49: “His Ways Are Everlasting” (Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah)
Imagine being in a courtroom and holding your breath before a sentence is given to someone. You might experience a similar feeling studying the books of Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah. While these books may be short in length, they are rich in passion and conviction as prophets of old pronounce sentences on the people they have been sent to save. So as we dive into the scriptures this week, we invite you to sit in on these cases to watch and learn as the prophets’ judgments unfold.
Nahum 1:1, Habakkuk 1:1 (The burden)
Burden = massa - burden or a load or a sentence
Nahum 1:2-3 (God is jealous)
Nahum 1:7 (God is good)
Nahum = comfort or full of comfort
Habakkuk 1:3 (Why is there iniquity)
CR: D&C 121
Habakkuk 2:1 (Watch to see what the Lord will do)
Words of the Prophets:
Life’s most challenging questions seem to be those that begin with the word why. “Why is life so hard?” “Why is there so much sorrow, hate, and unhappiness in the world?” “Why does death take the young?” And “why must the innocent suffer?” (M. Russell Ballard, “Answers to Life’s Questions”, April 1995 General Conference)
I particularly want to talk to the younger members of God’s family about why I believe the only satisfying answers to such questions come from the comforting perspective of faith in our Heavenly Father and his eternal plan for our happiness. (Elder Ballard cont.)
Habakkuk 2:4 (We should live by faith)
Habakkuk 2:14 (Filled with the knowledge and glory of God)
Habakkuk 2:20 (The Lord is found in the Temple)
Habakkuk = chavakkuk - to wrestle or embrace
Words of the Prophets:
The word for repentance in the Greek New Testament is metanoeo. The prefix meta- means “change.” The suffix -noeo is related to Greek words that mean “mind,” “knowledge,” “spirit,” and “breath.”
Thus, when Jesus asks you and me to “repent,” He is inviting us to change our mind, our knowledge, our spirit—even the way we breathe. (Russell M. Nelson, “We Can Do Better and Be Better”, April 2019 General Conference)
Habakkuk 3:1 (The prayer of the prophet)
Habakkuk 3:2-16 (A poem of God’s strength)
Habakkuk 3:18-19 (Acknowledge God)
Zephaniah 1:1 (Zephaniah is a child of royalty)
Zephaniah 3:8 (Wait upon the Lord)
Zephaniah 3:20 (After we wait, the Lord will free us)
Zephaniah = Hidden by God
Words of the Prophets:
Waiting upon the Lord gives us a priceless opportunity to discover that there are many who wait upon us. Our children wait upon us to show patience, love, and understanding toward them. Our parents wait upon us to show gratitude and compassion. Our brothers and sisters wait upon us to be tolerant, merciful, and forgiving. Our spouses wait upon us to love them as the Savior has loved each one of us. (Robert D. Hales, “Waiting Upon the Lord: Thy Will be Done”, October 2011 General Conference)
Man, do I love a courtroom show or a true crime documentary! Now my oldest daughter is in law school and you'd better believe I am living vicariously through her. I ask her all the time, any good stories? And in fact, she told me one a few weeks ago and it was so graphic that she actually made me wait until we were done eating. And she was right, it was graphic. Now today we are studying three prophets and three books and they each have courtroom wording, where these prophets pronounced three sentences on the people that they have been sent to save. The books of Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah may be short in length, but they are long in conviction.
Like how I did that? That was pretty good, huh? 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, real quick, we just want to make sure you know how to use this podcast, so follow the link in our description and it's going to explain how you can best use this podcast to enhance your Come, Follow Me study, just like my friend Kirsten Eads of Maryland. Hi Kirsten. Okay, now here's my favorite thing about the study group: each week we're joined by two of my friends so it's a little bit different. But sometimes we just have one friend and I am so excited to tell you who I have today. You know her, you love her. We have back Aliah Hall. Helloooo.
Aliah Hall 1:22
Oh Aliah, Aliah. I was telling Aliah, every time I prayed about this episode I'm like "Who should be with Aliah?" And it was just a blank. Like, it's just Aliah.
Aliah Hall 1:33
No pressure, no pressure.
Yeah, no pressure. Aliah, the therapist is here. And I went and got a notebook specifically for this episode because I'm going to write notes. I'm excited for what Aliah has to teach us and what we have to learn from these three books, because they are really short.
Aliah Hall 1:49
Well, thanks for your confidence, Tammy.
Well, after you're like, I've had a day, you probably just like, can't we just eat some cheese and drink Diet Coke?
Aliah Hall 2:01
I want to produce some pronouncements on some people today. (laughter)
That is funny. Yeah, you've definitely had a day. All right. Well, for those of you who don't know Aliah, she is a therapist and she is a mom and a wife and a daughter and my friend. I love her. Um, Aliah what's your favorite treat?
Aliah Hall 2:24
I love banana cream pie. I mean I like pie altogether, but my favorite is banana cream pie. I love it. Like I can eat a whole banana cream pie in one sitting and not even like bat an eyelash.
Aliah Hall 2:37
Is there a specific brand? or homemade? What are you talking?
Aliah Hall 2:42
Well homemade is good. But like not my home, like somebody else who makes pies home. Like that would be amazing. But store bought works too.
Okay. I've never known anyone to say that. Popular treat banana cream pie?
Aliah Hall 2:58
Look at you. You learn something new every day about your friends. Okay, well, if you want to know more about my guest Aliah, you can go read her bio and see her picture in our show notes which are found at LDS living.com/sunday on Monday. And like I said, I just feel so blessed to have her here with me today. And I also want to just say this, I feel like we should put your Venmo in your bio so that we can all send you a co-pay for the therapy you're gonna give us by the time we're done with this episode.
Aliah Hall 3:24
What's that gig?
Well, I always laugh whenever I go speak somewhere and I tell the audience like, "I learned in therapy", and then I'll stop and go, "It cost me a $30 co-pay, but for you it's free."
Aliah Hall 3:37
There you go. Well I always kind of like, "Are you psychoanalyzing me?" And I'm like, "Are you paying me? Because if" "no... no."
That's funny. I like that a lot. That's so good. All right, everybody. Well grab your scriptures because here we go, three short books. Grab something to write with, and you're gonna want a journal or a notebook and let's dig in. Okay, Aliah, are you like me? Do you like a good courtroom drama?
Aliah Hall 4:02
No, I don't.
Aliah Hall 4:04
Aliah Hall 4:04
No. If it doesn't happen like, in space, or have dragons, or robots, or something complete, like, I don't want to watch it. Because I
Aliah Hall 4:13
Aliah Hall 4:14
just think the whole time I'm like, Oh, this person needs therapy.
Laughs. Okay, you're totally right.
Aliah Hall 4:21
Like, it's like being at work. Like space, robots, dragons, sorcerers, all of that. I'm like, Okay, I don't have to like worry about these human beings.
That makes so much sense; you like stuff that is so far beyond being real, that you can't even. Oh, Aliah, I
Aliah Hall 4:40
I could just turn my brain completely off and not worry, because I, I mean, I hate people, but I also love them. And I worry about them a lot. And so when I hear things like, 'This is a true crime story', like I worry about those people like I'm like, They're somewhere out there and like they don't know where their kid is, or they don't, this happened. Like I am a worrier and I can't let it go. So robots, space, dragons, vampires.
Oh, oh my gosh, I love that about you. That is so fantastic. When I was a new mom and I was in the thick of it with kids, nobody ever more perfectly summed me up than my neighbor, because she looked at me one day and I said, How are you doing? and she goes, I just want to stay home, lay in my bed and watch Law and Order. I was like, like, that is my dream, just to stay in my bed and watch Law and Order all day long. Oh my gosh, okay. Go to Nahum 1:1 and kind of keep your finger and go over to Habakkuk 1:1, because they both have a word in common. And I want you to tell me what the word is. And you can just do it by reading the first two words, what is it?
Aliah Hall 5:48
Burden. Highlight the word 'burden' right there in both of those verses. Now, here's what we need to know about the word burden. In Hebrew, it's massa, M A S S A, The word MASSA, it can mean burden as well as 'a sentencing'. Now this is really interesting, because the weight of the crimes of these people had been valued by the Lord and the prophets have been sent to deliver a sentencing if the people don't repent. So really, it could read 'The sentencing of Nineveh'. And then in Habakkuk, it's going to be 'The sentencing which Habakkuk, the Prophet did see.' He knew it was going to come down and happen to these people. So this is really kind of cool when you consider this courtroom drama setup. We have a sentencing that the Lord is giving to these very wicked people. And so I'm really looking forward to our discussion about these books. And without giving too much away, Aliah, I'm just curious to know: Is there anything specific that stood out to you as you read them? You did say you couldn't even say their names, know who they were. Do you have anything else that stood out to you as you were reading this, or that struck you?
Aliah Hall 6:54
These chapters, and I'm reading like, Oh, this is like the Prophet is telling this to this people, and this prophet is telling this to these people. And I really like, even when I was thinking about it, I was like, it must be feel like a burden sometimes to be a prophet. And to see. Because like, as a therapist, like sometimes people will tell me the things that are happening in their life. And I'm like, oh, I know where this is going, you know. But you can't just tell them like, oh, this, like, these are the next three steps, because they don't believe you. But if you're like, Oh, I see this so often, like this, like, I know what this pattern is, and I know where it's going. and it's nowhere good. Like, just stop now. But like, watching people kind of have their life unravel in front of you and not being able to do anything to stop it, sometimes is a burden.
Wow. As you were saying that it really struck me because that is the role of a prophet, like he can see. Oh, my gosh, Aliah, that was so deep. Like I'm processing everything you just said, because the idea is the Lord can see, exactly, it's how it's going to unravel and He knows. And the prophets come saying to the people, here are the steps you need to take. And just like you said, the people just don't want to. A lot of times, you're, you count the people that you give therapy to, just don't want or don't believe that what you're going to tell them really will work.
Aliah Hall 8:16
Well and I have a teenage daughter who you know, like, and I've never been a teenage girl before
Aliah Hall 8:21
No you never.
Aliah Hall 8:22
No. She's like doing these things. And um, she's lovely and she's precious, but like she's doing things and she's like, "You don't know, mom. This never happened to you." "Oh, sweetheart, but it did." And I know where this is. I know where like, I know how life works, like I've been around the block a couple times. I know how life works and this is not going anywhere good. Like, get off the train. They don't believe you. Like they're like, 'No, it'll end up different for me.' And you're like, It's not.
I'm writing so many things down, when you just said, because I'm imagining right now the three prophets Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah are saying to the people, 'get off the train.' Oh, my gosh, that was so good. I'm putting that at the top of my page. Because that's exactly the message, get off the train. And if you don't, here's the sentencing that's going to come down, and you're not gonna like it.
Aliah Hall 9:17
It's not good.
Okay. So let's do this. In the next segment we're going to jump into the Prophet Nahum and find out what he's trying to tell them and warn them about and say get off the train.
Segment 2 9:28
Aliah, tell me this: does someone's tone affect the overall message of what's being said?
Aliah Hall 9:42
Absolutely. Like tone is probably more important than what you're actually saying.
Aliah Hall 9:49
Yeah. Because I can say, Love ya, Tam. Or I can be like, LOVE ya, Tam...... Two completely different meanings.
Two totally different meanings. How hard is it to control tone?
Aliah Hall 10:04
I mean, we grow up and we learn just how to do that, hopefully, most of us, some of us, a few of us learn how to control our tone. But it is something that you have to learn, like how like to really project the message that you want to project and so that the recipient is receiving it the way you mean it. It's a skill that some people don't have.
Yeah, definitely. What would you say as you read Nahum. What is his tone?
Aliah Hall 10:35
I just like, sorrowful. Like he just, like a sorrowful tone. It makes me sad.
It is sorrowful,
Aliah Hall 10:44
but strong. Like he's strong,
Aliah Hall 10:47
but he's sorrowful.
That was what I got. For me the tone was strong, and in some places kind of hostile. Like a little bit harsh, like he had had it.
Aliah Hall 10:57
Yeah. He's he's at the end.
Some of us know that tone. "I have HAD it!" Well, let's read some of Nahum's tone, because I think this wording is pretty great. Let's go into Nahum chapter 1 and we're going to read verses 2 and 3 because I think the wording is so great, and his tone, in my mind I'm imagining "To Kill a Mockingbird".
Aliah Hall 11:18
I love this book. Our dog's name is Boo Radley. And my son's name is Atticus.
Okay, this is so perfect, then, you're gonna read these verses. Because I'm picturing an Atticus, I think that's what Nahum reminds me of is an Atticus. Read verses 2 and 3. Here we go.
Aliah Hall 11:34
1:2 "God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; The LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.
Aliah Hall 11:43
3: "The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the Lord hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet."
Wow. I mean, how good is that?
Aliah Hall 11:59
"You can't handle the truth!"
Yeah. I mean, that part where he's like "the Lord will not acquit the wicked." I mean, it is so
Aliah Hall 12:08
very courtroom. I didn't think about that, like courtroom drama, like very, like banging the hammer.
Yes. Yes, it absolutely is and his wording, like he is describing the city's destruction and their humiliation. And you know the book's description of the Lord's anger, it may cause some readers to be a little bit uncomfortable. That's okay. It's okay to be uncomfortable because we've talked about that, then the Comforter can do its job. But there is a slight shift in tone and a sort of a bright spot in his courtroom drama. Because Nahum is just railing on the people, and so we keep going in all of this verbiage. But then we get to verse 7. Nahum 1:7, and let's talk about how this tone changes. And I'll read verse 7.
7 "The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him."
Now, how did the tone change there? Or what did that make you feel?
Aliah Hall 13:00
Soft. really soft. Like, there's bad stuff happening that like it's not too late. And I think that that's like such a precious message to all of us because we're, some of us - all of us at some time - is on the bad end of the gavel. Right? You know, and to know that, like, the Lord is like, He's patient with us and He's willing and He's good and He's strong. And like, if we trust Him, like, it'll be in our favor.
I'm just writing so many notes you said, because we are all wicked. And He's not going to quit any of us. I mean, that just kind of gives a lump in your throat. But then he comes in and goes, 'but by the way, the Lord is good, and a stronghold in the day of trouble.' And so I was thinking about all this because it's interesting. Go back to the name Nahum on that page where we see his name. In Hebrew, it's the NAHAM. And his name means 'comfort.' Like as strong as he is, and as terse as his tone that feels, he's also going to offer the listener comfort, or anyone that will be willing to listen to him, his words will give them comfort, which goes back to what you had said. He sees the unraveling and he knows exactly the three things they can do. And isn't that interesting right here? The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knoweth them that trust in Him.
Aliah Hall 14:23
But what a comfort it gives, this idea that the Lord is good, but that like He will come down and He will have swift justice and that like, that's also comfort. Cuz like, feeling like nobody's in control, like it's very discomforting. Like nobody knows what's going on, nobody's watching, everything's out of control. Like the kids don't thrive very well in that kind of situation. Adults, we don't thrive well in that kind of situation. But when we know what our boundaries are, we do better. We're comforted when we know what our boundaries are, and the Lord's really clear about what His boundaries are.
Oh my gosh, I think that's so great. Boundaries = safety and comfort. Is that what you're telling us?
Aliah Hall 15:08
Yeah. Like, people, like, they always say like Kids need boundaries. You're like, and dogs and old people and everything in between, we all need boundaries. Like, we need to know where the line is, because then we know how to operate within it. When we don't know where it is we're constantly looking for it. We're constantly pushing around and saying like, Well, where's the end? Where's the boundary? Where do I fall off the cliff? But if the boundaries are clear, then I know, and I can like rest. I don't have to keep looking for it, I know where it is.
Well now I'm looking back at verse 7, and those are some pretty great boundaries. He's saying, I'm good. I'm a stronghold in your day of trouble. And I know you, if you just trust in Me. It didn't say anything about being perfect. It didn't say anything about not being a sinner. Yeah, like, if you will just trust Me, that what I'm about to tell you will work, it's gonna be good, the Lord is good. Okay, that is so cool. Thank you so much for sharing that idea of this, this boundary that the Lord has with us. That is a great verse to describe that. So knowing that that's the Lord's boundary, I want to know if it works. I mean, Aliah, has the Lord ever been a stronghold for you? Have you trusted in Him? Has it been good?
Aliah Hall 16:22
Yeah, I think my whole life like, like, I really thought about like the Lord and the church and the standards of the church have lent me a lot of stability in my life. Like, I grew up in California, there weren't, there were a good amount of members, but not like here in Utah, you know. So there was usually two or three of us at high school, you know, who were LDS but not like most everybody wasn't, you know. And I'm still really good friends with a lot of my high school friends. And then we were friends through college, and like getting married and having kids, and we're still friends. We still have like a rolling like, chat that we are all on like 30 years later, many years later, but almost 30 years later. And like, I see, like, in some of their lives, like the tossing and turning and the insecurity and the instability. And they're all really good people and I feel really blessed and thankful that like, not that my life has gone smoothly at all, it's a disaster most of the time. But like I don't feel unstable.
That is so awesome, Aliah. When you just said the word unstable it made me think of the next prophet we're going to talk about, because there was a lot of instability in his life. And he had a lot of questions. And I think a lot of us do. We have these questions like, Why, why, but why? And so in the next segment, we're going to talk about Habakkuk and the stability that he got from the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Segment 2 17:51
We're going to start this segment with a quote from Elder Ballard in 1995. "Life's most challenging questions seem to be those that begin with the word Why. Why is life so hard? Why is there so much sorrow, hate and unhappiness in the world? Why does death take the young? and Why must the innocent suffer?" So Aliah, why would he say these questions are so challenging? And what do you say to people who have come in with questions of why?
Aliah Hall 18:21
Yeah. I think the why questions are so hard, because even though there are, there's absolute truth in some things, many things there is not. There's no concrete answer. Should I go left or should I go right? Should I eat the pink M&M or the purple one? Like there's not, like a lot, there's a lot of ambiguity with life. And it, it depends. And I think that's why the Lord gives us the Holy Ghost.
Aliah Hall 18:51
You know, like He, you know, Christ and our Heavenly Father, give us a lot of boundaries of like, okay, these are the boundaries of what you are limited to. But the Holy Ghost teaches us how to move within those boundaries, because it's not going to look the same for everybody. There's people in my ward who have eight kids, and like, I have two. And like two is the right number for me. Eight'd be not the right number for me. But why? You know, why did I get married late? You know, why this? Why that? Why didn't I get the job I wanted, why didn't the person that I love love me back? And there's not like a concrete reason why, it's just that's part of being a human being. Part of being human is that we deal with ambiguity and uncertainty.
How do we deal with that ambiguity then?
Aliah Hall 19:47
We embrace it for like, yeah. Like we're here to, you know, know the bitter and the sweet. We're here to learn and to grow. When we try to make everything right or wrong and really be, like that causes a lot of discomfort because it's very restricting. So we want to be within the Lord's boundaries but we don't want to overshoot the mark and like restrict ourselves to a point where like there's no room to move at all.
Oh, that's powerful.
Aliah Hall 20:16
Does that makes sense?
Yeah. Well, it did to me and I think you're absolutely right. You know this idea of asking these why questions was so interesting to me because Habakkuk is sort of the 'why' prophet. He wants to know the answers to these questions. In fact, specifically, in Habakkuk 1:3, let's go there. He starts out with a 'why' question. Turn with me to Habakkuk chapter one. He first asks how long, like how long is this going to happen? But then in verse 3, why? "Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance?" His whole 'why' is, 'how is this fair that the Chaldeans will be given power to overrun the land when they're wicked?' Like, Why Lord? This isn't fair, and I want to know how this is even working out. You know, Habakkuk wants justice. Now, there's very little known about Habakkuk, except that he was a prophet who lived in the Kingdom of Judah, possibly during the reign of Josiah, or Jehoachim, who he said. And if this is the correct dating of when he was alive, he would have been a contemporary with the Prophet Jeremiah, Zephaniah, Obadiah, Ezekiel and Lehi. But the date of Habakkuk's ministry is uncertain, but people do believe it was around 597 BC. Some scholars compare Habakkuk, this whole book of Habakkuk, to Doctrine and Covenants section 121, when Joseph Smith was in Liberty Jail.
Aliah Hall 21:34
I was thinking that.
You were thinking that, tell me why?
Aliah Hall 21:38
Well just 'cause he's just like, How long, Lord, are You gonna like put up with this? Because I'm already done.
Yes. And talk about tone - you can hear in his questioning, he's just so like, tired.
Aliah Hall 21:54
Like, why are you showing me this? What good will come of it? Like these people are past saving. And I think sometimes we go there with with our friends or our family or our neighbors and we go, Oh, they're past saving, But the Lord's like, You still have to love them, you still have to forgive them because I can see from a different distance and it's not what you think it is.
Oh, absolutely. Well, let's go to this verse, then. Go to Habakkuk 2:1, because this, I think this verse is neat Because all of us who are in that place of the whys, where we're waiting for our answers, and we're wondering and questioning, -and we all do it because we're human - and we haven't embraced it yet, like you advised us to do, to embrace the ambiguity. I like what Habakkuk does, in 2:1. Aliah, read that for us. Here's how he is going to respond to no answer about the whys yet.
Aliah Hall 22:46
2:1 "I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.":
So what does that verse teach us?
Aliah Hall 23:00
To me it says like, that Habakkuk is like, Obviously, I am not seeing it the way the Lord is seeing it', you know. 'So I will watch and I will listen and I will be faithful. And when He teaches me more', so, and 'I will see what I answer when I am reproved.' So like, 'When I'm reproved, when the Lord shows me a little bit more light, another line, another precept, then I'll see and we'll go, we'll go forward, moving forward. And hopefully I answer well, hopefully I'll do well.'
As a therapist, how poignant is that verse with that perspective, for those of us who are in our whys?
Aliah Hall 23:43
I think very much. So like, there's some, I think, particularly when I work with young people, although this is not exclusive to young people, it's all of us to an extent. Like we want to see all the way into the future. We want to know, like, if I take this step, where will it lead me in 30 years, you know. And that's just not the way life works. We just take the next right step, you know. I'm often telling clients of mine, Just do the next good thing. If you just keep doing the next good thing, you'll get there. And there's parts of the scriptures that talk about like how and why God is God and it says like, because He can see the beginning from the end, you know, or the end from the beginning. Like He can see the whole thing. And that's what makes us human is we cannot see the whole thing, but we want to so bad.
Aliah Hall 24:40
We want to know what this, I mean, when I when I was younger, I love to read, I love love, love to read. And I would like get so caught up in a book and I was like, what's gonna happen to the main character? So I would go and like read the last chapter.
Aliah Hall 24:57
Just to like calm my anxiety. I'm like do they make it? Do they fall in love? Do they die? Like I just needed to know that it ended well so that I can stream the, like. In my life, too like I'm like, but just tell me what the end is. Like I can make the journey if You, if You tell me, like, You're gonna get there and I think we're all a little bit like that.
Definitely. Well and everything you said, as you were talking, I looked back at that verse when He says,"I will stand upon my watch". I'm so loving all the action words in here. Like he's not like, I'm gonna sit and wait. No, I'm gonna stand on my watch on the tower. Like, I'll keep doing what You sent me here to do. I'm going to keep doing my calling, I'm going to put one step in, and like you said, I'm gonna put one foot in front of the other, I'm not giving up. So I'm going to stand on my watch, put me on the watchtower, I'm gonna watch to see what He's gonna say to me. And there's such a level of patience in that, that I just someday hope to have. Because you're like, you're right; I want to know right now. And my ADD kicks in and I gotta have the answers. And I want, I just, sometimes I react that's, I just want to get it taken care of. And for me, I really appreciate this verse where he's like, 'I'm gonna wait it out. And it's going to be okay. But I'm going to watch and then see.'
Aliah Hall 26:18
Well even with my therapist this week - so I'm a therapist, but I have a therapist - her name is Barb. I love her, I don't know what I would do without her. But like, I'm a highly anxious person. And so I'm like talking to her about my kids. I'm like, you know how, like, I'm not worried about retirement, but I need to make sure that they have enough money to take care of themselves once I've died. And how is my son? And she's like, Aliah. He's seven. (laughs) He's seven! Like, calm down. And I'm like thinking of his retirement, like, how am I going to like, work hard enough to save enough money so that like, he's set up for the rest of his life and can like do the things that he wants to do and doesn't have to struggle? She's like, He's 7!
And I think this is so awesome. Because your therapist, or the Lord's saying, Aliah, just stand on your watch. And watch to see what I do for you.
Aliah Hall 27:19
Just do the next thing.
Just do the next thing, I gave you boundaries. And like you perfectly said, it's giving you this stability. And you know I'm not, it will always be that way for you. He's seven, he's going to be fine. Well, we have to finish this segment with a follow-up quote from the same talk from Elder Ballard. We didn't want to leave you hanging with that beginning quote about the whys. So now listen to what he has to say about that. And Aliah, will you read this quote from Elder Ballard, please. And he talks about on getting answers to our why questions.
Aliah Hall 27:49
So Elder Ballard says, "I particularly want to talk to the younger members of God's family about why I believe the only satisfying answer to such questions come from the comforting perspective of faith in our Heavenly Father and His eternal plan for our happiness."
Thank you. And going back to that, I think for me, I appreciated this quote just to know, to have comforting perspective of faith in our Heavenly Father, the eternal plan for happiness. That's the answer to our why's. Not easy all the time.
Aliah Hall 28:21
I mean, I know you know, Tammy; you have teenagers as well and post teenagers. But like, they were like, You're trying to ruin my life. And you're like, I'm really not like, I'm really, I'm trying to help you out here.
Yeah. 'Our Heavenly Father's saying that throughout all these books. So, in the next segment, we are going to see what Habakkuk has to teach us about this perspective of faith in our Heavenly Father and in the Lord.
Segment 4 28:43
Okay, Aliah, I want to know, because you are in the business of giving people advice. So I'm going to ask you how you navigate that part of your job. But before I do, before you answer that, I want to know: Has anyone ever given you bad advice?
Aliah Hall 29:03
Yes. So my mom gives the worst advice ever. Like she is, she is so meek, and like so humble, and like just the most wonderful angel have a mother, but she could not give advice to save her life.
Oh, my gosh.
Aliah Hall 29:19
And so, I'm the oldest daughter and I have two younger sisters. And my, my little sister was like, come in and she's crying because she's talked to mom and like whatever mom told her to do didn't work out the way she thought it was. And I was like, Okay, listen, this is how it works with our mother. Like, you can still go to mom and ask her first, ask her what she thinks you should do. But do the opposite thing and your life will work out like perfectly.
(Laughs) That's so funny.
Aliah Hall 29:48
Just do the opposite of whatever mom thinks is the right thing to do.
Oh my gosh, just do the opposite.
Aliah Hall 29:55
And my little sister, like after a while she was like, Oh my gosh, that totally works. I'm like, I know. Because like my mom thinks that we are like, so perfect. I'm like, that, like the sun and the moon and the stars like rise and set in our eyes. So she always thinks we're right. And she always thinks we're doing the best thing. And so she's always advocating on our behalf, which is sometimes good, but not always good advice. And so we're
Oh your sweet mom.
Aliah Hall 30:19
Whatever mom says, do the other thing. (laughter)
That's awesome. K, that is so good. Well, let me ask you this: How do you navigate this part of your job? Because people come to you for advice. Is that hard? Or
Aliah Hall 30:36
It's not because I tell people who come like, Oh, I want your advice on this. And I'm like, Yeah, that's not my job.
Oh, what do you mean?
Aliah Hall 30:44
That's not your therapist's job to give you advice.
Aliah Hall 30:48
What's your job?
Aliah Hall 30:49
Ohhhh, now look at that. And is helping give perspective, do they then come up with their own advice for themselves?
Aliah Hall 31:01
They do. Usually people know what the right thing is for them. But they just can't see it because it's too close to their face. And so you're just giving them perspective of like, if you could just step back a little bit and look at it, you would see a different picture. And so we don't give advice, we give perspective. Like, here's another perspective, here's some other things. Here's some other options, here's some things you can look about, think about, or here's some other ways you can think about that. We really don't, that's not our job as therapists to give advice. So if you're going to your therapist for advice, you're using the tool wrong.
Oh my gosh. Okay, so let's do this. Go to Habakkuk chapter 2, and at the top of that chapter, I want you to write the word 'perspective', because that is what Habakkuk is getting and giving in this chapter. And that is so cool how you just said that, Aliah because I'd never considered that before. That's what's happening. And that's what the Lord does for us. He gives us perspective so that we can figure out how to do things; He very rarely tells us exactly what to do. In fact, the scriptures are very clear. You got to figure it out in your mind, study it out, and make your decision
Aliah Hall 32:09
shouldn't be compelled in all things.
Oh, my gosh, that's so good. You know it's interesting, because Habakkuk's name in Hebrew - if you want to go back to the page where it says Habakkuk - it's HAbakkuk, and it means 'to wrestle or embrace.' That kind of tells me a little bit about where he's at. Like, he's probably, we know he's a question-asker and he's struggling to know how long is this going to go on? Help me, and now he knows, he's 'I'm going to wait, I'm going to stand here. I'm going to have the Lord give me an answer.' And then I think the Lord gives him perspective in Habakkuk chapter 2. Let's look at some of these verses of perspective, okay? And we're going to read them together and then Aliah, jump in with anything it teaches you. What perspective does it give you? Let's go to Habakkuk 2:4, and I'll start. Verse 4 says,
"Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith."
Aliah Hall 33:03
What does that mean, Tammy? That his soul was not, behold his soul, which was lifted up, and he was not upright in him.
He thought it was. Like we have this whole idea where the Lord, He's admonishing patience and promises that the just will live by faith, if they will. And so his soul which was lifted up is not upright.
Aliah Hall 33:25
Sometimes we think we know, yeah; sometimes we're like, Oh, I know. Heavenly Father's like, Umm, not so much.
Doesn't that describe like, my soul has been lifted up where I think I know the answer. I'm like, oh,
Aliah Hall 33:39
Yeah, I was raised by my mother. I think I know everything. And I'm always right.
Exactly. That's exactly what this is saying is like, No, you don't actually know everything, but the just will live by his faith.
Aliah Hall 33:51
Yeah. Like faith requires you not, to,be able to acknowledge that you don't know everything.
That's exaqctly it, that's great perspective. Let's go to another one. Go to chapter 2, let's read verse 14. Will you read verse 14 for us, Aliah.
Aliah Hall 34:05
14 "For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea."
Now how does that perspective help you when you're in a challenging situation?
Aliah Hall 34:16
I love like, I love that. I love that imagery. I love, I love this idea and we see it a lot in Scripture that like, like that He has, like He has knowledge, He has perspective that we don't see, that we don't know. You know. He sees the end from the beginning and we have to trust Him. We have to have faith in Him. And even though we think we see everything, I'm like, I'm looking, I'm doing, I'm doing all the things. Like, His vision is better than ours, you know. Like He can see farther and wider and more completely. His perspective is more complete than ours is and we have to have faith in that because we are just humans.
Yes. I like how you just combined those two verses together with the faith and the knowledge. So good. Let's do another one. Let's go to verse 20. Now leading up to verse 20, the Lord is warning them about their graven images. In fact, it's interesting in verse 18, He says,
18 "What profiteth the graven image, that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein,..."
So He's, He's warning him. Like, what good is any of this? You shouldn't trust in anything else but Me. I'm going to help you, give you the answers. And then we go to verse 20.
20 "But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him."
Now this is kind of cool, because for those of you Idaho Falls Temple-goers, there's an archway in the Idaho Falls Temple that has that verse of scripture on it. And I think it's neat when you're in the temple, this idea, you are in His holy temple. Let all the earth, what do you think it means, "Let all the earth keep silence before Him"?
Aliah Hall 35:58
I think it's again that like, we're to have faith in Him. He has all of this knowledge, and so like, simmer down.
I like that. Hold please. Let me write 'simmer down' next to verse 20.
Aliah Hall 36:15
Simmer down. Keep quiet, like, listen, pay attention. The Lord is about to speak and He knows.
Well, then, I think of how many times have we gone to the temple with our why questions, right?
Aliah Hall 36:32
I have been kicked out of the temple with my why questions.
You walk in the door with your whys, and the Lord's saying, Simmer down, like, have some faith and I'm gonna give you perspective today. For the next hour and a half or two hours you're going to get perspective. That happens all the time.
Aliah Hall 36:53
One time I went to the temple, and like, I don't remember what I was like struggling with because I am frequently struggling, but I was at the temple and I was like, I am not leaving the temple today until I get an answer. And so like I went through a session, and I was sitting and, you know, afterwards and like, waiting for my answer. And like the answer was, like, Go home. I was there for hours. I was like, Go home. Like it was like, You're not getting an answer today sis. Go home.
And what did that do for you?
Aliah Hall 37:30
Well, it put me in my place a little bit. Like, I kept demanding answers from the Lord. I'm like, I'm not leaving Your house until You tell me what to do. And He's like, Go home. Like, I'm in charge here, you're not in charge.
Oh, you were verse 4. Your soul was upright,
Aliah Hall 37:45
Yes, it was, but it was not upright.
Right. Oh, it was not. Yeah. Like you were like, No, You're giving me an answer now. And He's like, 'Um, just have some faith. Go home.' Oh, that's powerful.
Aliah Hall 37:56
I know. It was a rough day.
Oh, I bet. You know, when I was reading this, that silence thing. I will tell you what it reminded me of when it says to "keep silence before him". When you're, when I'm silent the only thing you can do is breathe, right? That's like the one thing, you're just going to be quiet and you're going to breathe. And here's something really interesting that I've learned this last year. Well, the last seven years, as we know, I've been studying Hebrew. And the name for our Savior in the Old Testament is Yahweh. It's a very sacred name. And one of the things that's really fascinating to me about this is that there are several scholars who believe His name is very specific. There's a reason it's spelled two consonants Yahweh; some scholars believe the reason why it's written in two syllables, Yah and Weh, is because it's a breath. When you inhale, you say Yah. And when you exhale, you say Weh. Like, try that with me. Inhale Yah. Exhale Weh.
Aliah Hall 39:01
I love that.
I thought that was fascinating to think that He purposefully made it so that every time we breathe, we say His name, or every time we take a big deep breath, like simmer down. You just go Yah, and then Weh.
Aliah Hall 39:23
Which really crazy thing, I have two enormous posters in my office - anybody who's ever been in my therapeutic office - that say, "inhale, exhale".
Aliah Hall 39:38
Because it's so, like, most of the things that people come in and they're so upset, like, I'm like, First, breathe. We got to take care of like the first things first. Breathe.
Right. That's exactly what it is. And if the very, for me some days, the only thing I can do is breathe. And if that is all you can do is breathe His name, you're doing great, sis. That's a breath of faith unlike any breath I've ever taken, that breath of faith, that that inhale, exhale, that Yah - Weh. You know it's really powerful to me, because in April of 2019, this really struck me. I taught this to a group of teenagers, this Yah -Weh breath. And when I was finished teaching it, one of the advisors or leaders came up to me and said, I don't know if you are aware of this, but the Prophet actually talked about this. And I was like, Really? I don't remember that. And he pulled the quote up, so I have it.
In the April of 2019 General Conference talk titled "We Can Do Better and Be Better", he (President Nelson) talked about the word repentance. Now look at this. He says, "The word for repentance in the Greek New Testament is METANOEO. The prefix meta- means "change". The suffix - noeo is related to Greek words that mean "mind," "knowledge," "spirit," and "breath."" Then the Prophet went on to say, "Thus, when Jesus asks you and me to "repent," He is inviting us to change our mind, our knowledge, our spirit--even the way we breathe."
When that advisor or leader read that to me, I was like, changing even the way we breathe. That when we are in the thick of repentance, when we are in the thick of our whys, that breath of faith, that Yah - Weh, is really literally all we can do.
Aliah Hall 41:41
There are different therapy types, and one, of one therapeutic modality is breath work, like to change how you breathe and how you breathe really does have a lot to do with how the rest of your body functions, how your mind functions, how you're able to recover from trauma and how you're able to like, bring down your anxiety and things like that. Like a lot of our mental health is aided or hindered by how we're breathing.
Oh my gosh, Aliah. Awesome. Thank you for sharing that. So our challenge - I'm going to have Aliah join me on this - but our challenge this week for all of us is to breathe, to just inhale, exhale as your wall says in your office and do it with the Lord's name. Inhale Yah. And exhale Weh. When you're at that, in the moment of your why or in the moment of your tantrum, whatever it looks like, in the moment of changing the tone of your voice, something of anger, whatever it is....YAH - WEH, and see what it does for you this week. Wow, that's gonna be a good week.
Okay, so while we're breathing, and I'm even gonna include this in with Habakkuk's name while we're wrestling, because he did, he's wrestling. And for him to wrestle and then say at the end, keep silence before him, I mean, he gets it. I want us to think about this because we're going to talk about some skills that can help us improve and that can help us breathe, or keep silence. And we'll talk about that in the next segment.
Segment 5 43:15
Okay, Aliah, I have a question for you. Okay, this is a real therapy question. Okay. What skill or skills would you teach someone that can help when we don't have all the answers?
Aliah Hall 43:35
Yeah. So this might seem like you baited and switched me, but it totally is the answer. I teach people to breathe.
Oh, I didn't even know you were gonna say that.
Aliah Hall 43:45
Yeah. Like, breathe, and then do the next thing.
What do you mean the next thing,?
Aliah Hall 43:51
Because we get like super-anxious and overwhelmed, because we're trying to like see too far in the future or plan too far ahead, or like have all our ducks in a row. And like, we're kind of an as a faith community, we're a little bit uptight. I don't know if you know that.
Just a tiny bit.
Aliah Hall 44:11
So I'm often telling people like, K, take a breath. Okay. And then what's the next thing to do? And they're like, Okay, this thing. And I'm like, just do that. And then when that's done, like, do the next thing. And then like, when that's done, do the next thing. Like, don't try to do all the things. Don't even look at all the things; just do the next thing.
Okay, this is so cool, Aliah. For those of you listening, I had no idea Aliah was going to say that or teach that, because this is what's so cool. Let's go to Habakkuk and we're going to find out what the next thing was that he did. While he's waiting for his answers he's giving us perspective. This is so cool. Habakkuk chapter 3 is his next thing, and we're going to look at verse 1. Verse 1 says
1 "A prayer of Habakkuk the Prophet upon Shigionoth." Now this is interesting because it says "A prayer". But that word right there, Shigionoth, it's, whatever. It's a weird Hebrew name, but Shigionoth, however you want to say it, look at the footnote for it. It's a type of poetry. Now, this poetry is really interesting because he prays, he does wax poetic, but many scholars think it's a song. And something cool about that specific word that we read, is some scholars believe that this song is actually a direction from a conductor for one who's performing to just go ad lib, to just start saying whatever you want, start singing, hit it. And so I'm imagining Habakkuk at the microphone, just you know, beat boxing, or what, scattin', you know. And so here's his scat in Habakkuk chapter 3, and he just waxes poetic through all of it. Now bracket off verses 2-16. These verses are entirely about God's strength and power.
So here's Habakkuk waxing poetic, ad-libbing, singing about God's strength and power. But then we get to verses 18 & 19. And I think these two verses tell me a little bit about Habakkuk's coping mechanisms or a skill set that he has when he just doesn't have the answers. He's breathed, he's doing the next thing, and then look what he says. Aliah, will you please read verses 18 & 19.
Aliah Hall 46:30
18 "Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
Aliah Hall 46:38
19 "The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like my hinds' feet, and he will make me walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments."
Thank you. This idea right there. When all is said and done, what's the only thing Habakkuk is going to do, then?
Aliah Hall 47:00
He's gonna rejoice in the Lord. And he's just gonna keep singing.
Yeah. He acknowledges God is his strength who's going to then in fact, give him strength. And that's all he can do.
Aliah Hall 47:12
Just do the next thing.
Yeah, I think that's exactly what we're learning about this book of Habakkuk. He's wrestling, he's trying to figure it out. And the Lord's like, Breathe. Like I said, simmer down. Breathe and just do the next thing. Have faith, because it's all going to work out. And then it goes back to that verse 7, just have faith in the Lord. Like it's going to be Nahum when he changes that tone. Oh, Good stuff. Thank you, Aliah, and thank you, Habakkuk for teaching us so much goodness about when we just don't have the answers and we're stuck in our why's. That whole thing, all of the last couple of segments are so good. Okay, so then comes Zephaniah. And so we're gonna learn about what he has to say. And we'll do that in the next segment.
Segment 6 47:57
Now, this is kind of interesting. To those of our listeners and our family that we love, you are mourning the loss of a queen and we mourn with you. I'm so sorry about that. And I thought of you as I was getting ready to do Zephaniah, because there's something unique about who Zephaniah could have been. And there is something unique for those of you listening, the privileges that come from being royal blood. Like when you think of being royal blood Aliah, what privileges would you love if you could be royalty?
Aliah Hall 48:28
So I read in this trashy magazine, not trashy, like bad, but like trashy, like at the grocery store. It's gossip. Things that like Kate and Megan can and can't do and all this kind of stuff. It was like three times a week they have to go get some kind of like, services done, like their hair or their nails or a facial or whatever. Like, that's part of their duties to like maintain the image. And I'm like, Yes, I would like to be like commanded to get a massage once a week and get my nails done. Like, that's, that's what I want.
Oh, gosh, absolutely. Okay, that's when royalty has its privileges for
Aliah Hall 49:15
I know. That's like part of your job is like to go get pampered and get all your stuff like situated.
Sounds great. Yeah,
Aliah Hall 49:23
I know. I don't need any jewels, and I don't want to command anybody around, but I really would like a massage every week.
Um, I'd like for someone to cook for me all the time. I'm sick of that. Every time I have to have lunch and I'm home I always say, Lunch is for suckers. I hate lunch. If I have to eat one more peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I am done. I'm just - blach.,Yyu know, and I don't like to cook for one person. Kudos to people that do; I love you out there. It's just sometimes, it's exhausting.
Aliah Hall 49:53
It takes more time to cook than it does to eat.And you're like
Yeah, thank you. It's not enjoyable for me.
Aliah Hall 49:57
This is not like the benefit/cost ratio, whatever that is, it's not
No, you're totally right. That's why fast food is better. You get it quicker. And then you can enjoy it longer than it took to get it. Oh my gosh, I just, the light bulb just went off. That's why I like fast food. Yeah. Oh my gosh, that's great. Okay, so let me ask you this, then. Do you think royalty would have an effect on the way we view things?
Aliah Hall 50:19
I think, I mean, knowing like our like American history, and then like other countries that were under British rule and how they came to not be under British rule, like, there's a very different. My husband's Australian so like they handle like, handled their independence very different than how we handled our independence, kind of, like brats about it. But, you know, throwing tea in the river and all this business. But I think like, we have, like, we have a very different mentality, you know. Like how Americans behave as opposed to like Canadians and Australians and other like parts of the British Empire, depending on like, how they got their independence kind of like sets the tone for kind of like their national identity a little bit. We're still kind of brats and like,
Okay. Well I'm so glad you said that. Now, I want you think about that, because here's something interesting. I want you to have this mindset of royalty, because there is a belief that Zephaniah could have belonged to royalty, and it has something to do with the way he sees things and the words that he uses. Go to Zephaniah 1:1. In verse 1 it says, "The word of the LORD which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah,"
Highlight Hizkiah. Scholars believe that is Hezekiah. Hezekiah, who was the great king, the good, great king. King Hezekiah was the great great-grandfather of Zephaniah, so he would have been royal blood. His name in Hebrew is translated Zaha Naiah, which means "hidden by God." I thought that was really intriguing, could have been hidden by God to do God's work.
So I find it super fascinating that if you go into Zephaniah chapter 1, and then specifically chapter 2, bracket off verses 4-15. Because the Lord and His Prophet, they're going to call out specific foreign powers. It's sort of like they're at a UN summit. So bracket off these verses; we have him calling out in verses 4-7, Philista, and the four or five capital cities. Verses 8-11 they call out Moab and Ammon. In verses 12-15 they call out Kush and Assyria. And then we get to Zephaniah 3:1-7 where more woe is pronounced. And then we get this charge from the Prophet and from the Lord which is found in Zephaniah 3:8, kind of the overall theme for this whole book. So Aliah, will you please read for us Zephaniah 3:8.
Aliah Hall 52:57
3:8 "Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy."
Tell me what you were thinking.
Aliah Hall 53:24
Well, I was thinking about what you were saying about like kings and queens and royalty and that he might be royalty and like this idea about like waiting on the Lord, like that waiting? I'm like, I like to, because like kings or queens or whatever have like ladies-in-waiting or like are servants-in-waiting? And what does it like it mean to be like a lady-in- waiting? And I thought like to stand at the ready.
Oh my gosh.
Aliah Hall 53:50
And so like when it says like, we are supposed to like wait on the Lord? We're supposed to stand at the ready.
Wow. I mean, thinking of this line of royalty then, it changes the waiting upon the Lord.
Aliah Hall 54:05
And if he's royalty and like, like he's used to having like, a man-in-waiting, like somebody who waits upon him. He's like always ready to like bring you a drink or take your towel or, like somebody that's there just like steadfast and there to serve. And that's what we're supposed to be doing for the Lord. We're supposed to be like ladies-in-waiting, we're supposed to be standing at the ready. So when He calls us and He says, like, Hey, Tam, I need you to do this. But you're like, Yep, I'm ready. Aliah, I need you to do this. Yep, I'm ready. You know, we read our scriptures, we say our prayers, we go to church so that we can stand at the ready.
Oh my gosh, I put that: "stand at the already." And I wrote "we're here to serve Him." Like it changes the whole meaning of waiting upon the Lord. Like we're not waiting for Him to do something for us. We are standing at the ready to serve Him. Aliah, that is so awesome. And we serve Him by serving others. Okay, this was so cool because I put this quote, and I wasn't sure if I was gonna use it or not, but now for sure I am. Because there is a great talk given by Elder Robert D Hales, 2011 called "Waiting Upon the Lord". And he gives all these different ways that we wait upon the Lord meaning, like we're w a i t, like we're waiting, not how we just described it. But then he says this, he changes his perspective on waiting. Aliah, will you please read the last paragraph of this part of the talk that we took out?
Aliah Hall 55:33
"Waiting upon the Lord gives us a priceless opportunity to discover that there are many who wait upon us. Our children wait upon us to show patience, love and understanding towards them. Our parents wait upon us to show gratitude and compassion. Our brothers and sisters wait upon us to be tolerant, merciful, and forgiving. Our spouses wait upon us to love them as the Savior has loved each one of us."
Now that changes everything. That goes right in line with what you just said: If we wait upon the Lord, we are serving every one of those people who are waiting for us to act.
Aliah Hall 56:10
And we're standing at the ready so that we're prepared to serve.
Yes. We are standing at the ready to help our children, our spouses, our brothers and sisters, our parents, who are waiting for us to act or do something. Oh my gosh, Aliah, I love that.
Aliah Hall 56:28
And I think about that, like, you and I both, we got married late, you know, and had kids later in life. When I was single and I wasn't married yet and I was like, Maybe I won't have kids. And I was like, What do I need to do now to prepare for when I do have kids or I am married? Like, what kinds of things do I need to prepare? And I might have taken somewhat of an unconventional path. But I was like, I really was like, I don't ever want to like resent my children. Like I in that time I, now I was like, I can't even imagine resenting my children. But when I was in my early 30s I was like, I don't ever want to resent my children. And so like I'm going to do all the things that I want to do now, so that when I'm a mom and I can't do all those things, I can think back. I'm like, Oh, I already did that. Like I already traveled, I already went to school, I already had a career, I already did those things so that when I'm like cleaning poop, I'm like not feeling resentful.
Aliah Hall 57:28
And that, for me, that was like how I was like preparing to be a mom to like, to stand at the ready. Like, I am fully ready to engage as a wife; I'm fully ready to engage as a mom. Like I've already done all this other stuff, like I don't have any regrets, I don't have any resentment, I don't have any unsewn whatever you sow - your tares or wheats or whatever. Like, I am ready and I'm prepared to serve.
Whoa. That is such a beautiful example of waiting on the Lord in the new way that we just framed it. You know, I'm thinking of my own life, and specifically the time when I really, really truly could say I waited on the Lord, was on my mission. I was in the MTC and I started having doubts, like, uhhh, as maybe many of us do. What am I doing? And it's the hard place to be and you miss your family. And it's, the schedule is rigorous. And I was feeling a little bit depressed and sad about that. And then I get into the mission field. And I still was like, really? Is this where I belong? And a sister who was with me that was about to leave - and everybody said how fast your mission goes - and I remember thinking, Not for me, not going that fast. I've been here two weeks and I'm counting the days. But I remember one of the sisters was getting ready to leave and she says to me, "Never again in your life will you be able to just solely focus on the Lord; to wake up every day and wait upon Him, to stand at the ready."
And I love that now, I'm connecting all of this because of my mission. Today I know what it looks like to truly wait upon the Lord. I know what that feels like, I know how much effort it takes. And I, we do it at different places in our life. Like at 21 that's what it looked like for me at 21. When I was single, oh my gosh I waited upon the Lord. I went to church, I went to the temple, I tried to serve others. And then when you get married you're waiting upon the Lord. Gosh, daily with spouse and with kids and family members and ward members. Like, this is so profound for me, Aliah. I am grateful that you brought this idea in, that waiting upon the Lord means to stand at the ready rather than waiting for Him to do something for me. And it goes back to those action words. So when I'm in the thick of my why's, when I'm questioning and wondering, just wait upon the Lord. Not meaning wait for the answer, just put one foot in front of the other and keep moving.
Aliah Hall 1:00:02
Be ready. Be ready for what's coming next.
Oh my gosh, Aliah. Thank you. That, that's it. That's our discussion That is all three of our books.
Aliah Hall 1:00:12
Always so good with you, Tam. I love it.
I mean, listen. Zephaniah chapter 3 has so many other good things. It talks about the Millennium and when the Lord comes again, and all of the really cool blessings and promises for the covenant people of the Lord. I just, I don't know. Let's read verse 20. We'll end with verse 20. Zephaniah 3:20 and that's how we'll finish out this whole episode. Because this is really for all of us who are waiting upon the Lord. Will you read verse 20 for us.
Aliah Hall 1:00:39
3:20 "At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the LORD."
Boy, that's multi-layered, huh?
Aliah Hall 1:01:00
Well, I think in context of what we've just read, and it's like, you know, that's the first Prophet Nahum saying, like, you know, the burden, like the sentencing and all of that kind of judicial, like punishment words. And then you have Hezekiah and he's like talking about, you know, waiting for the Lord and doing this. And then like, kind of, finally we we wrap it up. And I love that how this wraps up like, the Lord's like, I've got you. Like, even though you mess up, even though I'm sometimes mad, sometimes you have to wait, sometimes you have to do all these things. Like, at the end of the day, like, I will gather you, I will make you a name, and I will have you be praised among the people of the earth.
Saith the Lord, Yahweh. Yah weh - Just breathe. Take a breath, it's all going to be fine. I think that's awesome.
Aliah Hall 1:02:01
It really will.
It really, really will. So. Oh, Aliah, thank you. Great discussion.
Aliah Hall 1:02:07
Thanks for inviting me.
We talked about a lot of things. Okay, what's your takeaway? What's something that you are going to remember? Or what did you learn as you were sitting?
Aliah Hall 1:02:16
Oh, my takeaway is 100% that Yahweh breath. Because I believe in that, like, I have those posters. I believe in the, in the breath Like, and it took me a long time to get there. That like, be like, our breath, the breath of life, we talk about those things and like, being able to inhale and exhale and take a break and make a pause. And like there's so much of the work that I do that is just like, take a breath, simmer down. Like, it's not as big or bad or scary as you think it is. And that there is an almighty God, our Heavenly Father who is in charge, and He knows what He's doing. And like, even though it feels like sometimes it's out of control, it really isn't.
Yeah, it really isn't. Let's do the breath together one more time. For everyone who's listening, stop what you're doing whatever it is, pull over on the side of the road, whatever. And let's just breathe this together. Here we go. Ready? 123.... Ah, it just feels good. Thank you, Aliah. My takeaway was for sure your perspective on waiting on the Lord. And I just, it was so perfect, the idea that you could be royalty, and that perspective of just standing at the ready, and we're here to serve imH. Let's get to work. And that's all the Prophet's asking us to do in the gathering process is to wait upon the Lord. So I love how you've taught us that, that changed me. That was so good. So thank you, thank you. Wow, that's awesome.
Aliah Hall 1:03:59
I always enjoy my time with you, Tam. It always just resets me.
And I will send you a copay so, (laughter), cuz I got a lot of help today. Thank you so much. Oh, my gosh, you're the best. I love you.
I love you, too. See ya.
Bye, sis. Okay, wow. Please share what you guys learned! I can't wait to find out what your takeaways are. So, join our discussion group on Instagram and Facebook, go sign up. And right now even, if you want to, just go share something that you've learned. But if you want to hold off and wait, on Saturday we do a call asking for your takeaway. So comment on the post that relates to this specific lesson and let us know what you've learned. You can get to both our Facebook and Instagram by going to the show notes in this episode at LDS living.com/sunday on Monday. And if you go there you're gonna find links to all the references that we used as well as a transcript of this entire discussion. So go check it out.
The Sunday on Monday Study Group is a Deseret Bookshelf Plus original and it's brought to you by LDS Living. It's written and hosted by me, Tammy Uzelac Hall. And today our so perfect study group participant was Aliah Hall and you can find out more information about my friend at LDS living.com/sunday on Monday. Our podcast is produced by Cole Wisinger and me. It is edited by Hailey Higham and recorded 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 to breathe, because you are God's favorite.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai