48: “He Delighteth in Mercy” (Jonah, Micah)
Sometimes we find the Old Testament relatable not because of the stories where people have everything figured out, but because of the stories where they don't. Like us, these individuals are imperfect—and occasionally, they might even have a bit of a rebellious streak. This week’s story is about one such prophet. Jonah sacrificed everything to go and do, but when he got his call to serve, he ran in the opposite direction. Eventually, though, he repented and served with his whole heart. Our study today is in the books of Jonah and Micah, where we learn the stories of normal people who answered the call to be prophets.
Jonah 1:1 (Who is Jonah)
Christ speaks of Jonah:
Jonah = Yonah - Dove
A Walk in My Shoes: Questions I'm Often Asked as a Gay Latter-day Saint by Ben Schilaty
Jonah 1:3 (Jonah flees to Tarshish)
Jonah 1:15 (Jonah offers himself)
Jonah 1:17 (Jonah swallowed by a whale)
Jonah 2:3-5 (Look toward the temple)
Jonah 1:3 (Jonah going up and down)
Jonah 3:3 (Jonah rises back to his mission)
Jonah 2:8 (Lying vanities)
Jonah 4:11 (God will forgive all)
Matthew 21:28-32 (Parable of two sons)
Mercy = racham - Womb
Words of the Prophets:
1. Get on the covenant path and stay there
2. Discover the Joy of daily repentance
3. Learn about God and how he works
4. Seek and expect miracles
5. End conflict in your personal life
“As you act on these pursuits, I promise you the ability to move forward on the covenant path with increased momentum, despite whatever obstacles you face. And I promise you greater strength to resist temptation, more peace of mind, freedom from fear, and greater unity in your families.” (Russell M. Nelson, “The Power of Spiritual Momentum”, General Conference Apr. 2022)
Micah = mikayah or mikayahu - Who is like Jehovah?
Matthew 2:1-6 (Three Wise Men)
Micah 5:2,4 (Prophesy of Christ)
Mosiah 28:4 (God will spare all)
Alma 48:17-18 (Captain Moroni was a man of God)
1 Nephi 1:1 (Nephi was highly favored)
1 Nephi 15:5-6 (Nephi’s afflictions)
Bethlehem = House of bread
Micah 6:8 (What does the Lord require of us)
Mercy = hesed - Covenantal love
How about this? My very first act of rebellion was when I stole a pack of grape Hubba Bubba Bubble gum - I just like to say that, Hubba Bubba Bubble gum - from a grocery store at age nine. And I totally got caught. Ah, who are my fellow rebels out there? And what is your first act of rebellion? Do you remember it? And what is it about the act of rebellion? And then is there any hope for those of us who do rebel, which is all of us? Because today's study of Jonah and Micah, it takes a look at rebellion and it offers hope to all of us who struggle. And P.S.: Grape Hubba Bubba bubble gum is still my favorite kind of gum.
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 again want to make sure you know how to use this podcast. So follow the link. it'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 friends Kristin Jensen and Patti Michaelis in Tennessee. Hello. I love that because our guest today is from Tennessee. This is a mother/daughter duo and the daughter came to visit me at the Cottonwood, Utah Bookstore. And then we FaceTimed her mom in Tennessee and it was so awesome. So hey, ladies. K, now another awesome thing about our study group is each week we're joined by two of my friends. So it's a little bit different. And today is a lot a bit different because we have, you heard him before, but they've never been together and I could not be more excited. We have Jalyn Peterson and Ben Schilaty. Hi, guys.
Ben Schilaty 1:44
Hey, Tam. How are you?
Well, good. Can you say Hubba Bubba Bubble gum really fast?
Hubba Bubba Bubble
Ben Schilaty 1:49
Hubba Bubba Bubble Gum.
Did you remember doin' that as a kid?
Oh, it was the best.
Right? I mean, it was good for three seconds and then you had to spit it out. But, those were a wonderful three seconds.
Ben Schilaty 2:03
You know, I've never learned to blow bubbles with bubble gum.
Ben Schilaty 2:07
I wasn't a big Hubba Bubba boy. (Laughter!)
That makes you one of my
I want that on your gravestone, Ben. "He was not a big Hubba Bubba guy."
"Not a big Hubba Bubba boy". You're hilarious!
That's so funny.
Oh my gosh. That's so great. Jalyn, hey, how about that shout out - our guest?
I know. Hey, y'all.
We gotta find Patty. Patty Michaelis.
Hey, Patti. I need to find you. Um, it is a big state, but I don't know where they're at. Um, I'm a transplant so I'm pretty proud. I like to just throw "y'all" in there, you know, because that's what people do. Yeah.
Yeah. I'm excited to have you two here today, especially for what we're going to talk about because these books are short, but boy, are they packed! In fact, I can remember thinking, How are we even gonna get six segments out of this stuff?
And we will. I know.
Ben Schilaty 3:02
There's so much in here.
Yes. So much in here. Micah's like, that's deep.
Well, Micah, yeah. Micah, I love that you threw that in there because Jonah's a no-brainer. We know that story. But Micah?
I mean, he's, he's Isaiah-in' it up in there.
Ooh, nice parallel. I like that. Well, let me just throw this in real quick before we get started. If you want to know more about my guests, you can find their bios and read all their information in our show notes which are found at LDS living.com/sunday on Monday. And FYI, you're going to want to go there because we will have a link to Ben's book.
Oh, I was just going to say that.
I was just gonna say that, like, go read Ben's book. I'm fan-girling over here because Ben's book is amazing.
Go do it! I love it, love, love.
(laughs) Ben's face.
And Ben will read it to you, which is how I like to consume all of my books these days.
Ben Schilaty 3:53
It's trul, the audio book is only 4 1/2; hours; 3 1/2 if you do it on double speed. No, that's not good math, but
I will tell you this. I did it on double speed and I was able to get it done in a week doing my morning walks.
Ben Schilaty 4:06
And I don't walk for very long, FYI.
It wasn't a double-speeder for me, Ben. It was a 'Let's savor it a little bit, like this is good stuff'. So, double speed is like I'm just consuming it to get through it. Yours, I wanted to savor a little bit. It's good stuff.
Ben Schilaty 4:20
Well, thanks, friends.
Read it, though. I do love Ben's book. It is really good. "A Walk in My Shoes". So check it out, you guys. You're gonna want to do that. Okay, so do this for me: grab your scriptures, something to mark your Scriptures with, you're gonna need your scripture journal because Ithere's gonna get a lot of notes today, and let's dig in. Alright, you two. Do you guys have a first memory of your first act of rebellion?
Ben Schilaty 4:40
I do. When I was, when I was really little I was mad at my dad for something. I don't remember what - we were all going to get pizza and I went and hid in the car because I was mad at him. And he looks all over the house but couldn't find me because I was in the car. And then finally he was like, Well, can't find the kid, I guess I'm just gonna go and then he found me in the car and he was quite mad at me for hiding. I don't know what it was about, but I hid from my dad.
It's a good memory.
Wait, did they all go get pizza without you? Because I would have been like, I'll get the pizza and then I'm gonna hide.
Ben Schilaty 5:12
Yeah, I don't remember the whole situation. I remember being very mad and my dad being mad at me and I, who knows what happened after that? But I was never actually a very rebellious child, I'm a good rule-follower.
You're very obedient. Yeah.
And I can't even imagine how mad ol' Buzz could have gotten. He's a delightful man.
Ben Schilaty 5:26
He's so delightful.
Is your dad's name Buzz?
Ben Schilaty 5:29
I mean, it's his nickname. But yeah, he's been Buzz since he was a child.
That's, that's a great name.
Ben Schilaty 5:35
But he was a kid in the '40s and '50s. Back then everyone was named Buzz.
Yeah, good point, good point. What about you, Jalyn - first act of rebellion, can you remember it?
Um, you know, I remember doing the hide thing and panicking my sister 'til she started crying. And I was like, Uh, I guess I gotta come out. But yeah, I wasn't um, I wasn't too rebellious either. And my mom, if you pulled something like, "Fine, I'm just going to run away." Use this on your kids, audience members, because it worked every time: She said, "Fine. You came into this world, you're going out, naked. Drop your clothes at the door and run away." (laughter) And every time, and you just would go like, Oh, alright, I guess I'll stay here. I guess I'm gonna stay.
I'm gonna stay. I can't believe, you guys aren't even that rebellious though. Like I'm stealing gum at a local grocery store. I'm nokt hiding from people.
Ben Schilaty 6:27
Well, why would I steal something? My, I mean, okay. When I was a kid, there's this musical called "My Turn On Earth." It was really popular.
Oh, sure, classic.
Ben Schilaty 6:39
There's a whole song called "Choosing"' and one of the verses is about stealing, stealing gum or, no, stealing something. And so I always knew from that song I wasn't allowed to steal.
Well, apparently it didn't have the same effect on me. (laughs)
Maybe there were just too many of mine that I can't remember. But I'm pretty sure I feel I was a rule follower.
Boy, I'd love to know, anyone who's listening, go online, on Facebook, tell me what your first act of rebellion was, if it's appropriate. You have to be a young kid. I want you to think about this word rebellious, because we're dealing with a very rebellious people. In fact, turn to the book of Jonah. That's where we're going to start our discussion today. And I'm going to give you some quick fun facts about Jonah. First of all, we learn about him in verse 1: "Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai". So that's who he is the son of. And he is from a town called Gath-hepher of Zebulon, in the territory of Israel. The book of Jonah, clearly it's about his life, but it was written later by an unknown author. So that's interesting. It was not written by Jonah. We're not certain when the book was written. But what we do know is that Jonah ministered and prophesied during the reign of Jeroboam, which was from like 790 to 749 BC. So, again, we're going back to that map we drew with several months ago, where we just discussed when there was that split between kingdoms.
Unlike other prophetic books in the Old Testament, the book of Jonah is not a record of Jonah's prophecies. So I thought that was really interesting. It's just a narrative of his experience, and his story, which we're going to tell a little bit later. Also, a lot of people wonder, did it really happen? Let me just ask you that. What do you guys think - true story or fable?
True, and I, because Christ quotes it.
Nice job, Jalyn.
So if Christ is quoting that story, I mean, that was fascinating when you were saying that someone else wrote it, wasn't even him that wrote it. Like, clearly someone was inspired to write that down. I mean, it's a, it's a crazy story, like it should be told for generations. But the fact that Christ quoted it Himself, you know, why is He going to, I mean, He did speak in parables, but I don't. He literally quoted it,because this is a type of, he was a type of Christ.
Very good Jalyn, and he was using it in reference to Him being resurrected. And we'll put the references in our show notes, but you can read that: He does in Matthew and in Luke. So what are your thoughts on it, Ben?
Ben Schilaty 9:06
I would say, I would call it true-ish. So I think Jonah was a real person. But there's definitely a lot of elements of exaggeration in the story.
Ben Schilaty 9:14
Ben Schilaty 9:16
Well like the size of Nineveh, for example, or spending three days in a fish. It's a great type of Christ. But did that literally happen? It's possible, but I definitely think Nineveh wasn't that big, because it took three days to walk across. And that's really big for the ancient world.
Great. Oh, my gosh, I'd never even considered that before. Okay. Do you have any other thoughts about Jonah before we move on?
Ben Schilaty 9:38
Yeah, well, Jonah was a complex character. I mean, there are times where I'm like, Yeah, go Jonah. And other times I'm like, What are you thinking? Why are you? So, so you know, we just don't know a lot about him. But the story I was told as a child is a little simpler than what is actually told in the scriptures.
Good one. In fact, I'm gonna give some information that will help us with that. That's awesome, Ben. If you go to that page where it says Jonah, his name in Hebrew is YONAH; it's spelled Y O N A H and it means 'dove', a symbol of 'peace' in Hebrew. Now, I'm going to share this with you because what was so interesting to me, and it's going to be a great lead-in to the story of Jonah that you guys are gonna help me tell. My niece and nephew recently got their mission calls, Ellissa and Andrew, they're brother and sister. They're about a year and a half, two years apart. (Actually 367 days apart), and they actually got their mission calls one mission apart from each other. It's crazy how close they are. I know. And they're having their farewell on the same day. They're going to the MTC at the same time, and it's crazy to me. So they recently just got their mission calls. And I don't know if you guys know this, but right now, when you get your mission call - and it's kind of in the past couple of years - it doesn't start out by saying, "You are hereby called"..... There's several paragraphs of information before you reach the Calling. For me, I'm like, get to the Calling, all ready. It's like when my nephew started reading, I'm like, Who cares?
It's true, tell what's in there. And you're like, just skip to the paragraph, yada yada yada, here.
So we listened to him read but I want to read to you what struck me when my nephew Andrew read his. So listen to this because I think that this might be what Jonah's mission call would have sounded like also. Here it is. "Your purpose will be to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. As you serve with all your heart, might, mind, and strength the Lord will lead you to through those who will hear His message. You are assigned to labor in the" Assyria Nineveh mission among some of God's most wicked and torturous people. Okay, I added that part. (laughter) But, we're going to tell you all about those people in the very next segment.
Segment 2 11:14
So I ended segment one by telling you that the people of Nineveh were God's most wicked and torturous people. So let me just give you a little bit of information. And when I'm done telling you about some of these people, you tell me how this might have played into Jonah's overall decision. Here we go. The Assyrians were barbarians people when it came to their methods of conquest and the treatment of their enemies. Listen to this. They made captives parade through the streets of Nineveh with decapitated heads of other captives, around their necks.
Ben Schilaty 12:26
That is not fun.
The Assyrians were masters of torture, cutting off noses and ears and yanking out the tongues of live enemies.
Oh, my word.
They would flay prisoners, they would skin them alive. And this one's probably the most gruesome of all, and this is according to the Ogden Skinner "Verse by Verse of the Old Testament Book," the manual that I use, sold at Deseret Book. It says, "The Assyrian soldiers were known to ram a sharpened pole up through the middle of a living person." Now, how does that play into Jonah's decision?
Ben Schilaty 12:59
Well, I wouldn't want to go on a mission to Assyria either.
Valid, because I always wondered like, Well, why did he just like, 'I'm not going there.' Because we're not given the background, right? Of like, why he just said, nah. I'm getting out. It just says he arose and fled.
Absolutely. When I learned this about these people, suddenly, I had so much more empathy, compassion for Jonah. I'm like, no wonder he struggled with the decision when he got his mission call. Like, I'm not going.
Oh, crazy stuff. Okay. So let's go to Jonah chapter one. And I want you guys to help me tell the story of Jonah, from your viewpoint. And we're just gonna go the whole story starting to beginning to the end. So Ben, lead us into the story "once upon a time"
Ben Schilaty 13:42
All right. So Jonah gets called on this mission, and he says runaway and he goes, he gets a passenger on a ship to a place called Tarshish. Now, I did not realize this until just studying the chapter recently. But I confuse Tarshish with Tarsus, where Paul's from, which is in Turkey. But Tarshish, apparently, according to the internet, was on the Iberian Peninsula, like where Spain and Portugal are today. So it was literally the farthest he could go. He was going as far away as he, like he was going to the end of the known world. And so he gets on the ship going to as far away as he can possibly go, and then there are all these storms, and he's sleeping, and all the people is traveling with - they're really worried and concerned. And then what happens?
Ben, do this. Tell us the verse that Tarshish is in.
Ben Schilaty 14:33
Okay. Tarshish is in verse 3. It's actually mentioned in there three times, because it says he decides to go there and then he finds the ship going there, then he buys passage to go there. It's very redundant.
Oh like that fact. Okay, pick it up,Jalyn, there you go.
So he gets on the ship, and tumultuous times are ahead. So the sea is just "mighty tempest" it says in verse 4. And so much so that the ship was likely to be broken. So everyone on the ship is like, What is going on? And so they, they were afraid and so they cast lots - curious what that means in your little Hebrew world -
Well, first of all, isn't it interesting how in verse 5 he's like, do to-do, to-do. I'm on the ship, there's a big storm and I'm just gonna fall asleep.
He did. He was gone down and he fell asleep. I'm, I'm here. I'm down in the boat. I'm fleein' as I can, nobody bother me.
Let's just ride this storm out. It couldn't be anything worse than where I could be servin' my mission. Yeah.
Yeah. He's probably having a good sleep going, like, Whew, I really dodged the Assyrians there, didn't I? So, um, they call everybody together to figure out who is this. Which is also fascinating that how do people on the boat all of a sudden just know? 'Well this has got to be because God is mad at somebody on this ship.' Right? Like, that's
Very much so
the culture they're in of like, all right, who is it? Who is it?
And in fact, when you said cast lots, I mean, that really is basically a drawing of straws. Like, a game of luck. We're just gonna see who this falls on. And they believed in it, heavily.
Heavily believe in it, yeah. And so, um, you know, Jonah gets the short straw naturally, and says, Yeah, I'm a Hebrew. In verse 9 he says, "I am an Hebrew, and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land." So now they're just freaked out. They're totally afraid. And then what happens?
Ben Schilaty 16:23
Well, then, Jonah decides to offer himself up. So he says, cast me into the sea, that perhaps you will be saved. And there's something really interesting in verse 14. So these aren't believers that he's traveling with. They're, I don't know, pagans, perhaps. And so, you know, after he tells them about the Lord who he worships, in verse 14, the people on the ship said, it says, "Wherefore they cried unto the LORD, and said, We beseech thee, O, LORD, we beseech thee". Anyway, I just think it's interesting that they start praying to Jonah's God.
That is interesting, because before when it's the, you know, the ship is, you know, going crazy, in verse 5, it says, "....the mariners were afraid, and cried every man unto his God". Right and so they all have like different gods, and then all of a sudden, they're like, Oh, we need the big guy for this one.
Ben Schilaty 17:39
Yeah, we're praying to Jehovah now.
Yeah. Oh, that's so good. I love how you connected that, Jalyn, that is awesome. Okay, keep going.
Ben Schilaty 17:48
So this is where Jonah starts to become a type of Christ, where he offers himself to be saved. And then he gets tossed into the sea.
Totally. In verse 15, I'll read that. "So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging." So
I do, I do kind of before that, I do like that at first they did not want to cast him into the sea. You know, he's like, 'Just cast me into the sea. Fine. I'm better off dead because I don't want to go to the Assyrians', right? They don't want to like, so there's, you know, there's definitely redeemable qualities. They're not like these horrible people that are just at the first thing going to go, Yeah. Toss this guy off and save us. They were like, No, no, we're just we'll just keep rowing for a bit. And they tried,they tried,and then they were like, Alright, you gotta go over.
Ben Schilaty 18:39
You know, I think I misspoke. I said that this is, that when he offers himself to be cast in the sea that's when he starts being a type of Christ. I think that actually starts happening earlier because this is very similar to the story of Jesus being asleep on the ship when a storm hits,
Ben Schilaty 18:54
and then He says "Peace, be still." So just him sleeping on the ship
Ben Schilaty 18:58
Oh, I like that.
Ben Schilaty 18:58
is Christ-like almost. So I guess sleeping on the ship is a Christ-like thing to do.
Huh, well, there you go, everyone. Let's all take naps. I totally am thinking that.
Ben Schilaty 19:07
As long as there's a storm.
Well, and who isn't in a storm? There's so many parallels to our lives in this. Oh my gosh, I love it.
and how many naps I take just to get out of the storm.
Exactly. Okay, so then go to verse 17 because there it is. And "the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish, three days and three nights." And that is the part that the Savior quotes. And I just think it's interesting, it says "the Lord prepared a great fish." Like, God is in every little detail. That's just to think that what, and what is God preparing for me? I don't know. I thought that was pretty cool. God prepared a great fish and it had to be to swallow a whole man and not have him die. This is where it gets true-ish. Right, Ben?
Ben Schilaty 19:52
You know, I don't know exactly what happened. But, but it's definitely a true-ish story.
Yeah, yeah. We don't really know, yeah. But I do remember talking about that in Primary - the whole thing that he had prepared, he had prepared the place, right? for, for Jonah to, it was all part of the plan. Right? And sometimes in our life being in the depths, to the place where you're so humbled and there's no one else to turn to. Those are, I think those are experiences that are prepared.
Well, and it goes to this idea that God has prepared the best-case scenario for us to return to Him. Like, all of our, every one of us has a different preparation process to get back to Him. And this is, this is Jonah's ,definitely. So he's in this, Oh, go ahead.
Oh, sorry. No, I was just thinking that, you know in life none of us, none of us want to be in the belly of the fish. None of us want to be down in that situation. Right? And we always pray hard not to be and I think we have this expectation, we ruin our, we can ruin our whole thing, our whole life here by our expectations that it's not supposed to be that way. Right? You're not supposed to be like, Why am I in the belly of the fish? Like this wasn't supposed to happen. I'm not, and so we kind of fight against it instead of realizing like, 'Okay, God has prepared this for me.' Well, and I'm not saying it's easy, but, you know, this has been prepared. And this is to humble me, and to get me back to Christ and, you know, that's part of life. Nothing has gone wrong, it's all part of the plan. It was prepared ahead of time. Nothing has gone wrong. It's part of it.
Like Jonah's decision did not surprise God. All along he had prepared that fish for this moment with Jonah.
Ben Schilaty 21:49
Yeah. So and we talked about my book earlier. I felt prompted to write my book for a couple of years, and I did not do it. And, and if you go through my journal the year before I started writing my book, it is just embarrassing. I'm like I feel like I should write a book, I should be working on a book, and then I just never did. And then I finally like wrote a proposal to Deseret Book and sent it off to them. And then they wrote back the next day and said, "We're very busy, we might read your proposal in a few months. And I was like, Well, that was a polite 'no'. And then I go to my journal, 'I should be working on this book, I should be writing this book.' And I didn't do it. And then in November of that year - this was 2019 - they wrote back and they said, 'We love your proposal, we want to see your manuscript.' And I was like, I didn't write anything. And they said, 'We'd like to see it as soon as possible.' And, and, and so I repented. And I remember saying a very fervent prayer, like saying, 'God, I'm so sorry I didn't do this; please just help me to get it done.' And I wrote the first, the first edition of the manuscript in seven weeks.
Ben Schilaty 21:51
And, and because I'd been ignoring the promptings, but then when it came time, you know, God prepared a way for me to do it and, and at the time, like, all the things that were going on my life just kind of like went away. And I just had all this time to just get it done. And, you know what? I think this shows that God gives us a lot of chances to do the right thing. And He prepares a way when we don't always follow His command so that when we're ready, we can follow it. Like God gives us a lot of opportunities.
Oh. I think that is awesome. I'm writing that down.
Yeah, that's really good.
So I want to know, in chapter 2 what struck you, because Chapter 2 is his prayer, he's in the belly of the whale. Is there anything from Chapter 2 that struck you about the prayer he says?
Ben Schilaty 23:34
So there is. So I am stealing this from a friend, I read this chapter, I read all have Jonah with a couple of friends last night to get ready for this.
Ben Schilaty 23:44
And one of my friends pointed out that there's a, this is Hebrew poetry. And there's even a chiasmus here and in my
Wait. Whoa, whoa,
For the dumb people, what is that?
Ben Schilaty 23:57
So a chiasmus is kind of an inverted poem where it starts in one place and then ends in the same place. And the middle is, so it repeats.
Ben Schilaty 24:06
So, it starts right, and then the middle is the focal point. And so if you look at verse 3 it says, "For thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and the waves passed over me." Then if you skip a verse to verse 5 it says basically the same thing. "The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head." So in a chias
Ben Schilaty 24:33
Yeah, that's the focal point is verse 4. So he says, "Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look again toward thy holy temple." That's the point you know, he's saying, I left what I, my duty, but I'm gonna look back, I'm gonna look back to Your house.
And then it kind of, you know, as you're talking too, it kind of backs out again. So in verse 7, too, he says, "When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple." So, yeah, that's the whole thing. That's exactly the thing I got out of that. I'm like, Oh, look toward the temple. That's exactly what it is.
Wow, that is awesome.
Ben Schilaty 25:16
And I think this is just such a beautiful thing that, you know, sometimes in our lives, we literally try and get as far away from our duty as possible. Like that's, he's just trying to get as far away as possible. But when he came to himself, and he looked again towards God and His house, you know, God was there to receive Him and to help him along the way. And, you know, we're never too far gone. I mean, of course, we should always just do the right things to begin with. But that's not usually how we are. And God will always let us, like lead us back to His house.
Well and the message is always very clear. Like when you boil down everything. I mean, how many times has things, have things been boiled down to 'look towards the temple, keep your eye focused on the temple'. Like that's even in this last General Conference, you know, President Nelson's closing talk was all about go to the temple, here's all the temples, you need to go to the temple. So like the message is unchanging, right? from, from way back when to now.
I'm so glad that both of you have that verse marked. That was my verse that I also marked was verse 4. And I think it's profound and not coincidence that that stood out to both of us. And I want everyone to mark that and think about that. And then I wrote next to verse four, "focal point". I love that you pointed that out, Ben. because what we're gonna do is in the next segment, we're going to find out what is our focal point? I can't wait to discu....ss that next.
Segment 3 26:42
Okay, everyone listening, including Jalyn and Ben, I want you to do this with me. Okay. So get comfortable, sit back in your chair and make sure there's room for you to move. Every time I say the word 'up', I want you to stand up. And every time we say the word 'down', you got to sit down. There might be some 'Thigh Master' here going, some burning and your thighs. You ready?
Ben Schilaty 27:02
I'm nervous because I'm on a rolling chair and I'm nervous it's gonna roll back.
Don't roll, don't stand up too hard.
This might be one you have to show the video.
Ben Schilaty 27:10
Jalyn, I'm on a rolling chair too and I'm prepared. So, we'll be careful together.
Everyone listening, no matter where you are, you got to do this.
Ben Schilaty 27:17
Unless you're in a car.
K, here we go. Up, down, up, down, up, down. Nice. Okay, good job. Good job. Now come back. I know, like why would we do that? I would totally do that with my seminary teachers. The reason why we're doing that is I want to associate an action with part of this story. So, in the story of Jonah, there are two very specific actions. He goes up and he goes down and we're going to look at this. I want you to go to Jonah 1:3. K, here we go. Jonah 1:3. In this verse it says, Jonah rose up unto Tarshish from the presence of the Lord and went down to Joppa. And he found the ship going to Tarshish. Now in this story, the further he goes away from the Lord, he's going down. Then go to Jonah 3:3, because now he's agreed to serve a mission. And he goes in to teach these people. What action word in verse 3 does he use as he goes in after he repented and decides to serve a mission?
Yeah, he arises, he goes up. There's so much beauty in this idea of Jonah. If you look at all the action words when he goes down, and when he goes up, I want to know from the both of you, why are these two direction words important in Jonah's story, and maybe even in ours?
Well, I think just symbolically, right? you know, we (laughs) - I was thinking of Jerry Seinfeld has a whole stand- up routine on 'up and down'. He's like, "How come when you're a kid, everything is down? Get down here. like, like it's all, and then, no, it's like up: shut up, go up." He had this whole thing about it, but it's just like, we think of light and like, we look to the heavens, right? We have some thing that heaven is above us, right?
Yeah. Going up, yeah. Up towards the light
Like, that's where you're looking. Temples are up on a hill, they're
Ooo. I like that.
You know, so
Go up to the temple.
Yeah. Down, down is hell.
There you go. Very succinct.
Ben Schilaty 29:18
And going up is hard, too. It takes more effort.
Oh, gosh. I really like that insight. It was yeah, it was easy for him to go down to Tarshish. And then in fact he went down into the bottom of the boat to sleep, in, back in 1:5 it says, "And he went down into the sides of the ship and he slept." Yes, I think that's really fascinating.
Well, and there're scriptures too about, you know, Satan will lead you carefully down to hell.
Yes, very good.
Like it's a slide. And it could be just like a, you know,
Well, we always say it's a slippery slope.
Straight, straight shot,
So with this up and down motion, going back into Jonah's story, and as we finish this off, what are some up and down things that stood out to you in here, maybe with the people or anything about Jonah's story? Is there anything in this up and down movement that stood out to you regarding the people that Jonah was going to teach, or himself?
Yeah, there is for me when you look at Jonah 2:8, I thought that was a fascinating scripture and really kind of pondered what that meant to me personally.
Yeah. Tell me about that. What does it mean to you? What do you think those words mean? I'll read the verse.
2:8 "They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy."
To me, this seems down, observing lying vanities. Like to me that is like Instagram, social media. And you think of like young kids, young girls, that get so focused on that's where the fun is. That's where this is how I'm supposed to look. This is what my life is supposed to be like. This is what it's supposed to, like, you are forsaking your own mercy. Like, there's no womb to like, feel safe and protected and that you feel horrible. And then you're telling yourself the lying vanities. You observe them, and then it becomes your belief. Right? So that yeah, so that you're not even merciful unto yourself; you're lying unto yourself about yourself,about your divine nature, about the fact that you're a child of God.
And the word forsake, it doesn't mean it wasn't given to you. You don't want it, you're forsaking it. Active on your part.
Wow, Jalyn, I didn't even consider that verse, really. Like I am so appreciative that you brought that up. I'm gonna put the word 'down' next to verse 8. That is fantastic. Ben, what about you? Any other part of this story that is the down momentum or an upward one?
Ben Schilaty 31:49
This will be an interesting take on that question. So in preparation for this, I looked at some other translations of the story. And so you said that this book doesn't have any of Jonah's prophecies. It has one prophecy, just
Ben Schilaty 32:03
just one sentence. And it's in chapter 3:4. And Jonah said, "......Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown." That's all he says. He just warns them that it's going to be overthrown. So in another translation he uses the word "Nineveh will be overturned."
Ah, I know!
Ben Schilaty 32:20
And what's interesting,
Turn it upside down.
Ben Schilaty 32:24
Exactly. So what's interesting is that Jonah's prophecy doesn't have like, 'Well, if you don't do this, if you do this,' there's no like, if/and just 'this is what's going to happen.' And what does happen, the city really is overturned. They go from wickedness to righteousness; they go from being down to being up. And so Jonah says this thing is going to happen, and then it does happen.
Yes, it, oh, my gosh, Ben, that is great.
Wait, and then Jonah, then Jonah goes down.
in chapter 4.
and he's ticked off
He's ticked off because, and I was shocked with how fast the city repented. The king's like, Done. All right, we're repenting.
Remember how wicked they were when we started? We described how barbarious they were, and how quick they were to repent and be done. And I just have to say this as a side note, here's something really interesting: When Jews celebrate Yom Kippur, they always read the story of Jonah. That's their, that's like the story for them as a reminder, that if the Lord is willing to forgive Nineveh, he can forgive all of us all the time. Isn't that fun? But hit it, Jalyn. And tell me about chapter 4. How is his action down in chapter 4?
So Jonah, I mean, he completes his mission. He's up, he goes and does what he's supposed to do, says his one line with a mic drop, like Ben just told us. And then he's mad. He gets ticked off. But these people have repented.and that God is really willing to forgive them because they've committed all these atrocities. And so he kind of throws a little temper tantrum and leaves the city and crawls under a bush. And God's like, why, why? I can forgive whom I'm gonna forgive and don't you want me to, you know, forgive everybody? They're Included in that. So,
Ben Schilaty 34:12
You know Jalyn, I, like I said earlier that Jonah's a complex character. I think he's just really human. And this really reminded me of the story of the prodigal son, or the prodigal son comes back, you know. The brother's like, 'What the heck, why are you just forgiving him? Why is everything okay?' And I think sometimes when we see the mercy of God, and we see God bless people who have once been bad, sometimes we're like, Well, what's in it for me? Like, you know, and I think that's just a very human thing. And so I think Jonah here just shows his humanity.
Yeah, and I've talked to a lot of people who have gone through horrible things, right, who have had, you know, loved ones betray them, and, you know, in certain ways and have have had them say, like, you know, "I don't think you should be forgiven. I don't want God to forgive him. I don't want Him to have mercy. I want him to pay for everything that he or she has done to me." And so I do think that is a very challenging thing for a lot of people in that, like you said. Like I think a lot of people feel that way. Like, no, like, Where's my justice, right? But I think it'll just all be made clear.
It's gonna have to be. Well, I'll tell you, this whole story, it did remind me of the Prophet's April 2022 Conference talk called "The Power of Spiritual Momentum". When we stood up and sat down, and up and down and I wondered, we were given a call to action by the prophet to do five specific things in that conference talk. And I can remember hearing him, thinking, Oh I'm doing it. Yeah, like we were on fire after we heard it. We were up, I was up and ready. And a couple of weeks later, I'm down. Like, I don't really know that my momentum carried me very long. And I just, I wrote these five down. And I want us to talk about like how we're doing. And tell me, I asked you guys to read this talk ahead of time. And I'd love to know some of your thoughts. Here are the five things he asked us to do. And Ben, will you read those for us.
Ben Schilaty 36:14
Yes. One, get on the covenant path and stay there. Two, discover the joy of daily repentance. Three, learn about God and how He works. Four, seek and expect miracles. Five, end conflict in your personal life.
Thank you. I mean, the momentum's up, right? We felt like I can do all of those things. Talk to me through that. And what were some things in this talk about spiritual mentoring that stood out to you?
Ben Schilaty 36:41
Well, I need to give a shout out to my friend Rick, who lives in St. George. He took me mountain biking a few months before this talk came out, and I, it was only my second time going mountain biking, we were going on some on some big hills. And he told me, that he said, "Momentum is your friend." And that, and he said that because when you're going up a hill, if you already have a lot of momentum, it's so much easier to get up the hill. And so when President Nelson started talking he texted me, he said, "Oh, the prophet is quoting me." But this is a true principle. When we are already going, it's easier to continue going. And so
Ben Schilaty 37:16
In either direction, right?
Ben Schilaty 37:17
Exactly. And so so getting this momentum is really helpful. And, and the thing that stood out to me the most from this talk was point five was end conflict in your personal life. But that is the second or the third time he brings it up. He makes an invitation early in the talk and then again in the middle, and then here towards the end. President Nelson is just pleading with us to end conflict in our personal life. And, you know, as I've thought about that, and thought about why, like, what is it about conflict in my personal life that keeps me stagnant, that keeps me from moving forward? And when we hold grudges, when we don't forgive, it just really keeps us from moving forward. And so I just really appreciate this, this call from the prophet to end conflict in my personal life. And I try to do that, and will also continue to do that. And I'm just grateful for for the opportunities, we have to ask for forgiveness and to be forgiven when there is conflict.
Ben, can I ask you a personal question for people listening? Because it sounds like you've done it? How do you do it? Like, how do you end personal conflict?
Yeah. You know
Like this is so Jonah ask, you know, you're under the booth, you're mad, you're frustrated that God would forgive. In fact, in Jonah 4:11 is where you mentioned the city is so big. Jjust the number alone and it could really be six score, 1000 persons, or in Hebrew 1000 means many or great multitude. But the Lord is trying to teach us something like He's willing to forgive so many people. And Jonah can't, so give us some tips. Tell us what, what do you, how do you do it?
Ben Schilaty 38:48
Yeah, for me, the best way for me to forgive someone, and to end conflict with them, is to just really try and understand where they're coming from, to just try and see things from their perspective and understand where they're coming from. Because most people, if I were in their position, I would do a similar thing. And so just really trying to understand them. And I found that if I just take the time to like not talk and listen and just hear somebody and let them share how they're feeling, what they're experiencing, that helps me to see them and then I can I can move forward from there.
It reminds me of how you started the whole segment when you said Jonah is complex. People are complex.
Yeah, and I think, but I think we all have way more in common than we do apart. And so you know what, you know, what I hear Ben saying too, is like, you just find the commonality, right? Like how, you know, of course I would do the same thing in that situation. But any relationship we have with anyone, even with ourselves, is all just the thoughts you have about that person in your mind, right? Like I can be someone's best friend, like Ben's my best friend and I've never met him until right now, right, because I read his book and in my mind you develop some I'm sort of relationship, right? And so if I can develop that relationship in my mind, I can change it in my mind.
And I really think forgiveness is the gift you give to yourself because it's, it doesn't hurt that person if I'm just here stewing about it, because I'm just having thoughts about it. So if I can just be like, Look, I've just, I'm choosing to just give them grace. And to believe that they had their own reasons, whether I know those reasons or not. Sometimes I think you do have to talk to the person and work it out. That's the only way to kind of do it. But there are a lot of people where I'm just like, you know, they, they did the best they could with what they had, and I'm just choosing to forgive them and myself for the, you know, negative thoughts I had about it. And then I can just, you know, change, change my own mind on the situation.
Well, and I'm thinking going back to Jonah. I feel like for him, it's it's not like he was sent on a mission to a different country, that he didn't know the people or anything about them. Like this, this was an Assyrian people, this had to do with the Assyrian captivity. It could have been personal. This is, he may have heard about his own family members or friends who were tortured or hurt. And so now, for me the conflict is even greater. Like, I've got to forgive these people? How could You possibly forgive these horrible, wicked people who've done so much evil and damage in the world? And yet, the Lord's like, 'Because I can, and I will.' I mean, it just makes to me, it's even more powerful that the Jews read this on Yom Kippur. Like, if God can forgive these people, He can forgive everyone, and will.
Yeah, and I'm, you know, honestly, though, I can say in my life, I've never had some horrible situation where I was called to really forgive something that was so drastic, right? Like, no one's ever, you know, flayed out relatives, or, you know what I mean? Like, I'm sure there's so many people hearing this that are like, How would I ever forgive that? Like, so I have a lot of compassion for those that, you know, that's, I haven't been called on to do that, so, I may not be the best person to speak about it.
Well, Jalyn, why don't you read this quote, because I think this is great. That is the promise to us from the Prophet's talk about doing those five things. And especially when we end and I, I really appreciate Ben that you brought up that the Prophet said three times in his talk to forgive others, because it is hard if someone really has a hard thing to forgive. And I appreciate so much this promise from the Prophet. Jalyn, will you read it for us.
"As you act on these pursuits, I promise you the ability to move forward on the covenant path with increased momentum, despite whatever obstacles you face. And I promise you greater strength to resist temptation, more peace of mind, freedom from fear, and greater unity in your families." Yeah, it really is like, that's powerful. The one thing, the one I love in this one, if I can, I love "seek and expect miracles" And it says "few things will accelerate your spiritual momentum more than realizing that the Lord is helping you to move a mountain in your life." So when it comes to doing any one of the other ones, right,of staying on the covenant path, and forgiving people, which sometimes can be harder, right, I think you have the right to expect miracles with that. And I think we don't allow, we often think we get so sucked into 'we got to do it on our own' and 'I'm doing this on my own'. And I think, you know, when a prophet tells me I can expect miracles, I believe that and I'm going to ask God for that and believe that I'm entitled to that.
Oh, my gosh, it reminds me of this story, Jalyn. I'm so grateful you brought that up, because it reminds me of a story about a woman in my ward who recently bought her testimony about this specific part of the talk. And she was seeking a miracle; there was a situation in her life where that was the only resolve. The only way it was going to work is if a miracle happened. And she said she heard him say that. And to me, it just touched my heart. I sobbed in her testimony because she said the only prayer I could say was, "Lord, please." And then she just sobbed. And she's like those are the only two words I could say. And the Lord knew the miracle I needed, He knew my heart and she got the miracle. It is such an amazing story. And you're like, Oh, the Ensign stories but yeah, the Ensign story. The Prophet's telling us right here, You seek and expect the Ensign story.
Right, right. And and we don't always get the miracle we want. And sometimes the miracle is that God is, that is. You're in the belly of the fish and that was all part of the plan. And that is the miracle. And so trying to find, you know, the blessing out of that, or just realizing, you know, it's still a miracle. It's just not the one that maybe I expected. So I think that's, you know, but
but God prepared it.
God prepared it and I think we don't recognize how many times in our life there has been a miracle. Like, if you can look back on situations and go, Man, that was a miracle. Like, I can't believe that happened. I was spared from this or, or whatever. But I, you know, I think if we focus more on those things, on the miracles that come, we're only going to witness those more in our lives.
Because Jonah could have been eaten by a shark and he wasn't - got swallowed by a whale. There's a miracle. Totally. Wow, thank you, both of you for that discussion. Anything else you want to add, Ben? Any thoughts on top of your head?
Ben Schilaty 46:04
Yeah, just the thing that, that I'm thinking of, as we wrap up the story of Jonah. There's this really short parable in Matthew 21 that I really like.
Ben Schilaty 46:12
It's called the, I think it's called The Parable of the Two Sons. So a master of a vineyard tells his two sons to go work in his vineyard, and one says, I will go and then he doesn't go. Then the other one says, I won't go and then he goes.And then Jesus says, Which one did the will of his Father? It's the one who said I'm not going to go, but he went. And I have always liked this parable, because it kind of allows me to kind of have a bad attitude sometimes, you know? Just like gives me permission, like, Well, I don't want to do that thing. But as long as I'm doing it, as long as I end up doing the will of the Father. That's what matters; it's not so much just saying we're going to do the thing, but really doing it. And I love that this parable gives us. And the story of Jonah gives us all the opportunity to change our course.
Yeah, talk about momentum, right? It's, use it or lose it right? So even if you're kind of complaining about it at first, like, you have to always exercise that muscle of being obedient, right? And that's what kind of, that's what creates the momentum, but you can still whine about it.
Because we're all human.
Yeah, exactly. It's just yeah.
Oh, you guys, that was such a great discussion. That was so good. I loved everything you shared. Ben, what's the reference to the parable of the sons? Can you look that up really fast?
Ben Schilaty 47:28
Thank you. I want to put that as a cross reference next to Jonah. Gosh, thank you, thank you. So I highly encourage everyone to go read that talk. Or if not, just think about where are you in your spiritual mentum? Are you going up or you're going down? Either way, kind of just think about that, because in the next segment, we're going to continue with this idea. And we're going to be introduced to another prophet, and we're going to learn about his direction and his momentum.
Segment 4 47:52
Okay, let's turn to the book of Micah, we're going to move on. And Micah is actually an abbreviated name. It's a Hebrew name that comes from MICHA IAH or MICHA IAHU, which I think is pretty awesome. And the name Micah in Hebrew means "who is like Jehovah?" So go ahead and write that on your page "who is like Jehovah?". Isn't that fun? Micah ministered during the time when the people of Israel were thriving economically, but suffering spiritually, and that's one of the biggest problems that Micah sees with the people. They're so well off, so rich, that actually the environment he's living in, it allowed for the upper class to place increasing burdens on the lower class. And so Micah, he's particularly concerned with the oppression of the poor people by the wealthy. And he counted this injustice among Judah and Israel's greatest sin. That they just were, there was a huge division between the rich and the poor class of people.
He is a contemporary with Amos and Isaiah and Hosea, which is so cool, Jalyn, because you said Micah was sort of the Isaiah of these two chapters. And he would have been alive at the same time as Isaiah, so that I thought, that was neat you made that connection. The main thing we need to know about Micah, there's not a lot because it's pretty short, but I really like the way Ben summed it up earlier when I asked him. So Ben, sum up Micah for us real quick.
Ben Schilaty 49:11
Well, there's a lot of prophecies of destruction, and then a lot of, Don't worry, it's all gonna be okay in the millennial day, basically. It's like destruction, but restoration.
And that's Micah.
Pretty much Isaiah.
I love it, yeah.
That means it's all gonna, Yeah.
Pretty much we just, this is the "Cliff Notes" of Isaiah, cuz there's only a couple chapters for Micah, it is so short. Jalyn, is there anything that stood out to you about Micah?
Yeah, so I do like the Isaiah thing. Like he's very much, you know, prophesying of Christ and the coming of Christ. And I just, he's not, you know, Isaiah was more like a statesman, right? And Micah, I don't think is in that same kind of class. And he, what really stood out to me is how this is so much like what we're living in today. Because he talks about, you know, the rulers and the people in their government, and they're burdening people with taxes to the point that they can't, the spread of the haves and have nots is getting wider. And the oppression of the poor class is really what he is just so disgusted with, of how, you know, people are sitting up on their thrones. And, and taking advantage of that.
And I just thought, wow, this is, you know, it's, I feel like that's kind of the environment we're in now, where the people in positions of power are maybe not using that power in the way that benefits the underserved. Right? So, and I do feel like the haves and have nots, like that divide is so much bigger than, I mean, you look at rich people. It used to be rich if you had like a mansion. Now rich is like you got a plane, you got a yacht, you got a, you know, like it's just in the middle class are just, we're now the poor. We're just becoming the poor. Right
Jalyn's a finite financial planner. So, she speaks what she knows.
And an attorney. So the stealing of the land and all that, like it just, yeah, it just it happens in in subtle ways, you know. Property taxes, all that where it's just people can no longer afford, you know. I mean, look at the prices of rent now. Look at the prices of home prices now, right, like, nobody's wages, you know. It's everywhere in the nation, that it's all crazy, so. But the rich are very, very rich. And I'm not, bless them. Like I'm sure they're doing great things with their money. I'm not like saying that you shouldn't be rich. I'm saying that, you know, there's some parallels between our government and the rulers at the time.
Interesting. I think the thing I like about Micah is going back to what Kerry Milstein taught us is that there are dual layers here. Because he is speaking to His people. But like Ben said, in the end, everything's going to work out fine, because it is talking about and when Christ comes, everything's gonna work out. But in the meantime, that's where we're living in, we're kind of in the meantime here and Micah is too with his people. So that's sort of the overall message of the book of Micah. However, there are two very significant teachings that are found in this book. And we're going to learn about those in the next two segments. So we'll begin with the first one coming up next.
Segment 5 52:33
Okay, I have a picture to show you guys, you ready? So the picture that I'm going to show you I want you to describe to the listeners. What is this a picture of?
Ben Schilaty 52:52
I've got this one.
Hit it, Ben.
Ben Schilaty 52:54
It looks like three men who could be wise perhaps, on three separate camels walking by a dusky sky, with a star.
A ginormous star. Yeah.
Yes. Ding, ding, ding, ding. Very good. It is the classic quintessential Christmas picture of....
Three Wise Man.
Very good. Okay. Let's turn to Matthew chapter 2 and we're going to read verses 1-6. So grab your New Testament, turn to Matthew 2:1-6. I think this is so cool what we're about to learn from Micah. Okay, when we get there, Ben, will you please read - start by reading for us in Matthew 2:1 - and we'll each take a verse.
Ben Schilaty 53:32
Okay, you got it.
Ben Schilaty 53:33
2:1 "Now, when Jesus was born in Beth-lehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
Ben Schilaty 53:36
2 "Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
3 "When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
Ben Schilaty 53:54
4 "And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
5 "And they said unto him, In Beth-lehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet,
6 "And thou Beth lehem, in the land of Judah, art not the least among the princes of Judah: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel."
All right, look back at verse 5. "And they said unto him, In Beth-lehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet,". We're going to cross reference that verse right there with Micah 5:2. So what was the sign that showed the wise men that the Savior had been born? What was the sign they saw?
The star. Exactly, they followed that star, and then the question is asked, Well, how do they know He's here? And I love how Herod asked that question and his wise men go, Oh, because it's in the Scriptures. And they turned to Micah 5:2. tahis is so cool. Ben, hit it. Read Micah 5:2 for us.
Ben Schilaty 54:53
It says, 5:2 "But thou, Beth-lehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting."
Okay and then go to verse 4. Jalyn, read that.
5:4 "And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth."
Okay, this is so cool. You can again put the cross reference of Matthew right there. But what specifically did Micah say that the ruler in Israel, where did he say he would be born?
Ben Schilaty 55:34
Is it significant that in this one, there's a hyphen in it?
No, okay. Well, it's not significant, it's just breaking up the word. So here it is in Hebrew, the word Beth is BET in Hebrew, and it means 'house'. LEHEM in Hebrew means 'bread'. So Bethlehem literally translates as 'house of bread'. And the cool thing is, the Savior is 'The Bread of Life'. So, of course, He's born in Bethlehem. Now, this is so cool, because the prophecies of Micah, you guys, these are the only prophetic writings preserved in the Old Testament that name the birthplace of the Messiah. Right here, the only reference to it. And the chief priests and the scribes, they quoted this prophecy more than 700 years later, when Herod asked them where the Messiah would be born. They went to Micah. Very cool. I like this so much.
Yeah, that's amazing.
Well, and I think the thing that strikes me the most is it teaches us about the importance of Scripture, and knowing where to look to get our answers. And that's exactly what happened in this case. And I mean, who would have guessed that that would have been right there, that little verse in Micah, with 700 years' prophesy the birth of the Savior. And I thought of in this in my own life, like how many times - and I asked you guys to think about this - Has there been a time in your life when you received a direct answer from scripture, just something so simple, one little verse made a difference in your life?
I'll tell you mine, and it involves Sister Uzelac.
What? Oh, no, I don't know this story.
When we were in our master's program, I don't know why we were in class and we had scriptures, or I had my scriptures. And you took them from me for a minute, you're like, Just let me do something. And it was a time where I was like, really depressed, and feeling like crap about myself. Like, just in the down mode, for sure. And I was reading through and you had cross referenced the fact that Alma and his cohorts were the very vilest of sinners. And then you had cross referenced it with something that said, you know, and he became like, the greatest. Like, it was, you know, and, and it was because you had done that in my scriptures. You had just pointed it out as like, Oh, what's this? And I'm like, That's what she did in there.
And like, it just hit, it just was like, it doesn't matter. Like they were the very vilest of sinners, like, they were actually going out and like, you know, bashing the church. They, they were totally kind of anti and I was like, Oh, man, I've never done something THAT bad, right? So I just, it just made me think like, there is just such grace and mercy. And it just is exactly what I needed at that moment. Because I, you know, would get in those places of like, I know God, I know YOU"RE God's favorite but I would never believe that I was God's favorite. And so doing just, that really like, that was a time that really stands out to me.
That is such a nice story. I don't even remember doing that.
Yeah, you did it. You wrote it, you
Here's the cross reference for anyone who wants it in their scriptures, because it's one of my favorites when I teach teenagers about repentance. So it's Mosiah 28:4, and that describes Alma, the younger, and the sons of Mosiah. And then you cross reference it with the greatest scriptures of all time about Moroni in Alma, and it's chapter 48:18. And it's like, Moroni is the greatest and everyone could be like him, that they were all men of God. And to go from the very vilest of sinners to being called man of God, and being compared to how great Moroni was. But Moroni is being compared to them. Like, look how incredible they turned out, and Moroni. I just love that one. And I, the reason I love it is because, I believe it was Richard G. Scott who taught that when he was alive, he taught the seminary teachers. And he said, "You tell your students that if they use the Atonement of Jesus Christ, they are not second-class citizens." 'They're not as good as they could have been. No, they're awesome, so.' And that's you, yeah. And how that changed. Well, thank you for sharing that, Jalyn. That was a good story.
I love you.
Thank YOU for sharing that. I love YOU for putting that in there. It's still my favorite little thing. Like when I read through and I'm like, Oh, Tammy underlined that. Yeah,
That makes me happy. Thank you. What about you, Ben?
Ben Schilaty 59:58
Yeah, so I recently started writing a second book, which I don't know if it'll ever get published. But I'm trying not to make the mistake I made with the first book and not follow prompting.
We're excited for you.
Ben Schilaty 1:00:07
And this book is actually about my mom who has Alzheimer's, and about what it's like to have a parent with dementia. And was, as I started working on the book I realized I hadn't studied the scriptures like I had with my first book, about same sex attraction. So I reached out to a couple friends who also have parents with dementia, and we started a Book of Mormon study group where we read a bunch of chapters and we get together. We talk about them to find principles to help us. And from the very beginning, from 1 Nephi, there are some verses that just, that hit me like a ton of bricks, and it's actually 1 Nephi chapter 1. And we all know this, and it says this right in the middle, the verse: "......and having seen many afflictions in the course of all my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days." So from the very beginning he's got this juxtaposition of 'I was blessed by God, and things were hard.' And this theme comes up again and again in his writing.
Ben Schilaty 1:01:01
So here's another verse. This is 1 Nephi 15:5, Nephi says, "And it came to pass that I was overcome because of my afflictions, for I consider that mine afflictions were great above all." And then in the next verse, he says, "And it came to pass that after I'd received strength, I spake unto my brethren." And just this, this constant of this was the worst, things were so hearty, and God was with me. And so as I think about, you know, my mom and our family, you know, really suffering with her slow decline and loss. You know, I, like Nephi reminds me that it's okay to have these two conflicting things to say like, This is really hard and yet also God is with me. And so those verses have meant a lot to me lately.
Ben Schilaty 1:01:01
And just yesterday, like I was having a, I was sad about all this. And I was just saying, I remember praying last night, I was like, 'God, I am sad about this.' And just like acknowledging my feelings, and then just feeling the presence of Him with me. And so that's one thing that I've really learned from the scriptures is it's okay to say, Hey, things are hard, but also trust in God.
Yeah. And I think that's such a like, that's why the scriptures were so written for our day, too. Like, I love that all the hard is in there. Like, that's just, again, that's, it's just normalizing that's what it is. This is just what we signed up to do. This is what life is.
Well, what both of you shared just resonated with so many of us that are listening to your words, like in my heart. I love it when this happens on the podcast when I hear truth spoken, the Spirit is like, That is true. Truth is truth. And I am so appreciative of how the spirit is connected to truth. And when you both spoke, I'm like, That is true. What you both shared is true and there is, we are in the middle of the hard. And, God is with us in that. So thank you, thank you for sharing those. I think that is really incredible. And true, absolutely true. So all of that came from one verse of scripture. How cool our discussion on that.
So Micah, chapter 5, the only prophecy we have in the Old Testament that the Savior will be born in Bethlehem. That's a pretty cool thing. And then in the next segment, we're going to study one other really cool question that was answered and discussed by Micah.
Segment 6 1:03:11
Okay, so we have had an incredible discussion leading up to this point. And I love that Jalyn and Ben added what was going on during Micah's time, because some of the background you're going to need to know for this next verse of scripture, let's turn to Micah chapter 6. Here's what you need to know: the people are asking, Listen, Lord, what's going to be enough? Like, do you need more burnt offerings from us? Do you need young calves or sacrifices? 1000s of rams? I was kind of like, they're being facetious, a little bit. Like, what exactly do You want? because we'll give it to You. You want rivers of oil for the offerings? They actually say that. Or outwardly good things and perfect offerings?
And I think it's interesting 'cuz they're almost setting the Lord up for what answer He's gonna give. And then of course, in the Lord's omnipotence and just perfectness, everything about Him, He gives the answer. The Lord requires something so different for those who are going to worship Him. And that is found in Micah 6:8. This is the only verse we're going to read. Ben, read this for us, please. And as Ben reads this, grab something to highlight with, and I want you to mark - what does the Lord require?
Ben Schilaty 1:04:11
6:8 "He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?"
Thank you. Now I got a couple of different versions. I have the NIV version that I want us to read, and the NLV version. So Jalyn, will you please read the NIV version of this verse?
"Know, O people, the Lord has told you what is good. And this is what He requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God."
And Ben will you read the NIV version.
"He hath shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God?"
Now I'm going to add something to this, I'm going to, we're going to fix this a little bit because it keeps saying to love mercy and to love mercy. But that word mercy in Hebrew is HESED, and we've talked a ton about that word this year. But to love HESED, this dual, reciprocal, covenantal love. And it kind of, kind of goes back to the talk we talked about with our Prophet in this spiritual momentum. And I want us to talk a little bit about this, because what does this mean to you to do justly, to love HESED, and to walk humbly with God? It's a big ask. And that's all the Lord asks of us? Tell me, let's discuss these three things.
Ben Schilaty 1:05:32
Yeah, I've got a quick story about mercy. When I was doing my PhD at the University of Arizona in Tucson, one of my friends taught a Portuguese class and she was going to be at a town she asked me to teach it for her. And I forgot to go. I just forgot to go. And it was, and it was a big deal, because a bunch of students were going to give presentations, and I was supposed to film them. And so they came prepared for their presentations. And then I didn't show up. And so she she messaged me at night. She said, How did class go? And I was, Oh, my gosh, I forgot to go. And I felt like garbage, like absolute garbage. And, and I just said, I am so sorry, I just forgot to go. And she and like, I felt like this weight on me. And then she immediately said, Ben, it's okay. The students will be fine. We'll get it done next week, don't worry about it.
Ben Schilaty 1:06:25
And that weight that was on me was like suddenly gone. And she could have really leaned into me. She could have, she could have called me names and said all kinds of things. But she said, Ben, it'll be okay. And to me, that's what mercy is, you know. Most of the things I do that are wrong, it's not because I have ill intent, or because I'm, I'm willfully rebelling against God. I'm just like lazy and I forget to do things, you know? And that mercy is it's gonna be okay, just don't do it again.
That is exactly how the Lord works with us. I like how you just said when the Lord, when he, you said, It's okay. Just don't do it again. I had a similar experience with my dad. And I had completely forgotten that I invited my dad to come have this lunch day with my daughter. And they showed up and it got canceled. And I didn't tell my dad, and they drove to the school. And they're like, Hey, what's going on? And I was like Huhhhh, I forgot to tell them it got canceled. And I just felt so bad because they took time out of their day, they rearranged their schedule. And I called my dad and I'm like, I am so, so sorry. I just really did feel so bad. And I love my dad, because he just said, Hey, don't sweat it. It's not a big deal. It's gonna be fine. And when he said that to me, it made me think, I think that's how Heavenly Father is with us. When I feel so bad for things I do and He's like, Hey, don't sweat it. It's not a big deal. It's gonna be fine. That taught me so much about that mercy, that HESED, that covenantal relationship where the Lord just loves us, and it's going to be okay, for sure. And that He asks us to do that for otheres, which is what your friend did for you, Ben.
I am now thinking of that to love mercy, in light of the Jonah story, where he did not love the mercy that was granted to people that he thought didn't deserve it. And so I, of course, we love mercy for ourselves. And I think we're, you know, most times, most people don't have ill intent against us. And so we're happy to grant them that mercy as well. Because most stuff doesn't matter, right? I mean, it's not, you know, that whole question, "Ask yourself in 5 years if this is gonna really matter? And if it doesn't, like, let that go." But to love mercy, to love that principle of mercy when it's being granted to someone else, right, that we think maybe doesn't deserve that, I think that's probably the bigger challenge there.
Well, it goes back to your discussion about that verse in Jonah 2:8, forsaking mercy. We don't even allow it for ourselves. Like we can't even love it for ourselves.
I think that's the biggest thing. Because if you can't, if you can't allow it for other people, you definitely can't allow it for yourself. Right. That's kind of, yeah, that's really true about that verse.
Well then I'm thinking of what Ben said, like when I asked him, How are you able to forgive people and you go, "I try to view the, like, I try to think of them, like the situations where they come from." Like, if you, and you just said, Jalyn, if you can't have mercy for other people, you're probably not going to have it for yourself. That really plays into this whole idea of where people come from: the self-loathing. A lot of people don't like themselves.
Yeah, I think that's so
Maybe verse 8 is more about us first, then others. Like, to do justly to ourselves, to love mercy for ourselves and to walk humbly before we can expect that of others.
Ooooh, that's good.
I just came up with that on my own right then. I'm not that smart.
Ben Schilaty 1:10:00
And that's such a hard thing to do, to like forgive ourselves when we
Right? To do justly for ourselves?
I think we're the last person. I think, even in the repentance process, like, you know, I think we're long forgiven before we ever actually forgive ourselves for doing that, but
Well, it makes me think of the word charity, because I had this discussion with a friend the other day where we always say charity is the pure love of Christ. And we immediately go to the place of, Oh, it means to love like Jesus loved. But what if charity really was the pure love of Jesus Christ, my pure love of Him. And I love Him so much, that then that affects the way I treat other people because I love Jesus Christ.
But, and flip it, because it's also His pure love for you.
Right. That I can love myself and do these things for me because of my relationship with Jesus.
Exactly. And it's the whole like, you can't fill anyone else's cup if you're not full. Like if you don't believe that about yourself, right, if you're not like Christ is like giving His pure love to me, I must be so deserving of that. And if I'm filled with that love, I'm more than happy to go out and share that with other people. Right?
Well, and this idea of like, the self-loathing, this place. I think we all can relate to that. We live in a world that is just, it's hard. There's a lot of hard and a lot of good. I think that that's been a great message from both of you.
Yeah, I can't imagine being being a kid in this world. So different, you know. But I think part of, like that's the walking humbly with God, right. You can walk humbly and know that He's in charge, but humbly doesn't mean I'm so low that I can, you know, I'm not worthy of this. It, I think being humble means that you recognize His power; you recognize Christ's power to save, and to use that atonement daily in your life to recognize that no, I'll just tell you this:
One time I was in therapy and the therapist, she was talking and she said - and she was she was LDS, too so she had that tilt, right, to her to her practice. And so she knew I was LDS too. And she said, So what do you think how God feels about you? And I was like, I believe He loves everybody. But, you know, I don't, I don't think I, you know, am part of that. I don't, I don't feel myself as part of that. But I totally believe He loves all of His children. She kind of leaned forward and went, "So you mean to tell me you are so special, you''re the one and only person on this planet that God's love does not extend to?" I was like, Oh. And she was just kinda like, 'get off the high horse. Like, you are not beyond that scope.' And it really was just kind of a little kick in the butt of like, Oh, yeah, that is kind of flawed logic to do that. But I think, you know, our unexamined thoughts, I think we do that to ourselves instead of giving, you know, recognizing our divine nature. That is who we are. And we are entitled to those blessings and miracles and mercy that is available to us through the atonement.
Ben Schilaty 1:13:29
You know, I've got a therapy story to share as well that goes along with this. Although this time I was the therapist and I was with a client. And I had a client who was dealing with a lot of perfectionism and not, having trouble like accepting help from other people. And then one day, she said that she had this epiphany, where she realized the law of consecration she'd always thought about it as giving up everything you have for everyone else. She's like give, give, give, give, give, give, give, and, and she was just worn out from giving everything she had to everyone else. And she said, I realized the law of consecration isn't just about giving away everything I have. But it's about accepting everything that everyone else has to give me, including everything God has to give me. You know, when it says here, like, walk humbly, you know. What being humble means is it means being willing to accept whatever God has to give us. And that gift might be a trial, it might be a struggle, it might be a hard time, but it's always something that's going to help us. And so, you know, as we try to do justly, have mercy, walk humbly with God, you know, it takes really just trying to see, you know, what does God want for me? And then really trying our best to do that.
Wow. Amen both of you. What a great way to end our discussion of Jonah and Micah, because I'm thinking of Jonah. Like, in the end, he did walk humbly with God. Took a tough path to get there but he did do it. And I think that that's for all of us like, and like how you said Ben, sometimes you just don't want to do it. But then you do it and that's better than not doing it at all with the two sons. So, oh my gosh, so many great things came out of today's discussion. I love you both. This was awesome. Okay, so take a minute, gather your thoughts, and what is going to stand out to you? What is your takeaway from today's episode that we talked about? Anything new you learned or anything you remember,
Ben Schilaty 1:15:20
This is my takeaway from today's episode and this goes along with Jonah and Micah, because both stories involve people doing the wrong thing. But they both also end with have a theme of restoration of these second chances, and third chances and fourth chances. And just this reality of, you know, sometimes we make the wrong turn, you know. Sometimes a whole people might make a wrong turn. But in the end, God is going to reach out to us and and there's going to be a restoration of all the things that are lost - things that are lost because of the acts of others, things are lost because of mortality, and things that we lost because of our own choices. When we do our best to follow God all these things will be restored to us.
Amen. Great takeaway. I like that. Ben, thank you.
My takeaway in this is the truthfulness of the scriptures and how 700 years before it even happened, Micah said, Christ will be born in Bethlehem. That Jesus Himself quotes Jonah. In listening to our prophets today, and our apostles today, the messages are the same. Like, they're just the same. It's look to the temple. So the whole message of, you know, chapter 2, the pinnacle, the peak of it was, "I am cast out of thy sight but I will look again to the temple." And I think even just that looking, that's starting momentum.
If we can even do that, right. And so yeah, I just, I'm, I'm just always baffled about, you know, a lot of people are, say that the Bible is just a story of some cute little fables. And these are just old stories that don't really mean anything. But we, time and time again see the predictions of Jesus and you know, the destruction of Israel and how that's a type of what's going to happen in our days. But I'm just, my take away is just definitely the truthfulness of the scriptures.
Yeah, definitely. Wow, I like that. Thank you, both of you. My take away was Jonahw:4, how independently of each other, we didn't even discuss this and we both marked 2:4. And that is the center, the focal point, like you said, Jalyn, that is the focal point of this chiasmus, that "I said, I am cast out of my sight yet I will look again toward the Holy Temple." And that discussion about momentum. So, and momentum is your friend or your foe. Could be either one, depends on the direction you're going. It will go any direction - up or down. So yeah, that was it. That was a great discussion. I love everything that you guys came prepared with today. So thank you. It is funny, because I was like, this is all we got? Oh, we got a lot to discuss so,
Ben Schilaty 1:18:05
So much, wasn't it?
So much. So thank you. You guys are great. I love you. That's it. We're done. Okay, bye, guys.
Ben Schilaty 1:18:11
K, see ya. Bye..
Well, those were such great takeaways. Okay, I just have to know what your takeaway is from this episode. So if you haven't already joined our discussion group on Facebook or Instagram, go join it and it's so fun. Because then at the end of the week, on a Saturday, we post a call asking for what your big takeaway was. So comment on the post that relates to this lesson, and jot something down and share it with us because we learn from each other. 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 it's not a bad idea to go there anyway because that's where we're gonna have the link to all the references that we used 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 are incredible study your participants were BenSchilaty and Jalyn Peterson, and you can find more information about my friends at LDS living.com/sunday on Monday. Our podcast is produced by Cole Wisinger and me; it is edited by Hiley Higham and 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 that you really are God's favorite
Because it's a mother/daughter doer. blachahebelach. I can't say it. I can say Hubba Bubba Bubblegum but I can't say mother/daughter duo. Say that again.
Boy, you did that fast, too!
Transcribed by https://otter.ai