. A woman named Vienna Jacques - who you've probably talked about in an earlier episode - because she's mentioned in the Doctrine and Covenants
She's awesome. Vienna Jacques gets on horseback and rides into the river so that she can witness and hear what is said. And so you, and then Harvey Olmstead baptizes Jane Nyman for her son, Cyrus, and it's just a beautiful scene. And later that evening, Joseph hears that a baptism for the dead was performed in the Mississippi River. He asks, he's sitting at dinner, and he hears this and he asks what words the Elder had used for the ordinance. And when the words are repeated back to him, Joseph just confirmed and he says "Father Olmstead had it right."
Now, I love that story because it's atypical. You have a woman being baptized for a man; you have it being done in a river, not in the temple; you have it being done with a made- up prayer, not a standardized one; and you have it being witnessed by a woman on, you know, I've heard Susan Easton Black joke that there were two witnesses for the first baptism for the dead: Vienna Jacques and her horse, you know. (laughter)
And yet, the Lord still accepted it. And Joseph The Prophet said, this works. Now, it's a beautiful story of how the Lord accepts our sincere efforts to do as well even when we don't do them perfectly. But it's also a great story to see that this ordinance will slowly progress little by little, line upon line and over the years, Joseph will give more and more and more clarification. One of those clarifications comes in Section 124, of the doctrine covenants, where the Lord says that this ordinance of baptisms for the dead belongeth to my house, meaning this is an ordinance, this should be done in a holy temple.
And Joseph gives the saints at the time permission to do it in the river, while they're waiting for the temple to be finished, which that happens a number of times in church history when we don't have temples available. That certain ordinances are authorized to be done in places that aren't dedicated temple spaces. And then Joseph like in Section 127, he'll start to pick up. So now he's writing in September of 1842. And he starts to say things like, hey, these, these ordinances, they need to be recorded. So he says in verse 6
6 "Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you concerning your dead. When any of you are baptized for your dead, let there be a recorder, and let him be eye-witness of your baptisms; let him hear with his ears, that he may testify of a truth sauth the Lord
7 "That in all your recordings" and notice in verse seven, "it may be recorded in heaven; whatsoever you bind on earth, maybe bound in heaven; whatsoever you loose on earth, maybe loosed in heaven;"
And just cross-reference that section 127 verse 6 and 7. If we could jump a little bit over into section 128. I would cross-reference that with verse 8, where Joseph says, the nature of this ordinance - he's talking about baptisms for the dead right now -
8 "....the nature of this ordinance consists in the power of the priesthood, by the revelation of Jesus Christ, wherein it is granted that whatsoever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever you loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven. Or, in other words, taking a different view of the translation, whatsoever you record on earth shall be recorded in heaven; and whatsoever you do not record on earth shall not be recorded in heaven; for out of the books shall your dead be judged".
So Joseph is going to link it also doctrinally to the sealing power. The sealing power is that we can bind things on earth, or those who hold the sealing power - the prophets, seers and travelators. They can bind things on earth that are bound in heaven. They can create things on earth that are created in heaven, they can record things on earth and get recorded in heaven. And that's done through the sealing power, that likely Elijah restores, in Section 110 in the Kirtland Temple. So just kind of a cool background started the ordinance going on there.
So at that time, did they not already have a pretty standardized baptismal prayer for the living?
They would have, yeah, they would have used the prayer that was out of the Book of Mormon. And it's in section 20 of the Doctrine and Covenants. That was their standardized prayer. So I assume Harvey Olstead probably said something very similar.
Okay. That's what I was like, it seems like you just, okay, this is the one we know, let's go with this one. Yeah.
And I don't know. I don't know if Harvey Olmstead is like, you know, if he did the, 'I baptize you for and in behalf of' the deceased person. I would guess, just conjecture that he probably used a similar prayer.
Rebecca Dowdle 41:02
I just think it's beautiful that it kind of ties in with what we were talking about earlier of them seeing what you've done and it being good enough. I don't know; what what you've done, it's okay. It's good enough.
Well, I was gonna say too, it's important too, to recognize just for any of your listeners out there, that the ordinance continues to develop and still continues to develop today. Obviously, one of the biggest ones is in October of 2019, when they give the historic announcement that, almost going back to the origin, that
Yeah, right. to your painting,
any church member can witness an ordinance and stand as a witness - child, young, old, male, female. And I remember when I heard them announce that I was like, well, that's, you know, Vienna Jacques was the first witness for a baptism for the dead. So it makes sense that we're doing that again.
And it just
Brother Olmstead, just havin the guts to go out there and do it. Well, just gonna do it.
Well, I like what you said, Anthony. Because then you think of the Prophet's talk in General Conference. Things change in the temple and that was just so great. Like it's okay if things change. So I, thanks for bringing those up. And thanks for teaching us the history, and your painting. Is there anything specific about your painting, though, that you wanted to point out or share with us when it comes to baptisms for the dead? Because the way you painted it is just beautiful. I love how you painted Vienna.
Yeah. Yeah, the only thing I'd say is, you know, when I painted this, obviously, I painted it very yellow. It's that rim, that yellow sunset rim light. It's just beautiful if you've been out to Nauvoo, or been out on the Mississippi River. Those sunsets on the Mississippi, as they talk about are just heavenly. And so also just compositionally choosing that yellow, celestial, heavenly rim light. I just love the idea. You know, there's a lot of reasons why I believe in the restoration, a lot, but baptisms for the dead is one of them. It is, we are one of the only religions that solves the dilemma, theologically, but also doctrinally and practically through our actual practice of, if you have to accept Jesus to go to heaven, how does everybody have the opportunity to accept Jesus, particularly those who never heard of him?
And I just refuse to accept in God's plan that condemns 90% of his children to hell forever. And on the flip side, I refuse to accept the Universalist idea just that everybody goes to heaven altogether, no matter what. And baptisms for the dead is a doctrine of perfect mercy and perfect justice. And I just love - it's heavenly to me - which is what I wanted to try to communicate in that yellow light. It is glazed over the whole painting.
Well, you definitely did. It's a beautiful thing.
Rebecca Dowdle 43:52
I love it. I'm mesmerized. I love how they're outlined in that light, too.
Yeah, it makes them look angelic. Like, with the rim.
Beautiful. Thank you. I'm so excited for this next segment, because we are going to dig deep into section 128. In section 127, verse 8, I was struck with, when the Lord says "For I am about to restore many things to the earth pertaining to the priesthood." And I loved how the Prophet in conference reminded us we're in the restoration, things are being restored. And then we jump into section 128. And there's some wording in here and a couple of verses that just blow your mind; you might have read them and been so stumped. And so I am so excited for Anthony to teach us about these verses, and we're gonna just start with it in the next segment.
Segment 5 44:41
I think this is one of the most incredible paintings that you've done. It is so obscure. I mean, it, was that your intention when you painted it to like, just, it's so bizarre. I believe it's the one that goes with section 128.
It does, yeah.
Okay, and for those of you again, shownotes. You're gonna want to see this. Or get the book. So let's go to section 128 Verse 21. A lot of us just read over it. With Anthony Sweat. And so this is cool and his painting is incredible.
I want to give, I want to give credit to my friend and colleague, Michael McKay, who I teach with at BYU. He's actually the one that turned me on to this because I have seen this phrase before, and never known what to make of it. And if you want to listen, if it's okay if I plug the "Y Religion" podcast?
Well, I was just gonna say that's where I listened to it, in the "Y Religion" podcast, I recommend everyone go. It's on Apple, Spotify, everywhere. And it's so good when he talks about this.
Yeah, it's letter Y, so the letter "Y Religion", and it's a podcast, it's bringing out the research publications from BYU religion professors. And he's just done some great research on this, to cut to the chase, like we read in verse 20, about these angels that come to Joseph: Moroni, and Michael, and Peter, James, and John. And then in verse 21, Joseph says, "And again, the voice of God in the chamber of old Father Whitmer," and we just kind of blow past that like, Oh, cool.
And let me put it this way. I had some missionaries, one time they emailed me and they said, "Professor Sweat, you know, I had you here and me and my companion are having a debate. When did Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery give each other the gift of the Holy Ghost?" And he said, "because we know after John the Baptist came, that they wouldn't baptize each other. So do they give each other the gift of the Holy Ghost after Peter, James, and John came?" And the answer is no, they didn't. We have to know that what keys or powers Peter, James, and John gave to them. And if you look in verse 20, at the end of verse 20, Peter, James, and John came and gave them possess - at the very end of verse 20 - "declaring themselves as possessing the keys of the kingdom, and of the dispensation of the fullness of times."
Also in Section 27 also says that Peter, James, and John in May ordained them to be apostles. So they gave them the keys to govern the kingdom, to run or oversee or open this dispensation and to be apostles. But it doesn't actually mention anything about the gift of the Holy Ghost. So Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery are finishing translating the Book of Mormon. This is after Peter, James, and John have came, they go and finish the Book of Mormon translation up at the Peter and Mary Whitmer home up in Fayette, New York.
And while they're there, Joseph writes, "We," (he and Oliver), "have for some time made this the authority of the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost a subject of humble prayer. And at length we got together in the chamber of Mr. Whitmore's house, in order to more particularly seek of the Lord information and if possible, obtain what we now so earnestly desire. We had not long been after some time spent in solemn and fervent prayer, the word of the Lord came unto us in the chamber" (chamber's just a fancy word for a bedroom), "commanding us that I should ordain Oliver Cowdery to be an Elder in the church of Jesus Christ, and that he should ordain me to the same office.
"And that after having been thus ordained, we should proceed to ordain others to the same office as according as it should be made known from time to time. We were, however, commanded to defer this our ordination, until such time as it should be practicable to have our brethren and who had been and should be baptized, assembled together, when we must have their sanction to our thus proceeding toward each other."
And then he says later, "and then attend to the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost." So to put it all together, basically, they did not give each other the gift of the Holy Ghost, right after Peter, James and John came. But at some point, while they were finishing the Book of Mormon translation, they prayed to God in the bedroom of Peter Whitmer, to ask God if they could receive the Holy Ghost. And the word of the Lord came to them in that chamber, telling them that they could give each other the gift of the Holy Ghost, but they needed to wait until the church was organized to do so.
And so they do wait until April of 1830. And then they are sustained as the first and second Elder of the church. And then they proceed to confer the Holy Ghost upon each other. And so maybe a short way to say, that line right there is connected to the first conferral or the first authorization for elders to confer the gift of the Holy Ghost. It seems to be what's happening in the chamber of Father Whitmer. Isn't that awesome?
Oh my gosh. Okay, now, wait. You have to see the painting now because I just have chills.
I can't believe this.
ahhhhh I mean, that is so good, Anthony.
Oh, thanks. I really do appreciate that; this one was a fun painting to do. I stylized it a little bit more.
What does that mean?
Meaning it's a little more abstracted; it's not quite so photorealistic. And one of the reasons why I abstracted it a little bit like, for those who aren't seeing the painting, there's a big giant head of God coming out of the top of the painting, really big, like if, He would look like He's 30 feet tall. And I did that because I like the idea of God being big in our life. And He's speaking and there's a yellow kind of almost flame or swirl coming out of his mouth that's going into the heart of Joseph and Oliver who are kneeling down and praying. Because I didn't know how to, how do you depict "the word of the Lord came to us in the chamber"? How do you, what does that look like? Is it a physical vision? Is the Lord there speaking? Are they hearing?
So in some way, I wanted to try to show God speaking out of heaven. And there's a line separating the blue area that He's in, going diagonal across the top of the third plane. That kind of to me represents the veil. And then the swirls coming down, representing them being touched, or very holy spirit-ish, you know. One of the reasons why I made it a little more stylized, too, is because frankly, I didn't make it quite so photorealistic is because abstraction allows us to see things a little more ethereal or a little bit more metaphorical. When we see things photorealistic, sometimes we're like, that's the way it was, you know. Washington crossed the Delaware, standing on the front of the boat exactly that way.
With his knee up.
Or the Iron Rod is straight.
Exactly. And one of the reasons why I wanted to abstract it a little bit is because there, this is kind of an unknown event. There's debate among scholars, even amongst my colleagues, and those of the Joseph Smith Papers and church historians and even church leaders of what do we make of the chamber Father Whitmer? How do we teach it in connection to the restoration of the priesthood? But at minimum, Joseph Smith connects it to the permission to confer the Holy Ghost upon each other for the first time in this dispensation.
Umm. I love that verse so much now. Verse 21 is amazing. I mean, my head is swirling Anthony, because I'm thinking like, isn't this the same time-frame when Mary Whitmer then sees the plates?
Oh, yeah, yeah, this is, this is right
I mean, the spirit must have been, we've talked about her this year. And just like, the spirit must have been so strong in that house, on that land.
Yeah. This is finishing translating the Book of Mormon. This is Mary Whitmer. This is three witnesses. Yeah, I mean, this is just a miraculous time in the history of the church.
Well, Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and divers angels. I mean, wow
K, hold right there.
So if you want to jump to there very next verse,
Hold right there, we're gonna do that in the next segment. I'm so glad you read that. Okay. Here we go, next segment, next piece art. Oh, this is so good.
Segment 6 53:09
Okay, so to make sure that we're all in the same place, we are in Doctrine and Covenants section 128. And Anthony is going to teach us about verses 20 and 21. And it's going to be awesome.
So in, in 21, he actually mentions the chamber of Father Whitmer. This is so fun, he says,
21 "...... and at sundry times, and and divers places, through all the travels and tribulations of this church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!" And now look at these lines,
"And the voice of Michael, the archangel; the voice of Gabriel, and of Raphael, and of divers angels, from Michael or Adam down to the present time, all declaring their dispensation, their rights, their keys, their honors, their majesty and glory, and the power of their priesthood; giving line upon line, precept upon precept; here a little, and there a little;"
Now, the reason why I love that is because sometimes we only teach the restoration of priesthood in two isolated events: John the Baptist, and Peter, James, and John. But if you pay attention - again, credit to my colleague, Michael McKay, he's done a great job of showing this as have other historians - that Joseph Smith one time taught all priesthood is Melchizedek. It is all part of the Holy Order of the Son of God. And priesthood restoration, I like to say to my students, is multi angels, and it's spread over multiple events over multiple years.
Section 110, Moses, Elias, and Elijah is part of priesthood restoration. The restoration of the temple endowment is part of priesthood restoration. And there's even aspects of priesthood restoration I'm not sure we understand. Joseph just made a hint right here that Gabriel restored priesthood. Typically Gabriel is thought of as being Noah. So I would throw out a $1,000 challenge to anybody listening: What priesthood do we use or exercise or enjoy in the church today did Gabriel restore? Or what priesthood did Michael or Adam restore? Now I think I know, I have a hint on that one, I think. And I think section 129, I'll drop that hint, gets into that.
That's, I can't wait to study that next week.
But even what, what priesthood did Raphael restore? Who is Raphael?
I love this one so much.
It's fascinating. You know, I don't want to be too light-hearted about it, but I'm like, where did Renaissance painters and Ninja Turtles get in here, you know? Umm, and
But then, wait. Who are they then? Are you going to tell us? Or you don't know.
I tell my students, I'll pay your tuition if you can tell me what priesthood Raphael restored and who Raphael is. I honestly don't think we know, or those who do know have not made it a public teaching that's held in the church.
In fact, if the only mention of him is in the apocryphal book, the Book of Tobit. It's worth the read for sure. But that's like the only place we have his name mentioned.
Yep. The only, the only references I've dug up is Raphael's mentioned, as you just said, Tamara in the Book of Tobit. Sometimes he's known as the healing angel.
He does that in that story,
Because he does that in the story. So is it connected to our power, our ability to heal? I don't know. Gabriel as Noah? There's one reference where Joseph, and Joseph might just be, you know, being hyperbolic, but he's speaking about the temple endowment itself. And he says, you couldn't understand that even if Gabriel - he's talking about those who aren't spiritually prepared. And he says 'you couldn't understand it, even if Gabriel revealed it to your dark minds.' And so I'm like, does Gabriel or Noah have something to do with the temple endowment?
But those are just hints. There's nothing declarative, there's nothing that I would categorize as official, sanctioned church doctrine on who these angels are, and what priesthood they restored. But I love it because it opens up the idea that the concept of priesthood restoration is continuing, that it's continuing to be developed, there will yet be more priesthood, there'll be yet be more understanding. There will be more line upon lines, powers, keys, glories, constellations, hopes that comes through the priesthood, in my opinion, as the restoration continues, as our Prophet has talked so much about.
Rebecca Dowdle 57:48
Yeah, I mean, I can't believe it, this is unreal. I'd like
So cool. Well, and to cross-reference verse 21, because we've done this section already. But for those of us listening, I cross-referenced verse 21 to Section 110, just to remind us that, you know we talk about how those keys were restored. And, and I love that you just brought that up, Anthony, because it wasn't just those keys at that moment in Section 110. I mean, it's just, it's so much bigger, and there are so many more keys than we even imagine. So I love that you brought that up with Gabriel and Michael and Raphael. Ah, so good.
So cool. Do we have time to talk about any other verses?
Rebecca Dowdle 58:27
So with the, with the, the line upon line, I just thought about the conference talk about like, one-two-and three, like the steps.
That was Elder Sikahema's, yeah
Yeah, and like, but just like the, this first. I, that's all I'm just thinking about that with like, okay, first, yeah, we'll start here. And then here, and then
I love that you're having this lightbulb moment, Rebecca. Can you imagine if the Lord was like, Let's start out with baptisms for the dead. You don't need anything else right now. I mean, right out of the gate if that was the first thing he taught? But how great is God and our Savior to be like, and I love how in that verse 21, it even says "precept upon precept, a little bit here and a little bit there". And it's going to take us for our whole lives. And we're still doing that; there's a little bit more for you people in 2021.
That's what I love, is how like President Nelson is still like, this is still going on. This is still happening, like don't doubt that this, we're not going to, there's not going to be more added. Because we see what's happening,
There is more church history in the future than in the past, in my opinion.
Oooh, I like that!
I think you're totally right.
That's good. Okay, give us more.
Let me just give you a few quick ones, really fun. In verse 24 Joseph starts quoting the book of Malachai, some of the last verses in the Bible. Now why does this matter? Well, in the context of the temple it matters a lot, and with baptisms for the dead, that kind of bring together some of the things we've been talking about. Do you, have you guys ever caught in going all the way back to priesthood in Section 13 of the Doctrine and Covenants when John the Baptist restores the Aaronic priesthood. At the very end of it, he says, Joseph remembers him anyway saying, "and this priesthood shall never be taken from the earth until the sons of Levi do offer an offering unto the LORD in righteousness." Now, what in the world is that?
Oliver Cowdery actually remembers it differently, because the way that it's phrased in Section 13 it makes it sound like that one day the Lord is going to take that priesthood away. But Oliver Cowdery, if you read his recollection, he remembers John the Baptist saying, "and this priesthood shall never be taken from this this earth, SO THAT the sons of Levi may offer an offering unto the Lord in righteousness."
So not that it's going to be taken away, but it's an enabling power that's being given. Now, if you tie that into verse 24, section 128 - now keep that in mind and follow along with me.
24 "Behold, the great day of the Lord is at hand; who can abide the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner's fire, and like fuller's soap; and he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness...."
So we just got a connection there, sons of Levi make an offering in righteousness. Now before I go on, in the Old Testament, the sons of Levi were the ones who performed the sacrifices in the temple and prepare the temple. And the offerings that they made were these animals to atone for sin. And well, so what's the modern-day sons of Levi and what's the offering we're making? Joseph gives us an application, follow along with me back to verse 24, where I left off. Therefore, let us as a church and people and as Latter-day Saints offer an offering unto the Lord in righteousness.
So what's, who are the modern day sons of Levi? Well, who are the modern day temple workers? Today it's, it's a church and the people, Latter-day Saints. It's you and I, it's everybody sitting right here or listening to this podcast who goes to the temple and works in the temple. You are a modern day daughter or son of Levi, a temple worker. And now what's our offering? Well, we don't take animals to the temple, we take names to the temple.
24 ".........and let us present in his holy temple, when it is finished, a book containing the records of our dead, which shall be worthy of all acceptation."
The modern day sons and daughters of Levi are Latter-day Saints who go and work in the temple. And instead of taking animals, we take names of those who are deceased, and our offering is to offer up those records, those names, those books, trying - as section 128 says, also in verse 18, right in the middle of that long verse - to bring together
18 "........a whole and complete and perfect union, a welding together of dispensations, and keys, and powers,........ and be revealed from the days of Adam; even to the present time."
trying to connect all the family of God through the priesthood, back to Mother Eve and Father Adam. So cool. Isn't that fun?
Rebecca Dowdle 1:03:17
I can't, I literally can't believe it.
That makes that whole sons of Levi thing, earlier on, make way more sense.
It does! I love how you just taught that, Anthony.
Yeah. It's a cool idea and it makes sense that would be this priesthood is being restored so that the daughters and sons of Levi can offer this offering to the Lord.
I love "So that" much more.
I actually think it's a better rendition of what's going on.
Oh, it totally changes section 13. Of course, I have to go back now. I'm going into my scriptures so I can mark that.
Rebecca Dowdle 1:03:51
I mean, that's increcible!
Wow! That was so good. Amen. I mean, you just have to like, In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. That's all we have to say. Oh, my gosh.
So let it be written, let it be done. So let it be painted, so let it be done. I need to see some more paintings. Just tell the whole thing. Yeah.
Thank you for letting me share them. And thank you for letting me share a few thoughts. I'm just honored to be on here and get to hopefully teach a little and testify little.
Well, you did an awesome job. You exceeded the expectations. So thank you.
Rebecca Dowdle 1:04:25
It's like you hear like, oh, yeah, it was restored to, but this, it makes it seem so much more interactive with heaven like, that really, we're not that disconnected from each other. And I, I know we always kind of say that, but I really can feel that now. Like, oh, no, that's true. If they can, like, bring down keys and stuff like, they're right here, maybe, you know,
Wow, that was so good. And we've just been sharing so much. So here's what I want you to do. Take a minute, gather your thoughts which are many, and do you have a takeaway? I mean, I don't even know how to nail it down to one. But
no, I can't. Impossible.
So really two things stick out to me, because there was so much in there. But I think the overall thing for me, is the whole thing of your toil, your labor, and your journeyings are recognized and accepted of the Lord. And we need to stop, we need to give ourselves some grace, and recognize that everybody's toil, labor, and journeyings are crafted for you specifically. And you need to give yourself the credit, for that is part of your journey, and you do have so much to offer. And every little piece that you're bringing to the table is a piece that we need in the church.
So the second thing that I really looked is like, how many angelic visitations and how many times people on the other side of the veil talk to us. Not just those people who are getting massive amounts of the gospel revealed to them, but how many times people on the other side of the veil want to help us. There are divers angels that weren't even you know, that we don't even know by name, who they are. And it takes all of us, it takes everybody on both sides of the veil. Your offerings at the temple, your, you are the son of Levi in the temple, taking those names and and bringing people to the gospel so they can accept it. Like, that is an offering before the Lord that you have a huge part in. So don't discount your efforts as a saint if you don't consider yourself one of the same five people or the same 10 people and don't think you're good enough to be a same five person or same 10 person. You are, you absolutely are. We need everybody in your own way. It takes all of us to help all of us return back. Powerful takeaway, Jalyn.
Rebecca Dowdle 1:07:03
So good. You're so eloquent with how you can say things, because you just say exactly what's in my heart, but I could never put those words to it. So I'm like, I sound like a buffoon talking after people like you,
That's what you need to stop saying, you do not.
I love everything you said Dowdle. I mean, I wish we could have, we should have Sunday on Monday memes. And they would be Dowdles, like "this is blowing my mind". I love how many times you said that.
Oh my gosh, yeah, you're way more relatable. Like, I'm like, yeah, she's she's our kind of girl like, you're, yeah,
Rebecca Dowdle 1:07:41
You guys. It's like I just, I just have always gone to this church just because like, it feels good. I like it here. And I like trying to be a good person. And I love to sing the hymns. And I love to sing the hymns in the alto part. And I like to get up every Sunday and, and put on makeup and try and look a little nicer than I do every other day, cuz usually it's a little rough. I do a lot of yard work; I like to be working. And then I love to dress up on Sunday, like, because I just feel better about the day. But now I'm like, holy crap, it's true. Like, yeah, maybe
That might be the best takeaway I've ever heard, best takeaway.
Rebecca Dowdle 1:08:25
It is really true. Even though I go, I know it's true. But like, No, it really is.
But that's what's so fascinating about gaining a testimony. Just like the church was revealed line upon line, precept upon precept. That's exactly how a testimony, you know, like,
You go because it does feel good. You go because you do love the songs. I loved singing Primary songs as a kid. And when you start to learn these other things, and it all weaves beautifully together into this tapestry of you like, it is all true. It's so cool. Yeah. How much did we love when he said there's more church history in the future than there was in the past? And I think that's true. Oh my gosh, Dowdle. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. So you guys, your takeaways are great. This was such a great episode. And I loved all of it. And, um, I just loved having Anthony come on. I knew he would do that verse justice. And I'm so grateful he talked about the divers angels, his paintings.
I love verse 24, in that section, where we're all the sons and daughters of Levi, and every contribution matters. Everybody is part of the SFP acronym. Every single member of this church is part of the same five people, and we're all doing our best and everyone's doing their part and it is being recognized by the Lord. I felt that as we talked today, I felt the Spirit so strong in every segment, because the verses we talked about were true. It was awesome. So thank you. Thanks for being a part of this. I love you both so much.
Love you, Tam. I mean, this episode blew my mind.
Wow! Okay, well, we would love to hear what your big takeaway was from this episode. So if you have not joined our discussion group, come on! Go to Facebook and Instagram. I mean, you guys, we're getting ready for the Old Testament. This is just preparatory to all of that. So, go join Instagram, go join Facebook, it's a great place to ask questions as you study, which I try to answer. And if I can't, many of our listeners do. And then every week, at the end of the week, on a Saturday, we post for a call for what your big takeaway was. So comment on a post that relates to this lesson, and let us know what you've learned. And I read all of them. And then on Monday, I share a takeaway that stood out to me, it's so much fun.
You can get to both our Facebook and Instagram by going to the show notes for this episode at LDSliving.com/sundayonmonday. And, it's not a bad idea to go there. And you're going to want to because we're going to have links to all the references we used as well as pictures of Anthony Sweat's paintings that we used in this episode, and places where you can find more information about him, his podcast, his book, and everything, 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 our so fabulous study group participants were Jalyn Peterson, Rebecca Dowdle, and Anthony Sweat. And you can find more information about these friends at LDSliving.com/sundayonmonday.
Our podcast is produced by Katie Lambert and me. It is 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 your labor, your toils, and your journeyings are seen by the Lord and approved because, You're His Favorite!
Rebecca Dowdle 1:11:38
That really was but I've gotten myself into trouble. This is a funny story. When I was in a singles ward, I had gone to to Rick's college and taken all kinds of you know, done seminary and that, have that you all of those classes, religion classes, but I was always just thinking like, Oh, her shoes are cute. Oh, he's cute. I didn't hear any of it.
No, education is wasted on the young. It really is.
I did the same classes. I did the same classes at Rick's and I didn't know Christ came to America till I was in the MTC, with an Associate's Degree.
I was the same way. I was on my mission when I heard my companion say, "and when Jesus came to America", and I stopped him and I said, "When did Jesus come to America?" (laughter)
So true. Neither one of us knew. I looked up in disbelief on my bunk, "You guys. Have you read this?"