45: “There Is No Other God That Can Deliver” (Daniel 1-6)
Daniel was a prophet—we know that from the Primary song, but how well do you really know Daniel? You might have heard that he was thrown into a lion's den, or that three of his friends were thrown into a fiery furnace by the king. But there is so much more to Daniel's story. He had a steadfast testimony, served with several kings, translated dreams, and even had visions of the last days. In Hebrew, his name means "God is my judge"—and in this week's lesson of Daniel 1–6 we see how the prophet lived up to his name and found great power in obeying God's law.
Daniel = God is my judge
Daniel 1:4 (Qualities of Daniel)
Daniel 1:6-7 (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego join Daniel)
Daniel 1:8 (Daniel’s temperance)
Daniel 1:12-17 (The challenge of Daniel’s diet)
Hananiah = Jehovah is gracious
Mishael = Who is/what is God
Azariah = Jehovah is my help
Ten = complete cycle and divine order
Words of the Prophet:
“Now, let us turn the question to you. Who are you?
First and foremost, you are a child of God. Second, as a member of the Church, you are a child of the covenant. And third, you are a disciple of Jesus Christ.”
(Russell M. Nelson, “Choices for Eternity”, Worldwide Devotional for Young Adults 2022)
Scoutmaster quote ?
D&C 65:1-2 (Prepare the way of the Lord)
Daniel 2 (Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream)
CR: Daniel 1:4,17,20 (Daniel was in danger)
Words of the Prophets:
“I calculate to be one of the instruments of setting up the kingdom of Daniel by the word of the Lord, and I intend to lay a foundation that will revolutionize the whole world.” (Joseph Smith [manual], 512)
Stone = Eben (Eb - Father + Ben - Son)
Daniel 3:6,12,19 (The fiery furnace)
Daniel 3:17-18 (Their conviction)
Daniel 3:25 (They did not burn)
Daniel 3:28-29 (Nebuchadnezzar’s Testimony)
Daniel 6:16,18 (The king’s belief)
Daniel 6:10 (Daniel prayed in open)
Daniel 6:26 (Darius’s Testimony)
Daniel 6:20-23 (Daniel is saved from the lions)
Daniel 7:9-14 (Adam-ondi-Ahman)
CR: D&C 116
Words of the Prophets:
President Joseph Fielding Smith said that the council with the Ancient of Days (Adam) at Adam-ondi-Ahman, as prophesied in Daniel 7:9–14, will “be of the greatest importance to this world…Judgment will be set and all who have held keys will make their reports and deliver their stewardships, as they shall be required. Adam will direct this judgment, and then he will make his report, as the one holding the keys for this earth, to his Superior Officer, Jesus Christ. Our Lord will then assume the reins of government; directions will be given to the Priesthood; and He, whose right it is to rule, will be installed officially by the voice of the Priesthood there assembled.
This grand council of Priesthood will be composed, not only of those who are faithful who now dwell on this earth, but also of the prophets and apostles of old, who have had directing authority. Others may also be there, but if so they will be there by appointment, for this is to be an official council called to attend to the most momentous matters concerning the destiny of this earth” (Joseph Fielding Smith, The Way to Perfection , 290, 291; see also Old Testament Student Manual: 1 Kings–Malachi, 3rd ed. [Church Educational System manual, 2003], 305).
10,000 = A great multitude
Join us today as we learn Daniel's story and how exactly he ended up in the lions den. 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, I just want to make sure you know how to use this podcast. So please follow the link that's in our description. And it's going to explain how you can best use this podcast to enhance your Come, Follow Me study, just like my new friend, Dawn Olsen. Hi, Dawn. I hope you enjoy today's episode. Now another really cool thing about our study group is each week we are joined by two of my friends, so it's always a little bit different. And today it is different. I am so excited to introduce my new guests, Emily and Matt Estes. And I love these two so much for their goodness, and their kind hearts. And I couldn't think of anyone better to help tell this story. So Hi, friends.
Thank you for inviting us. We're excited to be here,
Emily and Matt, tell us a little about yourself.
So Matt, we've been married for 11 years, we actually have kind of a unique story. I was living in, we both grew up in southwest Ohio. But I was living in Washington, DC and woke up one morning and felt like I needed to go home to my family's house in Ohio. Woke up, drove back to Ohio and went canoeing the next day and got a horrible sunburn. And like absolutely horrible. So the only place I could go to sit in church was by the air conditioner. And Matt was sitting right there. And so that was my first introduction to Matt. And then probably two weeks later, he asked me on a date. And I went on the date and said, Well, I don't know if this is going to work out or what's going to happen. But sure, I'll go. And then we went on a date and we just enjoyed ourselves so much. We talked straight through our movie we were supposed to go to and sat and shared chips and french fries. And that was that. So that was the story. So been together 12 years, but we've been married 11 And we've got three kiddos. Um we've got James, who's 10 and Nick, who's 7 and then we've got an angel in heaven, Ellie, who's waiting for us when we get there. Anything I missed?
Oh, yeah. Now I was waiting for you to finish like to tell the real story.
Oh, O K.
What's your version, Matt?
She doesn't remember before she went to Washington, DC we'd actually had several conversations and she made quite the impression on me. Apparently, I didn't make any impression on her whatsoever because she doesn't remember really talking to me, until after she got back from DC.
Oh my gosh
But, uh, she had actually been our teacher, our Sunday school teacher and the yoiung single adults ward. And I would come home and tell my mom with a classy lady we had teaching our young single adult class, until the bishop told her that she had to teach less doctrine and do more games of jeopardy. So that was
the fun world, but yep. So apparently I made an impression earlier but my sunburn is what opened us to be together, so...
Yeah, Matt, were you thinking what's up with the sunburn lady at church today? Or did you even notice her burn?
I did not notice the burn. I was too busy focused on the fact that there was a pretty girl on the row in front of me.
Emily, "a pretty and classy lady". Oh my gosh, Matt. You are a gentleman.
He is a gentleman. I got lucky. So yeah. So yeah, that's kind of our story. And we've jumped around the country. We've lived in five states, eight houses, kind of moved around and just settled a year ago on the Salt Lake area. So
Oh, my gosh. Well, well, and here's why I love these two, because they, they are, their hearts are good. And they care about people who - in my experience with them - who are maligned or disenfranchised or have special needs, and I am the recipient of their goodness. As we know, my daughter, I have a daughter with cerebral palsy who was looking for an internship, and Emily found out about this through my sister who I love. My sister's company did internships and my daughter could not find an internship to save her life because nobody wants to hire someone with cerebral palsy apparently. And when Emily found out that there was a girl applying for a job who had cerebral palsy, Emily was all over it - created a position, and not only that, paid her for the internship. We were willing to do anything for free and Emily's like "absolutely not. We will pay her; we will teach her the skills that she needs to enter society", and I just could not be more grateful for that. So you changed my daughter's life, makes me emotional, but thank you for your goodness!
Oh! She changed ours as well. So we
And I'm sure there will be more stories of your goodness throughout today's episode because you, there's more to your story than what you just told us. So hang on, people, because It is so good. So if you want to know more about my friends, go and read their bio and see their pictures, which are in our show notes. And you can find those at LDS living.com/sunday on Monday. So everyone, grab your scriptures, grab your scripture journals, and something to write with and turn toThe Book of Daniel. And we are going to jump right in and dig into this book. Let's go there.
I want you to highlight Daniel's name on that page where it says "The Book of Daniel", because we just have to do what his name means in Hebrew. And it is so cool. So Daniel in Hebrew is Dani el. That's how you'd say it. And it means 'God is my judge'. That is what his name means. The name DAN is 'judge' or 'to judge', it's the verb to judge. And then EL means God. And it's interesting, because this year we have noticed how many names play out in the stories of the individuals. I mean, last week was Ezekiel and Ezekiel, his name means God give me strength, and he needed it. And now we have Daniel, who was saying, God is my judge. And I just want to know from the two of you, why would this name be fitting for Daniel, any thoughts on that?
I think the biggest thing that I have is that Daniel truly understood the role of being a child of the covenant, and understood that God was his judge as much as his world changed politically and who he was, what his job was. At the end of the day, God was his judge.
The world changed, Daniel didn't change.
Yeah, that's a good one. Well, and when he says, God is my judge, how significant is that, in light of the fact that Daniel will work one on one with many kings.
So I looked in the institute manual - that's what I used to study for this. And the institute manual, this lesson is actually called "Daniel, prophet of God, companions of Kings companion of kings." Which I thought was cool. Well, I don't know where I was going with that, sorry.
Well, where you were going was that it was so rare for people to rule with so many kings.
Oh, that is where I was going, so Thank you. So usually, usually, when the king came, it was like, it's like with the Presidents today. When the President comes in, he brings his own Chief of Staff. When kings came in, you got rid of the old counselors, they sometimes had the old counselors killed because they were loyal to the previous king. The fact that he was the advisor to five? did you say it ws? l
Five different kings is basically unheard of.
Yeah. And for and through all of that kingship, all of that power, for him to be able to live up to his name that God is his judge is pretty significant in light of today's stories. So thank you very much for both of your thoughts. Let's jump into this, then. I want to tell you some cool facts about Daniel and here's what we want to know. So the book of Daniel, it provides an account of the experiences of Daniel and other faithful Jews who were taken captive to Babylon. Now this is kind of cool, because this is still the time of Lehi and Nephi. So, it's great for, I like that. I like to be able to put it in Book of Mormon timeframe. So I'm like, Oh, that wasn't, I always thought Daniel was clear before it. So this is kind of the same timeframe.
The prophet Daniel is the author of this book. Nothing is known of Daniel's parentage, but it appears that he was of somewhat royal descent. He was taken captive to Babylon as part of that Babylonian captivity. He was selected as one of the choicest of the Jewish youths, which we'll talk about later. God blessed him with the gift of interpreting dreams. He rose to leadership positions which we talked about, and he was a prophet. And Daniel 1-6 are some of the most favorite stories of Daniel about courage and all the things we've heard about from Primary.
But today, I think we're gonna blow the lid off of that, because there are so many things that I just didn't know about Daniel until I did a deep deep study of this. And then Daniel 7-12 are other revelations kind of out of order. Many of 7-12 should have been with Chapter 2 before chapter 5. So that's an interesting thing, too. But we're not going to really get into those chapters. We're going to focus mostly on Daniel 1-7. So any last thoughts, the two of you, about he TBook of Daniel before we dive into Daniel 1?
Quick reference to the fact that it was the time of Lehi and I think this actually ties back to Daniel's name. Clearly, Jerusalem was going to be destroyed and the Lord had two prophets here with very distinctly different missions. And the Lord said, 'Okay, I need Lehi to leave because I need him to go establish the church in the Americas. And I need Daniel to be here to help influence the,this becomes.' But I love the fact that Daniel easily could have been bitter about the fact that he was stuck in it or Lehi could. But clearly Daniel went, 'Okay, God is my judge. He has a plan. I need to be here for this.' And it just shows the Lord has a plan for every single one of us, no matter what the circumstances are.
Wow, Emily, that's great insight.
Well, it shows the Lord knows your strengths. He knew which one needed to do which.
Oh, absolutely. And Daniel was needed. His strength was for sure needed in these chapters. So thank you, Matt. That's fantastic. Okay, so now that we kind of have this background about Daniel, in the next segment, we're going to begin to tell some of the favorite stories and well-known stories about Daniel, and I am so excited.
Segment 2 10:27
Emily and Matt, I asked you this ahead of time, and I want to know, What qualifications do you look for in a potential hire?
I actually have the opportunity in my job to, I hire roughly 65 people a year, because we promote so many. And the interesting thing is often when you're hiring people or looking for skills, I actually look for integrity and commitment. Because I can teach skills, I can teach someone how to do something, I can give them resources, I can give them training. I can't teach integrity and commitment. And so if somebody comes in and they have integrity, they're committed, they're dedicated. And I can trust in who they are morally and ethically, that I'm 100% on board, because I can teach the rest of it.
Right. How do you know, I'm just curious, is there a question you ask? Or is there something that triggers you to go, 'Oh, they have integrity'? That's an interesting thing to look for and see.
So a lot of times I'll ask situational questions like, What's a time where you made a mistake and had to recover from it? Or what's, you know, what's the situation where you didn't get along with someone else? And I'm looking for them to not only own their mistake, but also to be able to say, You know what, I did this wrong, they did that wrong. Here's what I learned from it. This is who I am. Anybody who's willing to open up and admit and be vulnerable to their faults, tends to have a lot more integrity. I'm also looking for somebody who's not saying, 'Everything was about me, I did it all, I did it on my own.' Because none of us do everything on our own. And so those are usually the type of situational questions that I find really start to reveal that integrity and that commitment.
Oh, wow, great answer. I really like that. What about you, Matt?
So my situation is a little different, because all my employees are volunteers. Being a dungeon master is usually an unpaid position, minus slightly unique in that I am getting paid. But that's because I'm doing a lot of management, a lot of promotional stuff. What I'm looking for is people who are very liable. And this is going to sound like a funny choice of words, but people who are steady.
Hmmm. Tell me what you mean by that.
So well, so people will come in and they're very enthusiastic, and they have a big idea. And they do two games that they put all their time energy into, and they kind of burn themselves out and then I never see them again. That's very common. So when I was in Boy Scouts, my Scoutmaster used to say that you can put all your time and all your energy and all your money into doing the best campout in the entire world. And that will mean absolutely nothing to the boys who start scouts next week, the week after. And so the important thing is not one huge thing, but the consistency. I guess consistency will be a better word than steady,
Both. Consistency and steady.
Yeah, no, I like that.
consistently having something ready, consistently having something planned, and I'd rather have a good game every week, than a great game and then you never come again.
I think that goes into commitment, it's what when I say I look for commitment. I'm looking for somebody that's ready to do the long haul, not just the short, big, one huge moment
Wow. Those were great answers and examples and I love your Scoutmaster quote, Matt. That's, that is a good one. I want us to be thinking about this idea: If you were to hire someone, what qualities would you look for or what's important to you in people that you associate with? Because Daniel 1:4 tells us this idea about these qualities. So here's what's going on. Let's turn to Daniel 1:4. We have a king by the name of King Nebuchadnezzar, and he is calling for a certain group of people to join him in his castle. Now it says to work for him, but we know that this is actually going to be in servitude to him. But he's very specific about the type of people that will be in servitude to him. And the verse that explains the requirements or the qualifications is verse 4. And Matt, will you read verse 4 for us, please.
1:4 "Children in whom there was no blemish, but well favoured, and skillful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king's palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans."
Thank you. All right, look back at that verse again, what stands out to you as a qualification that you're like, Huh, that's interesting.
No blemishes is interesting.
Well, and I think the interesting part of that, too, is 'no blemish' is kind of broad. And so what does no blemish mean? Clearly he wasn't looking for no blemish in terms of religious standpoint, he's looking for no blemish in terms of the physical view.
I assume that means very healthy cuz later on in the story, it's a big deal, the fact that they don't eat the king's meat, and that they are eating very healthy. And so their countenance, just their physical appearance is very healthy and, and well maintained.
Absolutely. I was struck with, they had to know science. Like, I'm out, like, I could maybe be knowledgeable and wise, but science, no thanks. Thankfully didn't say math, but although there's a little bit of math in science, so yeah, I'm not in the running at all.
jYeah, such an interesting thing for the qualifications that the king looks for. And they're very specific for a very specific reason. So Nebuchadnezzar, here's what we want to know. He's the king of Babylon. This is his first year of his reign. And so he takes, he took over Jerusalem, and then he carried whoever he wanted, and whatever he wanted, that pleased him, he took it away. We have in verse 2, it says he takes part of the vessels of the house of God. That's the temple, like he's going to take the gold and silver from the temple and use it for himself. He really just took everything he wanted. And so it was the practice and in the best interest of princes to employ wise men. So these qualifications would have been pretty normal for him. But he's taking it up a notch in what he really, really wants. Now, we're gonna go to verse 6 and read the names of those who were selected. And I think this thing about names is interesting. In verse 6, go ahead, Emily, and read that for us.
1:6 "Now among these were of the children of Judah, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah;"
Thank you. But let's highlight those names. Because here are the names of those who were selected. You're like, well, I've never heard those names before. You're absolutely right, because Nebuchadnezzar changes their names when they come into the castle. And here are the names he gives them in verse seven. I'll read that.
7: "Unto whom the prince of the eunuchs names; for he gave unto Daniel the name Belteshazzar; and to Hananiah, of Shadrach; and to Mishael, of Meshach; and to Azariah, of Abed-nego."
Now that sounds familiar, doesn't it? Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Now this is interesting, though, because what I want us to do is go back to verse, going back to how we started where Daniel's name means God is my judge. Listen how cool this is. These four boys have names in Hebrew that are significant. So Hananiah's name in Hebrew means 'Jehovah is gracious'. Mishael, his name in Hebrew means 'who is', or 'what is God'. And then Azariah in Hebrew means 'Jehovah is my help'. Now I want you to remember this throughout our stories today, because it is so amazing to me that their names in Hebrew have everything to do with God. Their names in the Babylonian tongue, the new names they got, we don't know what they mean. And nobody really does know or understand. But this is what struck me. All of their Hebrew names had something to do with God, but in order to make them forget the God of their fathers, the God of their youth, the heathen names are given to point them towards idolatry.
So when Nebuchdnezzar took everything he wanted, he also wanted to take their God and get rid of it. So he's like, I'm changing your names so that you'll never be reminded of who you believe in. Now, this made me think of the May 2022, worldwide devotional for young adults that the Prophet gave. And I asked my guests to listen to it, because there is a part in there where the prophet talks about labels. And he is telling the teenager, he's telling all these young adults, you don't need to label yourselves, we need to stop labeling ourselves. And then he said, The only thing that you need to know about yourself is three things. And these are the three things he said: "You need to know that you are a child of God, a child of the covenant, and a disciple of Jesus Christ." I want to know what you both thought when the Prophet said, here's what you need to know, here's the only label that matters.
Well, I think for me, the thing that I take into that is, these are the labels that make up who you are and the crux of who you are, and especially in relation to Daniel where we say God is my judge. For him. He knew he was a child of God. He knew he was the child of the covenant. He knew he was a disciple of Jesus Christ. And throughout all of these Stories, what we're gonna see is that the world changes, the political circumstances change, the policies change, Daniel never changes. Daniel continues to be these three things. And so I think he's a perfect example of that. And especially when we go into decision-making. Matt and I were talking about it this morning. When you know those things, the decisions are made, you already made them,
So tell me a little bit more about that. Like, when you know who you are, how does that affect the decisions you make?
So the Lord has given us the this structure of who we are and what the direction is and what our choices are. And if we know who we are, then when every political wind or every emotional or situational wind comes, we already know the answers, the answer is always around - Whvet would the Lord have me do? What would the Lord have me do as a disciple of Jesus Christ? What would the Lord had me do, having made covenants? What would the Lord have me do as His child?
So back to what Emily was saying earlier, through the story of Daniel, the political climate keeps changing, who the king is keeps changing. Daniel doesn't change; the laws change, but later on when they make a law about how often Daniel is allowed to pray, and he says that he prays three times a day, that's not new, that's what he's been doing the entire time. It's everything else is changing around him.
And so for us, that's what it is, no matter who who may be the most popular, who may be the right decision, whatever the laws are for us, have we like Daniel, do we turn our hearts to the temple? And do we pray to the Lord? And do we keep those covenants? And if we do the decision's made.
I want to know, do either one of you have an experience where because you remembered who you are, it changed the choice that you made. Like, were you ever stopped in your tracks realizing, oh, wait a minute, I shouldn't be doing this or anything like that? Knowing who you are, has it ever affected choices you personally have made?
I'm going to call, I'm going to actually have Matt share his story on this, as his eyes get wide.
I don't know what story you're referring to, though.
So, I think one of the important things for us to remember is that we have our ecclesiastical Church, which is the doctrine and it remains consistent. And then the church is made up of people and so people make mistakes. And when Matt was a teenager, there, -when Matt was, he'd just become an adult, he was 18 - and there was a lot of feeling in his ward that, You know what, we don't want him to be in the ward because he wasn't planning on serving a mission because his situation was unique and different with his family. But they didn't know that. The thing that was impressive to me, and I'll let Matt speak to this is, regardless of that contention and frustration, Matt consistently attended church. And in fact, rode the bus to go almost 45 minutes. Like it was a ways away to go to church every single week and to be there.
So yeah, Matt, tell me that story.
Well, when I was 18, things were a little different. That was when the rules about who went on a mission were a little different back then; it was expected that all young men would serve on a mission, that if you did not have a test, that your testimony would be gained on your mission. And that was just kind of the expectation. I was not able to go on a mission, but a lot of members of the ward were very upset There was a strong feeling that I would be setting a bad example if I continued to attend my home ward and not go on a mission, that I was sending a message to the younger youth of the ward that it was okay to not go on a mission. And so I was uninvited from attending my home Ward. I was told that if I refused their words, if I refused to go on a mission, that I should be going to the young single adult ward, that I should not be going there. So I had to ride a bike, I did not have a car at the time. I didn't have transportation and so I had to take the bus to the young single adult ward for quite a few years.
One of the things and part of the reason why Matt couldn't go on a mission was actually because his father died of a heart attack suddenly, and he had a 12 year-old brother who was autistic, who has autism. And his mother needed to go back into the workforce. And so Matt needed to be a caretaker, and his family needed him and he wasn't able to go on a mission. And I think it speaks to the idea that we never know people's circumstances. But the thing that impressed me when I when we dated and when we were together is Matt's consistency, because he knew he was supposed to be at church. And somebody easily, and I'm not sure I wouldn't have taken offense to that and be like, Well, you're uninviting me, then I'm not going anywhere. And it's important to remember, and Matt did, people make mistakes, we're people and the church is made up of people and they make mistakes.
But Matt knew who he was and had the integrity to say, I am a child of God, I've made covenants to be at the church every week, I will ride the bus and get to church every week. And even later in our dating, I'd gotten my endowments out before we had dated and Matt hadn't and so I'd been through the temple. And he hadn't yet. But every week, Matt would ride an hour and a half with me up to the temple. I would go do a session and he would sit in the waiting room and read His scriptures. Because even though for him, even though he hadn't, he didn't, wasn't able to go in and do a session, for him, the commitment was, I'm going to go to the temple, and I'm going to be at the temple. And so I think that's kind of that key point there of who you are changes. It shouldn't change what your decision is, it's, I'm committed. And so this is the decision.
The blessing I received from that, my brother is handicapped. He has Asberger's. And that really prepared me for having a son who has autism.
we have so,
it's very similar in a lot of ways.
And what Matt won't tell you just because he's shy about it is his brother was not baptized. And it took Matt until his brother was almost 25, to teach him and get him to a point where he was ready to accept that covenant. And just after we were married is when Richard was baptized, and I will tell you, Matt was hands down involved in that mission and getting Richard to that point. And, Matt, we have a unique situation where I work and Matt is the stay-at-home parent, and he raises our boys, one of which has special needs son has autism. And so it's not just that his brother was his mission, it's continued to be his mission in our family, to teach my young men how to be priesthood holders, how to have faith, how to get past these physical handicaps and look to the gospel.
My story sounds much better when you tell it
All of your stories sound much better when somebody tells it.
You guys are great. I appreciate you sharing that and especially your perspective on this idea of knowing who we are, and not having anything else affect that. And Matt you brought up that several times where Dan, things around Daniel change, but Daniel never did. And that's just life, like everything around us will be different. But if we're consistent in who we are and what we believe, then it helps us to make choices, hard choices, by the way. Because these young men - they know who they are, they know who they believe in. I mean, their names are reminding them of that: Jehovah is my help, Jehovah is gracious. So here they are, they have a situation that is a difficult decision to make where their very lives depend upon it, because it's a matter of food or no food. Let's go into Daniel 1:8 and let's just read this verse. Emily, will you read this for us, please.
1:8 "But Daniel proposed, sorry, "But Daniel purposed in his heart, that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself."
Thank you. They do not want to partake of the food that the king is providing for them, because they are Israelites. They are living under the Law of Moses, which means the food they partake of must be kosher. And they know that they cannot partake of this food without defiling God. And so Daniel says to him, Is there any way we can just eat our own food or different food? And I like how in verse 9, they brought Daniel, that God brought Daniel in favor and tender love with the prince of the eunuchs. So he's like, 'Hmm. Let me think about this.' So Daniel and the eunuch negotiated this and here's what they came up with. Let's go to verse 12. And Matt, will you please read verse 12 for us.
1:12 "Prove thy servants, I beseech thee, ten days; and let them give us pulse to eat, and water to drink."
So that word pulse, if you highlight that, the footnote down below says foods made of seeds, or grains, and it is what it sounds like. It's also peas, beans, and lentils, it's everything kosher. So it's like, let us just eat of this specific type of food and just give us 10 days and find out what happens. Now I'm struck with the number 10, because in Hebrew, this is cool. We're going to see the number 10 in verse 14 and in 15, so they did it. They proved him for 10 days in verse 14, and at the end of 10 days, now, here's what the number 10 means in Hebrew: "complete cycle and divine order". So they completed this cycle, there's a divine order with the number 10. So there's a significant reason why he said, 'Give us 10 days', and let's find out what happened at the end of 10 days. Let's go to verse 15, and Matt, will you finish the story for us in verse 15.
15 "And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fair and fatter in flesh than all the children which eat the portion of the king's meat."
Thank you. There's a situation where people around them are like, you're crazy, you're not going to eat the food? That is ridiculous. And they're probably making fun of them or maybe even kicking them out of the family ward and saying go to a singles ward, you don't belong here. And they're like, No. We know what we have to do, give us 10 days. And they knew who they were, and they knew who they trusted in. And it is apparent that it worked. At the end of 10 days, they were given, they were more beautiful, more fair. And then verse 17. Oh, it's so good. Emily, read verse 17.
17: "As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skills and all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams."
Thank you. And it worked. I think that is awesome. And I think when we know who we are, and we stand for that, it works. It just always works. And you guys are an example of that, it worked. So thank you for being transparent and sharing your story. That was cool.
I appreciate that. So we are going to discover more of what these young men did because they knew who they were. And before we can get into that story, though, we have to talk about a very important dream first, and we're gonna talk about that in the next segment.
Segment 3 31:13
All right, what comes to mind when you hear that sound?
Ohhhhhh, very good. Anything else?
It was a bugle.
Matthew is very literal.
Yeah, very literal. I like how you said authority; that's what we were going for. This image of like authority is coming, royal trumpets, everybody get ready. Let's turn to Doctrine and Covenants section 65:1. Okay, now you're thinking, why section 65:1? Because it has everything to do with Daniel 2. But we just have to read this. So go to section 65:1 and we're going to look for some wording that connects with this sound.
D & C 65:1 "Hearken, and lo, a voice as of one sent down from on high, who was mighty and powerful, whose going forth is unto the ends of the earth, yea, whose voice is unto men - Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight."
Okay, go back to the "Prepare ye", and I want you to say it with authority, as if you were announcing a king.
D & C 65:1 "Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight."
Perfect. Now, here's the reason I had us read this. In ancient times, heralds ran before the coming processional of a king or dignitary. Trumpets would be blown, a sounding to everyone: here comes royalty. And then people would be hired to go along and clear the stones and other obstacles on the pathway, warning the people that dignitaries are coming. And they'd make the path straight and clear so that they wouldn't hurt themselves while the dignitaries were walking on these paths. Now, let's continue reading in Section 65 and look at verse 2. So they're saying: "Preare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. The trumpets are blowing, royalty is coming. And now section 65:2.
65:2 "The keys of the kingdom of God are committed unto man on the earth, and from thence shall the gospel roll forth unto the ends of the earth, as the stone which is cut out of the mountain without hands shall roll forth, until it has filled the whole earth."
Okay. Right there that wording - "stone cut out of the mountains, rolling fourth", this is the fulfillment. What you just read Emily is fulfillment of a dream that's found in Daniel chapter 2. So let's turn back to Daniel chapter 2 and we're gonna read a couple of verses. And I'm just gonna go Institute style so get something to mark your Scriptures with - we're gonna highlight, mark, and Emily and Matthew if you have anything to just interject, just jump in and say, Oh, I want to say this, I want to say this, okay? Cuz I'm just gonna kind of be like a stone and roll through this. All right, I think this is so exciting.
All right, here's a little background. We have in Daniel chapter 2, in verse 1 Nebuchadnezzar dreamed a dream. And after he had this dream, in verse 2 he commanded all the magicians and the astrologers and the sorcerers to come so that they could tell him what his dream was. Now this was fascinating to me. He didn't ask them, Tell me what my dream MEANS. He said, Tell me what my dream WAS. Now that's weird because they're like, What do you mean? You dreamed it, we have no idea. In fact, he says to them in verse 5: "The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is gone from me;" Highlight "gone from me". And down below in the footnote, he doesn't say the dream is gone from me. He says, The dream is "sure with me, meaning he knew what the dream was and he desired to test them." So he's like, Oh, I know what the dream is. And I want you to tell me what my dream was. And then he threatens them in verse 5. If you can't tell me the dream that I had, you shall be cut in pieces, and your houses shall be made a dunghill.
Now I am dying at this because has anyone Have you ever been asked Tell me what I dreamed. I mean, it's ridiculous right? Now listen, I love to interpret dreams. I'll do that all day long. But I have to know what your dream is. And so all the sorcerers and the magicians and the astrologers say, Yeah, this can't be done. Verse 10 very specifically, what you've asked us is impossible. They say. "The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is not a man upon the earth that can shew the King's matter: therefore there is no king, Lord, nor ruler, that asked such things at any magician, or astrologer". Like, no one's ever asked us to do this. This is ridiculous. We cannot tell you what you dream. But if you tell us your dream, we will interpret it. And in verse 11, they even say "it is a rare thing that the king requireth,"
So the king in his fury, he's so mad that they can't tell him what he dreamed. Then he then says in verse 12, find, destroy all the wise men of Babylon, get rid of all of them, kill them all. Now you're thinking, okay, they're gonna kill the magician's, the astrologers. But wait a minute. They're killing all the wise men. I want you to put a cross reference next to verse 12. And it comes back from Daniel chapter one. I want you to put Daniel 1:4, then verse 17, then verse 20. Because if you read verse, we did read these verses, but I want you to go back, and if you look at Daniel 1:4, 17, 20, these young boys, Daniel - and then we'll use the names they were given because we know them as that - Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were very wise men. In fact, will you please read for us, Matt, Daniel 1:20. This is how wise these four boys were.
1:20 "And in all matters of wisdom and understanding, that the king enquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all his realm."
Thank you. So Daniel catches wind, Wait a minute, that includes me; that includes my friends, they are going to kill us because we can't tell them what the dream is. And so in verse 15, I love how Daniel says to the king's right-hand man, Why is the king so hasty? Like why is he ready to kill everybody? Give me a chance. Let me try. Turn the page to verse 16. He says to the king, Give me some time, and I'm going to tell you what the dream is. So then we have verses 17, and 18. And Emily will you read those for us.
2:17 "Then Daniel went to his house, and made the thing known to Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, his companions:
18: "That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret; that Daniel and his fellows should not perish with the rest of the wise men of Babylon."
I want to know what you two think about this phrase back in verse 18. So he goes back to tell his friends what's going to happen, that they that they could possibly die. But then verse 18, tell me what you think this means? "That they would desire mercies of the God of heaven concerning this secret."
So I actually think that Daniel had the wisdom to see that the Lord inspired the king to set up the perfect missionary moment. And so that's actually my view. I know, I know, we could say this is coincidence, but I find it hard to believe that the king would just on his own come up with this outrageous idea. And that it would open the door for these young men to say, Okay, we're going to lean into our priesthood, we're going to lean into our knowledge of the Lord and who we are to interpret this dream and let Him deliver us. And I especially feel that way because if you go to where Daniel actually talks to the king, in verse 28, he doesn't start with, Oh, I figured it out. He says, "but there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets." And so Daniel perfectly sets up the missionary moment to say, "God revealed this for us."
Oh my gosh, Emily, I'm so thankful that you took us to verse 28. Let's make sure we highlight that, but there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets and maketh known to the king. How, I mean, so awesome, he gives credit to God. Now, and I like how you said no point did he go, Okay, I know what the dream is. He's like, No, God told me what the dream is and now I can tell you Oh
It, it was a missionary moment.
I think the interesting thing that we'll actually see from the beginning of this to the end, if you watch Daniel's influence on the kings over time, he starts with them. King Nebuchdnezzar's like, Oh, well, okay, we'll loop your god in. And we'll like, clearly he's got something here. But then by the time we get to Darius, you're gonna see that he's converted him in many ways. And so Daniel clearly saw this as, Okay, here's my first missionary moment to get through what I'm doing and say, This is who I am. But it's because of my God.
Yeah. And not even knowing what the ultimate outcome would be. I like how you say they're just leaning into that moment. They're leaning into their priesthood and saying, Well, what? Well, let's just do what we have to do right now. And hope for the best. But the ultimate end result would be powerful. Great input, Emily.
If we jump back to 16 real fast, I just like that even the Prophet can ask his friends to pray for him.
Hmm, that's true.
All right, hold on. I'm writing all these notes from you.
I hadn't even thought about that. But that's true. But he didn't just go in and say, Oh, I can do this with the Lord. He said please help me.
And he didn't just go and immediately pray. Well, I mean, he did pray to the Lord; he also asked his friends to pray for it
Well, and it also shows the how we can help the Prophet when we pray for them. Clearly Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego praying for him helps in immense ways. How much help do we give the Prophet when we pray for them? And actively keep them in our hearts.
Well, Matt, to your point, I like how you said he knew his friends could pray for him because he even in verse 17, he calls them by their Hebrew name, like the nickname with power. Hey you, who, you know, Jehovah is grace. And you know that Jehovah saves, like, I just think it's awesome how he's calling them by their Hebrew names, I need your help. Let's pray. So that's pretty powerful when we go to our friends who we say, I know you're a covenant keeper; I know you know that you're a child of God; I know that you're a disciple of Christ. I need you to pray for me. Like he reminded them of who they were. Wow, that was good, that was good. Okay, so let's go into the dream, then. Here he is, he is going to say, Alright, I know what your dream is. And he is going to then tell him in verses 31-35. Let's read this dream and then we're going to help interpret it, or use the help of Daniel. So we're going to start with verse 31. We'll each take a turn. We'll start with Emily. Then we'll go Matt, and then we'll go me.
31: "Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible.
32: "The image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,
33: "His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay,
34: "Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.
35: "Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of a summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth."
Awesome. All right, there's the dream. What? That's the craziest dream ever.
I did want to say real quick, I thought it was very savvy of the king to not tell his dream, because it is so based on symbolism, and it is so vague, that the interpreters could have basically made up anything and made it sound believable.
Oh, yeah. Now that's great insight. Okay. So let's find out what the dream meant then. If it was so symbolic, then what are the symbols in this dream? So on your page, you can write this in your journal or highlight this in your scriptures in Daniel, we are going to tell you what the breasts and the arms were, the belly and the thighs, the legs, the feet, and the stone. So here we go. The breast and arms, what did those represent? And Emily and Matt are going to help me decipher these things.
The breasts and arms were the Cyrus, the Persian whose armies conquered Babylon.
Very good. That's it. Okay. The belly and thighs? What Empire was that?
That that was Phillip, was that Philip and Alexander and the Greeks?
Yep. The Macedonian and Greco empire.
That's what I thought.
Very cool. Okay, the legs; what did the legs represent?
That was the Roman Empire.
Oh, yeah. I thought that was significant. Where your strength comes from, their power in your legs and the Roman Empire. A lot of strength there, right?
That's what we always associate with the strong robust, so I agree.
Yeah. Okay. The feet. What did that represent?
The feet of iron and clay symbolized a group of European nations.
Very good. Many other kingdoms and the rise and fall of those kingdoms that would continue on and happen. And then we have the stone. Okay, now this is where section 65 comes into play. This really is so awesome where it talks about a, first of all, "a stone was cut without hands." Tell me right now, why is it significant that it was cut without hands? What is that teaching us?
Well it's not man-made. It's the Lord, man didn't, man didn't make it. It's the gospel.
Emily, you're totally right, that it's not a man-made church, that the Lord did it. And in 1830, the Lord Himself without hands initiated the restoration of the kingdom here on earth. That is the stone, and it's going to roll forth. Here's a great quote by Joseph Smith. He said,
"I calculate to be one of the instruments of setting up the kingdom of Daniel by the word of the Lord. And I intend to lay a foundation that will revolutionize the whole world."
Like I love how he says, 'I'm not going to be the one to do it. I just calculate to be an instrument in setting up this kingdom, and getting this stone to roll forth.' Now this was really kind of cool. In verse 34, highlight the word stone, and then go to verse 35, and highlight the word stone. In Hebrew this year, we have learned that the word for stone is EBEN, and I thought this was a really cool thing: I recently learned the word EBEN in Hebrew is made up almost of two other Hebrew words. EB, which means fFATHER, and BEN, which means SON. So now we have this stone where we can find the name, Father and Son, in that word. And that blew my mind, because now I'm like, the gospel of Jesus Christ is theirs, it is the father and the son's, and it will fill the whole earth. I thought that was really fun to learn. It's their church, and the stone's never going to stop. That's what struck me. And if we go back to how we started, prepare ye, prepare ye. Like you either get out of the way, or you get crushed. Like let's help prepare the way for the stone to roll forth to fill the whole earth.
So I'm just curious, Matt, what does it look like for you? And this is a great perspective to have from you because you're a stay-at-home dad, which I honor, I think that is so great. And many people who are stay-at-home parents often feel like, Am I, am I doing anything? Am I contributing to the stone rolling fourth? So I want to know, from your perspective, how are you actively helping this stone roll forth and fill the earth? What does that look like for you on a daily basis?
I think the best missionary moments are actually just setting an example. I'm always shocked at different jobs I've had where I won't ever mention to anybody specifically that I'm a Christian, and yet they still pick up on it. People come up to me and say, Oh, I know, I know you're a Christian, because I've seen you pray over at lunchtime, I've seen you pray over your meal, or they'll say things like that.
And I think our boys see that every day. It's amazing to me what our boys catch on when they see Matt do something or, or they'll come in and they'll tell us "I believe in"...... because they saw their dad in a day to day. And so I think I agree. Example's the best missionary moment that you can get.
Yeah, for sure. I'm grateful you brought that up, the example. Because that's exactly what you are. And that's exactly what these boys were. And it's their example that will shine through. In fact, in the next segment, we are going to talk about an example that these boys - and I'm going to use their Hebrew names Hannah, nyah, Mishchenko and Azariah - what will happen to them as a result of their example. And what happened to them when they were presented with a difficult life situation? They had to make a decision: am I going to get out of the way and let the stone roll forth, or am I going to get crushed? And we'll talk about that next?
Segment 4 48:26
So before we met, I asked both of you to think about this question. And here I want to know your answer is: Do either of you have an experience where prayer was your only course of action?
So I'm going to actually, it's a shared experience that personally for me, about five years ago, we were we just relocated to Illinois. I was having a hard time. I went to the temple and the spirit, I was basically sitting in the temple saying, K, what do I need to do? And the Spirit said, You need to have a baby, which, of course my first thought was, Are you crazy? Like I'm here to tell you that life is stressful. And I went home and told Matt and we were blessed to get pregnant.
We had agreed that we were going to stop at two. There's a lot of health reasons involved, and we had some health problems. And we had long prayed about it. And so she had mentioned this, but she was terrified to tell me.
For like two days I wouldn't tell him that we were supposed to get pregnant. So
And my side of that is I had felt so pushed that you needed to go to the temple and you hadn't been forever and I felt so pushed. I made sure the boys and I had an activity lined up. And I made sure that everything came together. And you were, I don't know if you remember, you were going to change your mind and bail because you thought you were running out of time. I made you go. So when you came back, I'm like, Well, I'm sure you went for some reason; what amazing inspiration did you get?
So then I said we're supposed to have a baby and he went, what? But then totally jumped on board.
I, after all that, I couldn't say, No, you're wrong.
So, anyway, so we were blessed to get pregnant. And when I was 32 weeks pregnant, I began to show signs of pre-eclampsia. As Matt said, I have a lot of different health problems. And unfortunately, the physician that we had made some selfish and negligent choices, and it led to the death of our daughter during childbirth. And so we lost our daughter, Ellie. That's why I say we have an angel in heaven. And I would, it was truly a difficult experience for me because it tried everything I knew, and all of my faith. And I remember we lost Ellie; I did have to have a C-section because we were trying to save her, she passed away. We're unfortunately, because of paperwork, the hospital lost her body, we found it, I had to drive down to the funeral home to sign the birth and death certificate.
And I remember driving home and we're driving across this bridge. And all I could think was, Heavenly Father, just let our car go off this bridge so our whole family can be together. Because everything I had known at that point with faith didn't make sense. I had been told if you go to the temple, you get inspiration. When you follow inspiration, you're given gifts, and the ultimate thing comes out. And at that moment, I was in such a dark place. And for us, we had been thrown into the fire like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. And we really faced each other at that point and said, we have two choices here. Either we let the fire consume us and eat us alive, because we are so lost and heartbroken right now, and angry and upset. Because really, we shouldn't have lost her had it not been for poor choices on others' part. Or we stop and we look and find the Savior in the fire and hold His hand and pray and learn the things we're supposed to do. And we did find the Savior in the fire in so many unexpected ways. And now I look at it and I go, Oh, we're supposed to have an angel so that we can raise her in the millennium. And what a gift.
And even the thought of having a four year-old run around right now, I'm going, I have no idea how I would do that. So clearly the Lord was inspired in the process. And one of the things right before we lost her, the Spirit gave us a clear inspiration that said, Ellie will be okay. And I took that in the human nature to say, Oh, well, she'll be fine. She'll be born, I'll have her here, that's great. So when she passed away, I was like, 'Why would you tell me that Ellie will be okay? why would you give me that clear inspiration? You speak truth, the Lord speaks truth.' And it was a lot of prayer for me to lean and understand. Ellie is okay. She, she's home. But it wasn't without prayer that I was able to understand that it's, it's not about the results that I had hoped for. It's about do I really have faith in the Lord and in Him so much so that I'm willing to trust it, no matter what it may be.
Wow. Matt, tell me what the experience was like for you.
Well, the part of the story that Emily is too kind of tell you is that we had the opportunity afterwards - because there was a lot of neglect on the doctor's part - we had the opportunity that we could have done a lawsuit and probably gotten quite a bit of money from it. Everything was in our favor, we had pretty clear evidence, but that would have meant what? four years of
of just always being focused on that subject. So we lived in Illinois, as she said, it was a very small community. The grandson of the doctor was actually in our son's class.
So we saw him at every parent night, at every every
Every school conference, every, I mean, it was just a regular basis to see the man and we could have just been angry all the time. That would have been the easiest choice.
And we had, through prayer, we learned what forgiveness really was. And most importantly to say, Heavenly Father, we're turning it over to You. Justice, it's in Your hands and in Your world. And I'm not sure we could have done that without prayer.
He retired almost immediately after. He knew that he made a mistake. I mean, he's not, he's gotta live with it.
And, but that's between him and the Lord and
We're okay. Our daughter's, she's fine. And we're okay. And we're blessed and stronger because of it. But I think, I don't know that we could have gotten to the point of forgiveness and letting it go without prayer.
How different would your story have played out if prayer was not part of the equation, in fact, if you couldn't pray, if you were told that was not a possibility?
We would have been surrounded by hate. And misunderstand, honestly, we probably would have left the church and left the gospel, because everything up to that point that we had understood about the gospel, all of a sudden didn't make sense. And so had we not had the opportunity to go the Lord and say, Please help us understand thy plan, and turn to Him in prayer, to say, Please heal our hearts. Like we need the atonement; we would be surrounded in hate, and honestly, I'm not sure we'd still be married. We probably would have split our family, we wouldn't have what we have now. Because we needed to communicate with the Lord and say, We don't understand this. And we are broken. Fix us.
We had a friend a while back, say, "Oh, I wish I had a marriage like yours." And I'm like, "No, you don't. You don't want to have to go through what we did to get this, I promise."
It's wonderful, but the journey wasn't necessarily one I want to repeat.
Absolutely. Well thank you for sharing your story because I want us to be thinking about this. For anyone that's gone through a difficult time where you leaned into prayer, what if prayer wasn't part of the equation, because that is what happened in this story of Daniel3. Prayer was prohibited. We have a story where Nebuchednezzar, he builds this big, gigantic, beautiful image of gold. And he asks all of his people to worship it. In fact, he says when you hear music playing, anytime it plays, you are to stop what you're doing and worship this golden image. And in fact, here's what happens to people who don't worship the image. Turn to Daniel 3:6. This is the result of what happens if you don't worship the image, and Emily will you read verse 6 for us.
3:6: "And whoso falleth not down and worshippeth shall the same hour be cast into the midst of a burning fiery furnace."
Okay. And now we have the story of these young boys. Go to verse 12. We have, and I just love their names. I almost just want to say their Hebrew names: we have Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah. And here's their response to that command to worship the image, verse 12. Matt, will you read that for us.
12: "There are certain Jews whom thou hast set over the affairs of the province of Babylon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego; these men, O King, have not regard thee: they serve not thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up."
Okay. And as a result, the king is so mad. What does he do with the boys?
He throws them in the furnace,
Boy, and how hot is that furnace?
So hot that the people who threw them in were burned and died because they were so impacted. So
That's exactly it. In fact, look at verse 19. It says that the furnace was seven times more hot than it had ever been. And you're right, Emily, even the people who threw them in caught on fire. It's hot. But here's what's interesting to me is how the boys respond to this experience or situation as they're about to be thrown in. I want us to read verse 17 and 18. And Emily, will you read that for us.
17: "If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king,.
18: "But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy Gods, nor worship the golden image which thou has set up."
Okay, oh my gosh, let's highlight those two verses. I love in one of the manuals that I've used to study with, this is what they wrote about that experience. They said, "They believed in a God who could deliver them, but did not know if God would deliver them." And I think that resonated with me, because I think so much of my life, I believe in a God who could do it, I just don't know if he would do it. But I'm trusting that everything will work out. And I just wanted to know, how would that thought or how has that thought played into the outcome of your prayers, believing in a god that could but not sure if he would, hoping for the best.
So for me, I often think we confuse faith and hope. Faith is a belief in some thing that we cannot see. So much so that it spurs action regardless of what the results and outcome are. And hope is a hope for a specific result. And so I think the key here is they had faith, regardless of what that result was. And regardless, that while they hoped that the result was that they wouldn't burn, then they hoped that the Lord would do with that. And, but we don't, but they didn't know if He would, their faith was still strong enough that they went forward. And so I think that's the biggest thing is when we we hope for something but we don't know if He will, that shouldn't change our faith, because our faith is in the person, with the Lord, and our actions to reflect that faith, regardless of the result.
Absolutely. So Matt, finish the story for us. And will you read Daniel 3:25.
3:25 "He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God."
Now the person speaking is Nebuchadnezzar. And he's telling everyone what he is seeing. So he sees four images in this fire. And I think it's fascinating, "one like unto the Son of God". It could have been Christ, it could have been an angelic minister, no one's quite sure other than he is like the Son of God. It had to have been something brighter and more glorious than what Nebuchadnezzar had ever before seen, to then say, Oh, my gosh, I cannot believe this is happening. This is incredible. In fact, it's so incredible, that he calls it a miracle. Pretty much, more or less, in verse 27. He talks about how what they had seen, they couldn't even believe it. But then - I love 28 and 29 - because this is Nebuchadnezzar's testimony of "the one who was like unto God" and what had happened for these four boys. So Emily, will you read 28 and 29.
3:28 "Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach,and Abed-nego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the King's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.
And verse 29.
29: "Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, shall be cut pieces, and their houses will be made a downhill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort."
Thank you. Oh, my gosh, that is such a great story. And I go, it goes back to this idea, like they believed a God who could, but they didn't know if God would. And the reaction or the result is God did. And He did it so much bigger than these boys ever imagined.
And it made the stone roll fourth, because Nebuchadnezzar is saying, We're all going to worship this god.
Absolutely. In fact, all of Daniel chapter 4 is a personal declaration by Nebuchadnezzar that describes how he gained a testimony of the true God. That's all Daniel 4 is, is him saying, And here's why I believe. So yes, this stone is rolling forth. That is awesome. Great insight, Emily. So thank you, both of you. This story is so good in our own personal lives. when we think about a God who could and a God who would, and will He, does He, yes on such a bigger scale than we could ever imagine. He sees down the road, he sees the future. And our goal is to just prepare the way for the Lord to come. So in the next segment, we're going to continue with this idea of a could and would prayer. And it's going to challenge Daniel and we're going to figure out how it does that in the next segment.
Segment 5 1:02:56
Everyone turn with me to Daniel chapter 6. All right, so Nebuchadnezzar dies, and then several generations are going to pass after Nebuchadnezzar's time and we have a new King who's in charge. And we get into chapter 6, and his name is Darius. Now, I asked my guests to do this because we all know the story about Daniel in the lions den. It is a Primary story, I just sang a song about it, so much good stuff, but I wanted to do this: I asked my guests to come prepared to point to me things that they didn't know about the story when they read it this time. And so hit it, you two. I want to know, tell me the story about Daniel in the lions den from your perspective after reading this.
So the biggest thing that hit me was actually the role of Darius and how much his testimony influenced, because Darius, who was the leader, yes, he did cast Daniel into the lions den. But he loved Daniel so much he tried to find every other answer. And then when he cast him into the lions den, if you go to verse 16, in 6, the king says "unto Daniel, Thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee." So not only does he have faith, then he goes home and he fasts and prays all night, that when you go to verse 18, "Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting,." And so Darius wasn't just the guy who threw him in the lions den. Darius had a testimony of this, of a God and had a testimony that yes, this was going to happen, but God would deliver.
Yes. What, tell me what landed Daniel in the lions den? What happened to cause that?
So the King's, was it the King's advisors directing?
They flattered him and convinced him that there should be a decree that you couldn't pray to anyone except the king. And like we said before, Daniel, Daniel didn't change. The law changed, but Daniel didn't change and he prayed three times a day,
Prayed to the Temple
facing and tabernacle, yeah.
And because he prayed it through him in the den.
I was struck with verse 10, because I had never noticed this before. In chapter 6:10 it says, so they did make the decree for 30 days, no one's allowed to pray. They're only allowed to worship the king. And then verse 10 says,
6:10: "Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he had done aforetime."
Now, that struck me because I think, why wouldn't you just close the windows? I would; I would make sure that I can see, I'm still gonna pray, but I'll do it privately. He leaves his windows wide open. He's facing towards Jerusalem, but a Jewish prayer - it's not a silent, quiet prayer. It is a bodily movement, you are moving your body back and forth, right to left. It involves all of your faculties as you're on your knees. So even if somebody looked in, they would know he was praying just by his physical actions. Like he didn't even stop that.
And Matt, it goes back to your saying over and over again, everything around him changed but Daniel never did. He continued. I love that you brought that up, because that is the theme of this whole thing. He's going to continue to pray not once, not twice, three times a day, as he's been told to do since he was a little boy, you pray three times a day, and here's how you do it. And that struck me because that's how he got caught. They saw him praying, they went to the king, and they're like, Listen, you said whoever prays has to go into the lions den. And it's Daniel, because they tried to trick the king. They wanted to find a reason to get rid of Daniel. And so he does; he gets thrown into the lions den. And then Emily, I love the story you brought in about the king. Awesome. K, keep going. Anything else in the story that struck you?
I think the, I think the other thing that we talked about together was if you look at where Nebuchadnezzar started and you said, Oh, okay. Well, clearly Daniel's god is something and we'll loop him in. And then you go to Darius, if you, if you look at the end of the story in verse 26, Darius, King Darius says,
26: "I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, and stedfast for ever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end."
So you have Nebuchadnezzar's like, Yeah, we'll include them, that's great. And King, you get to King Darius over Daniel's lifetime, and here King Darius is saying, 'Daniel's God is the living God.' Talk about an evolution over time of that stone rolling forward.
Right? Well, and even in that verse, the imagery, 'His kingdom which will not be destroyed, his dominion shall even be unto the end.' I mean, that is the stone rolling forth. That's section 65 that we started all of this with. That is the fulfillment of that. Oh, I like that connection to it, Emily. Awesome.
Um, one other thing that struck out at me is just the cunning of the advisors. So we kind of skipped over this before. The Institute Manual has a quote from Spencer W Kimball about the Meshac, Shadrach, Abed-nego story, in which he comments on the cunning. The reason that those three were thrown in the furnace is because of this golden image. And Spencer W. Kimball talks about how huge this golden image was and the spectacle that it was, how there would have been visitors from other lands come to see it. So the three of them not worshiping it, and refusing to worship it would have been a very public display. And it's the same with Daniel, him praying with his window open was a very public display. In both cases, advisors want to make sure this was something that everyone saw, that everyone would see these Jewish men defying the laws of Babylon,
They sat in wait for them to do that so they can trap and ensnare them, which Satan does to us.
Yeah, That's why even the king couldn't undo it in the case of Daniel because it had been such a public display.
Yeah. Oh, that's good. And those four men never changed. And actually, I say men, but there are many scholars that believe they were young teenagers, that they just never changed. They knew who they were, and they were consistent. They were steady, just like the two things you look for. I love how this theme keeps coming back through all of this. You guys set that up perfectly. Anything else in the story about Daniel in the lions den that stood out to you, then?
We all have our own lions dens and situations. And we have to remember that people are going to be cunning, Satan is cunning around us. And he's going to set up situations where we'll be thrown in the lions den. And we have to stop and say, Do I know who I am? Will I be consistent to who I am? And then will I trust in the results? And sometimes they're good results, and sometimes they're not. But I trust in the end, and eternal result.
Emily, let's do this. Let's end what you're saying right now with Daniel chapter 6. Because everything you've said is what Daniel says. I'm imagining in my mind, this king running, right? He wants to know if Daniel will be dead in the morning. He is fasting for him, he's praying that Daniel will be alive. He even sets him off like you said, Listen, I know the God you believe in is going to protect you. So he runs back to that tomb and look what happens. He gets to the lions den and here's what Daniel says. We're going to read verses, let's do 20-22. And we'll do Emily, Matt, and me - each of us take a verse.
20: "And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel: and the king spake and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions?
21: "Then said Daniel into the king, O king, live for ever.
22: "My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me, and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt."
Well, then in verse 23: "Then was the king exceeding glad for him,"
You know, it is believed that Daniel was roughly 90 years old when he was in that den. Like, that's how much time had passed, that he had served. We have a 90 year-old man; that's a, that's our Prophet, our Prophet in a lions den. And this angel comes and saves him. And I just think it's great, where he explains exactly how it worked out for him, and who he believes. And then for Darius, to say, 'Oh, my gosh, I'm so happy for you, and your God is a living God.' So, oh that's awesome. So thank you, thank you, both of you for coming prepared to discuss that. That's so good. So we know Daniel's power was great, for he did obey God's law. That's what we sung with the song at the very beginning, Follow the Prophet. But if I could do a verse about Daniel, I'd probably change it up a bit. And I'm going to sing that for you in the next segment.
Segment 6 1:12:22
All right, so here's my new line. This is my new verse to "Follow the Prophet" about Daniel. (sings) 'Daniel was a prophet, a seer who saw God's ways. He saw in a vision, the Ancient of Days. Daniel saw who'd be there, it is quite a crowd. With that many people it might get really loud, Hey! Follow the Prophet....' (laughs) Don't you love that? Oh ha, ha, ha.
I do, I'm impressed.
Thank you, thank you very much. Anybody who works for the church, go ahead and just add that verse to "Follow the Prophet". Okay. The reason why I say that, because we want to turn to Daniel chapter 7, and I'm gonna show you what I mean with this really loud crowd. I've talked about this before. Last year, I talked about it at length, because I love this prophecy. It's going to happen. When I got my patriarchal blessing it's the only thing I wanted to know: will I be at this event? So go to Daniel chapter 7; bracket off verses 9-14 and we will specifically be covering just verse 9 and 10. So Matt, will you please read for us verse 9 and then verse 10.
6:9 "I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of Days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire,
10: "A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened."
Okay, let's talk about this. So we have this event. It's a vision that Daniel receives, and he sees this Ancient of days in verse 9. Highlight Ancient of days. Here's what this term means. Joseph Smith taught that Ancient of days is Adam. That's what he's talking about. So Adam is going to then present himself. I like how verse 9 starts: "I beheld till the thrones were cast down." All thrones, all dignitaries, nothing matters anymore, cast down and the only person of authority that matters here is Adam. 'The Ancient of Days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, the hair of his head was pure, like wool. His throne was like a fiery flame and his wheels are burning fire.' Now this is now talking about Christ, who is going to be at this moment with the Ancient of Days. And here's how many people will be there. All right, either one of you good at math? Can you crunch some numbers for me? Matt, you're good at math?
Neither one of us are but we could try.
Boy I'm terrible at math, because it says there will be 1,000s ministered unto him. But then 10,000 times 10,000. How many people is that?
100 million, right?
Yes! Oh, you're totally good at math, I had to use a calculator. Okay,
You could put 100 million; that is a lot of people. Now, it could literally mean 100 million people are going to be at this event at Adam-ondi-Ahman, or one of the things we know is that in Hebrew, the number "10,000 "actually means "a great multitude." So it could just be 10,000 times 10,000, meaning the biggest multitude we could ever imagine in our lives. For instance, in the Book of Mormon, when it lists all of the deceased in the book of Alma, and it says"he with his 10,000, and he with his 10,000," I always read that, I'm like, did they literally count 10,000? How did they do that? They may have, or it's scriptural term for, "and he with his multitude, and he with his multitude." So what we do know is there will be a lot of people at this meeting at Adam-ondi-Ahmon.
Cross reference verses 9 and 10, with Doctrine and Covenants, section 116. That's where it talks about the event at Adam-ondi-Ahman, where the Ancient of Days will sit, where Adam will be there. And then here's what will take place at this meeting. We're going to read a quote - it's a little bit lengthy - but it's worth listening to, because this is going to be explaining to us what will happen at Adam- ondi-Ahman with the Ancient of days, with 1,000s and 1,000s of people. Go ahead."
"President Joseph Fielding Smith said that the council would the Ancient of Days at Adam-ondi-Ahman, as prophesied in Daniel, chapter seven, verses nine through 14, will be of the greatest importance to the world. Judgment will be set and all who have held keys will make their reports and deliver their stewardship, as they shall be required. Adam will direct this judgment and then he will make his report as the one holding the keys for this earth to the superior officer, Jesus Christ. Our Lord will then assume the reins of government, direction will be given to the priesthood, and he whose right it is to rule will be installed officially by the voice of the priesthood there assembled.
"This Grand Council of priesthood will be composed not only of those who are faithful who now dwell on this earth, but also of the prophets and apostles of old who have had directing authority. Others may also be there, but if so they will be there by appointment, for this is to be an official council called to attend the momentous matters concerning the destiny of this earth."
Thank you. I mean, talk about the meeting of all meetings. This is exciting. And this is fulfillment of that stone rolling forth. And it has rolled so forth, that now we're having a meeting where the priesthood keys are being handed back to the Savior, who will rule and reign over the earth during the Millennium. And I just think how it all comes together and how we started and how we ended with this stone cut without hands, because it is God and Jesus Christ's stone, they are the stones. And we are just here to help prepare the way for them. And we are living in the times of this stone rolling forth. It is phenomenal to me, and I love it. And I want to be there for that meeting. Ah, any thoughts? Tell me what you're thinking.
I'm excited and hope to be there as well. It actually makes me think of the original Council in Heaven where they were making the plan to come here. And here's the follow-up, the end, the 'Okay, we made the council and now it all works.' And now here's the follow-up meeting, which I think is exciting.
Now that makes sense. Of course you thought that - you're a business woman. Ah, you start with a big meeting, you end it. Okay, that is great. I've never thought of that before Emily.
You plan and then you retrospect it.
Whoa! K, that's good, that's good. You guys, thank you for this discussion today. I love everything you brought and how it just beautifully blended in to the story of Daniel and I cannot wait to share what my takeaway is because I have several, but one just keeps hitting my head. So do this: gather your thoughts and think about what is your takeaway from today? What is something you learned from studying The Book of Daniel that you're going to apply to your life?
The biggest thing that I learned is just the consistency as we know who we are, we're consistent and we don't change, just like Daniel didn't change. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego didn't change, the world changed, they did not change. And to me, that's the true sign of faith and commitment.
Now that's what I was gonna say - you stole my answer. So you gotta come up with something else. I didn't have that prepared at the beginning as you and I kind of mentioned during scripture study, but it's, but it just keeps jumping out during this whole lesson. It's everything else changed, the leaders - different kings changed. There was three kings, no, two kings we didn't even talk about between Nebuchadnezzar and Darius and there was one more king after Darius. And Daniel was the consistent part of that. You know, rulers change but the Lord doesn't change, his prophets don't change.
Okay, that's so good. It's, my takeaway's the same. I thought it was so, I'm using it too, is that the world changed, but Daniel and the boys never did, they never changed. And I like how you just added, Matthew, "Prophets never change". I thought that was so good. And it's kind of cool because we are, we're living in a changing world. And we have to be just like both of you said at the beginning, consistent and steadfast. That is what we're asked to do as covenant keepers. And so I think, I think we saw that in the story today with these boys. And I think what's really cool at the end, is when Darius says, "the living God, that he is a living God,". The stone is moving, it is rolling, it is alive and we get to be a part of that. And that's pretty cool. So, thank you, both of you. That was a fun discussion.
It WAS thank you.
Thanks for coming so prepared, because I know you're busy. So, that was really cool. Well, we would love to hear what your big takeaway was from our study of Daniel. Now, if you haven't already joined our discussion group on Facebook, or followed us on Instagram, go do it. It's so great. Ask questions, post comments, share anything that you're learning. And then at the end of the week, on a Saturday, we do a post asking for your big takeaway. So comment on the post that relates to this lesson, and let us know what you've learned. And you can get to both our Facebook and Instagram by going to the show notes for this episode on LDS living.com/sunday On Monday. And if you go there, you can also find the links to all the references we used today, including that awesome one about Adam-ondi-Ahman, as well as a complete transcript of this whole discussion. So go check it out.
The Sunday on Monday Study Group a Deseret Bookshelf Plus original brought to you by LDS Living. It's written and hosted by me, Tammy Uzelac Hall and today our incredible study group participants were Matt and Emily Estes. And you can find more information about these friends at LDS living.com/sunday on Monday. Our podcast is produced by Cole Wisinger and me. It is edited by Haily Higham, and recorded and mixed by Mix at Six Studios, and our executive producer is Erin Hallstrom. Thanks for being here. We'll see you next week.
And please remember, oh you sweet friends, You are God's favorite.
Daniel was my dad's favorite Prophet. He used to when I was a kid, he used to swear to me that reading The Book of Daniel was just like reading a comic book.
His dad was an artist.
I love doing stuff like this. Alright, here we go.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai