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5: “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord” (Matthew 3, Mark 1, Luke 3)

Fri Jan 20 12:42:21 EST 2023
Episode 5

Think back to your baptism—who helped you prepare for that special day and who stood with you in the water? And even more importantly, why were you baptized and what covenants did you make? In this week’s lesson, we have the opportunity to remember this sacred ordinance by reflecting about the Savior's baptism. As we study Matthew 3, Mark 1, and Luke 3, we'll meet John the Baptist, who helped prepare the way for Christ's coming. We'll learn about how the Savior was baptized in the Jordan River. And we'll discover anew the beauty of Christ’s example of obedience and remember why we all follow Him into the water.


Glue-Ins (free printables for your scriptures)

Segment 1

Mark 1:1-2 (Mark’s testimony)

Women in the Gospel of Mark (Julie M. Smith, “Mark’s Unique Contribution,” Religious Educator Vol. 17 No. 2 2016)

Gospel = The God Story (Old English)

Segment 2

Matthew 3:1-2 (John the Baptist preaches repentance)
Mark 1:4 (John the Baptist preaches repentance)
Luke 3:3 (John the Baptist preaches repentance)

Repentance = metanoeo - meta- change  -noeo mind, knowledge, spirit, and breath (Greek)
Repentance = teshuvah - Return to God (Hebrew)

Words of the Prophets:

“But this feeling of being penalized is engendered by Satan. He tries to block us from looking to Jesus Christ, who stands with open arms, hoping and willing to heal, forgive, cleanse, strengthen, purify, and sanctify us.” (President Nelson, “We Can Do Better and Be Better”, April 2019 General Conference)

Segment 3

Matthew 3:7 (Not all choose to be baptized like the Sadducees and Pharisees)
Luke 3:7,10,12,14 (Publicans and soldiers)
Luke 3:11,13,14 (What God asks of us)
Luke 3:15 (Who is John the Baptist)

Words of the Prophets:

“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. He is asking us to change the way we love, think, serve, spend our time, treat our wives, teach our children, and even care for our bodies.” (President Nelson, “We Can Do Better and Be Better”, April 2019 General Conference)

Segment 4

Joseph Smith Translation Luke 3:4 (Prepare the way)
JST Luke 3:7 (Be a light)
JST Luke 3:4-11 (What we can do to prepare the way of Christ)

Segment 5

Luke 3:21-23 (Christ is baptized)
Mark 1:9 (He traveled from Nazareth to the river Jordan)
Mark 1:6-7 (John in the wilderness)
Matthew 3:15 (Baptized to fulfill all righteousness)
CR: 2 Nephi 31:5-9

Segment 6

Matthew 3:16 (The Holy Ghost descended like a dove)
Matthew 3:17 (The voice of God announces Christ)
CR: Matthew 17:5
CR: 3 Nephi 11:7
CR: Joseph Smith-History 1:17
The Articles of Faith 1:1
CR: Mark 1:11
CR: Luke 3:22

Words of the Prophets:

Now, to anyone within the sound of my voice who has wondered regarding our Christianity, I bear this witness. I testify that Jesus Christ is the literal, living Son of our literal, living God. This Jesus is our Savior and Redeemer who, under the guidance of the Father, was the Creator of heaven and earth and all things that in them are. (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Only True God and Jesus Christ Whom He Hath Sent,” October 2007 General Conference)

Tammy 0:00

I have a daughter that is learning to drive. And I find myself exclaiming, Be careful!, or, Oh, please stay focused! more than I care to admit. Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you had to Be careful! or Stay focused!? Well, today as we study Matthew chapter three, Mark chapter one, and Luke chapter three is going to teach us something about being careful and staying focused. And by the way, if anybody out there needs any help or reminders while driving, I'm available.

Tammy 0:29

Welcome to the Sunday on Monday Study Group, a Deseret Bookshelf Plus original brought to you by LDS Living where we take the Come, Follow Me lesson for the week and we really dig into the scriptures together. I'm your host, Tammy Uzelac Hall. Now if you're new to our study group, we just want to make sure you know how to use this podcast. So please follow the link in our description. And it's going to explain how you can best use this podcast to enhance your Come, Follow Me study or any talk you might have to give, like my friend John in Hawaii. Hi, John. He listens, and I hear he gives great talks as part of his church assignment. So good job for you. Aloha! 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 we've got two originals. The very first two I ever had when we did our pilot episode three years ago. Drumroll please.......Jalyn Peterson and Sharon Staples. Hi, ladies.

Jalyn Peterson 1:21

Hey, Tam.

Sharon Staples 1:22

it's so good to be with you both.

Jalyn 1:24

Yeah, you too, Sharon. It's good to see you.

Sharon 1:26

It's so great.

Tammy 1:28

It is so great. We were laughing because who would have guessed three years ago that we'd be sitting here?

Jalyn 1:33

I know.

Tammy 1:34

All because of you two.

Jalyn 1:36

I know. Good times.

Tammy 1:40

Oh, my gosh. Well, I love you both so much. Jalyn, just quickly for people who are new this year, tell us a little bit about yourself. Each of you. Start with Jolin.

Jalyn 1:48

Um, so I am Jalyn Peterson from the little town of Heber City, Utah that's not so little anymore. I grew up in Utah and had a few different careers. And I'm currently a financial planner in Memphis, Tennessee.

Tammy 2:05

Sharon tells us about yourself.

Sharon 2:07

Well, I'm a retired ond maid school teacher. And I'm living in Draper with our mutt Pebbles, who is a chocolate lab who owns our house and everything and owns us. And right now, this past year, I have been studying Biblical Hebrew for a year, from a course on from BYU, and Wednesday is my final. And I would appreciate any and all prayers in my behalf, to take that final exam, which I have loved. I've just loved learning about Hebrew. It's just been a great experience.

Tammy 2:46

I started Hebrew with Sharon seven years ago. But then she decided to go all in and get a credit for it at BYU. So she's not messing around, or four credits, I should say,

Sharon 2:57

Yeah. I'm just taking the test so I can learn from the experience is, did I really learn what I think I learned? Or did I muck it up and not learn it? Or, yeah, no, I'm doing it, I'm no, actually I'm not doing it for credit. And I'm not doing it for a grade. I'm doing it for the learning experience.

Jalyn 3:13

Gotcha. See, I would be like, This was fun. I'm not gonna sit for a test.

Sharon Staples 3:17

Right. Right. That's exactly right.

Jalyn 3:19

My brain cannot handle that stuff anymore. Like, nope, sorry; this is good.

Tammy 3:25

Yeah, the prayers for Sharon, for sure. Okay, well, if you want to see pictures of my friends, and my guests, you can find their bios in our show notes, which are at LDS on Monday. So go check that out. Now, we have a slight disclaimer before we really dig in to our scriptures today. And here's what I want you guys to be aware of. Okay, from here on out this year's study of the New Testament, it is not a sequential study, meaning we don't start in Matthew and then end in Luke. It is a harmonious study of the Gospels. So what this means is, we're going to teach the events of the Savior's life chronologically, combining the material from each gospel. So you'll notice in the Come, Follow Me lesson for the manual this week, we're covering Matthew three, mark one and Luke three. But in Mark chapter one, we're only covering 11 of those verses. So if you read all of mark one and say, Well, she didn't even cover the rest of these. That's because the rest of those verses didn't happen yet. So as we go through the rest of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, just remember, it's harmonious. So keep that in mind because we are just going to study a little bit out of each chapter until we end up studying the whole life of the Savior. So does that make sense? That's kind of helpful to know, isn't it?

Sharon 4:36

Yeah, it does help.

Jalyn 4:37

It absolutely makes sense.

Tammy 4:39

Okay, very good. So everybody grab your scriptures, your scripture journal, something to write with,and let's dig in. Turn with me to Mark 1:1. That's where we're going to start. And I'm going to introduce you to Mark. This is our first time we've studied from this book. And I want you just to mark in Mark verse 1. Jalyn, will you read verse one for us.

Jalyn 5:01

1:1 "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God."

Tammy 5:04

Now highlight the word 'gospel'; we are going to continue to use our definition of this as we did the beginning of this year with New Testament, that the word 'gospel' in Old English means "God story". So this is the beginning of the God story of Jesus Christ, and it's Mark's God story. It's Mark's testimony of the Savior. It's interesting because then right out of the gates, he in verse 2, Mark starts by saying, "As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee." So this is interesting, because this is not Mark speaking; he starts out with the account of John the Baptist. And I thought this was kind of cool of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John: Mark is the only one to use the term 'gospel' at the beginning of his summary of contents. So he starts out with the word gospel, and then he jumps right into the story of John the Baptist.

Tammy 5:05

Well, isn't he really, sorry, right there in verse 2 when he says "as it is written in the prophets", isn't he really quoting Isaiah?

Tammy 6:09

Yes, he is. Thank you very much Jalyn. In fact, he'll say that, yes.He is quoting Isaiah or Esaias as it will say in Matthew. So yep, you're totally right. He's quoting Isaiah. So here's a couple of fun facts about Mark. Unlike Matthew or John, Mark was not an apostle of Jesus Christ, but he was a later convert. Also, we know that he was a missionary companion to Paul, Peter and several other missionaries. Many biblical scholars believe that Peter directed Mark to record the events in the Savior's life. And in his Gospel, Mark wrote to a Gentile audience, not a Jewish audience, like Matthew did. And so he emphasized what the Savior did more than what he said, that was more important. So a lot of actions are going to be in Mark's gospel. Then I thought this was really kind of cool, because according to a female scholar from BYU, in the book of Mark there is a very good evidence in Mark's gospel for thinking that women were present at the Last Supper. Can I get an amen?

Jalyn 7:08


Sharon 7:09


Jalyn 7:09


Tammy 7:10

I've been saying that for years. I've been begging every artist I know - Can you please paint the last supper with women at the table?

Jalyn 7:15


Tammy 7:16

Who do you think cooked the food?

Jalyn 7:17


Sharon 7:18

Yeah, uh huh.

Jalyn 7:19


Tammy 7:20

And so we put a link in our show notes to an article by this BYU scholar that you can read where she kind of talks about Mark, and her idea that women were there, which I totally agree with. It's great. Okay, so that's what we need to know.

Jalyn 7:31

So a question about Mark, then. So since he was a convert, and he was missionary companions with Peter, so was he present during a lot of, is this first-hand knowledge of Him, with the Savior and what He did? Or is it like, 'I've heard Peter talk about it and now I'm gonna go write it'?

Jalyn 7:31

That's a great question. Sharon.

Sharon Staples 7:53

You know, I looked that up, I checked that out. And in Valletta, his book on the New Testament, he says that Mark was the interpreter for the apostle Peter. Apparently, they spoke two different languages. And he spent many years with Peter recording Peter's experiences. So what Mark is writing is much of what Peter said and did as the, as he was a missionary.

Jalyn 8:22

Good to know.

Tammy 8:22

Fantastic. Well, and the cool thing is then Peter would be the equivalent of the Prophet. So it'd be like someone following around Joseph Smith, or, you know, President Nelson and writing everything, all the stories he shares. So that's a great perspective. Good question and great answer. Thank you. So with that, in the next segment, we are going to dive into Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and we're going to see what these three books have to teach us, and especially what they're going to have to teach us about being careful and staying focused. So we'll do that next.

Segment 2 8:50


Tammy 9:00

Okay ladies, I want you just to play this game with me for a little bit. I want you to imagine, imagine if you were in a National Spelling Bee, all right? You're a cute little kid. You've made it all this way, you've spelled the most incredible words you could possibly spell, and you've made it to the finals. And you come up to the microphone, and you're given a word. And I want to know, what are some questions you would ask for more clarity on the word before you begin to spell it?

Sharon Staples 9:26

Can you use it in a sentence?

Tammy 9:28

Excellent. K, I'm gonna write that down. Use it in a sentence. What else?

Jalyn 9:30

Can you tell me the origin of the word?

Sharon Staples 9:35

Give a definition?

Tammy 9:36

Give a definition. Excellent. Okay, and then the other one I had were: any other? Are there any other pronunciations for the word? I think that's one you can ask. Okay. I want you to keep these four things in mind. Use it in a sentence, other pronunciations, language of origin, and definition please, as we study one very significant word. In fact, it's the first ministerial word spoken by John Baptist, as well as the first word the Savior teaches about to the multitudes. So we're gonna go to three different references. Here we go. Matthew 3:2. As we read these verses, I want you to look for the word they all have in common that's the spoken word by John the Baptist. Okay, here we go. Sharon, will you please read for us Matthew 3:1,2.

Sharon Staples 10:20

1 "In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea,

Sharon 10:26

2 "And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."

Tammy 10:31

Okay, let's go to Mark 1:4. And Jalyn will you read that for us? This is John the Baptist speaking.

Jalyn 10:39

4: "John did baptize in the wilderness and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins."

Tammy 10:44

Okay, and then let's go to Luke 3:3. And I will read that,

Tammy 10:51

Luke 3:3 "And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins." What's the word?

Jalyn 11:01


Sharon Staples 11:02

It's repentance.

Tammy 11:03

Very good.

Sharon 11:05

Thank you.

Tammy 11:05

Okay, so we just used the word in a sentence, three sentences that we just read about repentance. Let's go up, let's, let's think about a definition for this word. And I think it's really kind of cool because in Mark 1:4, kind of gives us a definition of repentance.,Jalyn, can you look at that verse really quickly, and tell us what repentance does.

Jalyn 11:24

It is a remission of your sins,

Tammy 11:27

Perfection, it's exactly what it is. So it's a remission of our sins. Now here's the language of origin. The word for repentance in Greek in the New Testament is META NEO. So this is kind of cool. It's two words: Meta means change. And Neo is Greek words that mean mind, knowledge, spirit or breath. So a change of mind, a change of knowledge, a change of spirit, or a change of breath. Now, I want us to think about repentance for just a minute. Here's a great quote by President Nelson in his 2019 Priesthood Session taught called, "We Can Do Better and Be Better". And here's what he had to say about repentance. And I want to know your thoughts on this. The Prophet kind of talks about repentance and the way some of us view it.

Sharon Staples 12:08

"But this feeling of being penalized is engendered by Satan. He tries to block us from looking to Jesus Christ, who stands with open arms, hoping and willing to heal, forgive, cleanse, strengthen, purify, and sanctify us." That's from President Nelson.

Tammy 12:27

So I want to know, why is it often that we think that repenting is punishment, that we're being penalized? It's interesting how he's attributes it to Satan. Talk to me a little bit about that.

Jalyn 12:40

I do feel like I learned repentance, focused more on the punitive side of things. That it, that it ,what it did feel like, you know, you've done something wrong. And you know, instead of, and I think even how we talk about sin in scriptures. Even you know, you and I, Tamara, when we did that podcast on Adam and Eve and how Eve's, you know, partaking of the apple is viewed as sin instead of just making a different choice than the two that were presented before her. And so instead of it being you know, when we define it as sin instead of just 'I took the different path,' you know. 'I have all these choices and I took a different path' ,I think we make it mean more about us, about there must be something wrong with me. I must be damaged, I must be, instead of accepting that this is part of life, this is why we were here. And so I really appreciate that, that definition that you know, that feeling of I'm you know, sinning, that it doesn't mean that I'm loved any less by God. Like I'm still worthy just because I am his daughter and here. But I don't know. I think from when you're a little kid, maybe you just hear it a little bit different. So it just kind of gets ingrained, right?

Tammy 14:22

Yeah. That there, that there's some shame associated maybe when you get in trouble?

Jalyn 14:28

Because you so want to be good when you're a little kid. You just want to be good and, and, you know, loved by your parents. And I think, you know, especially after you get baptized. I remember getting baptized and being like, Okay, this is it, man.

Tammy 14:42

I'll never do anything bad.

Jalyn 14:43

Washed away. I'm good from here. I'm golden. And then you know, then the next day, I probably stubbed my toe and swore something at eight.

Tammy 14:54

(You probably did)

Jalyn 14:55

Yeah, you know me, but I think that's a, we do need to separate it from our worthiness as human beings.

Tammy 15:04


Sharon 15:05

Well, I think it's just that, I think Jalyn capsulized on it beautifully, I think it's exactly what she said. In addition to I punish myself because I did my will and not God's will. And because I have to face my own weaknesses, and I don't want to be weak, and I have to admit my guilt, and I don't want to admit my guilt. And I, for me, repentance requires a lifestyle change, a lifestyle change. And, and that takes a lot for me to do, thinking that I haven't done it so far, so I should be punished. So I think, but she, she explained it more clearly than that. And I have to face my own weaknesses, my own guilt. And that causes shame, which is self punishing, since shame is self punishing. And to face myself, to face what I have done. It is, it's just terrible. It, you know, it's, it's hard to, it's hard to do because you have to come to yourself. You have to say, Okay, Sharon, you did this. And you shouldn't do it again. And you need to do this, and you need to do this and this and this and this. And that's hard. It's difficult.

Jalyn 16:33

Change is hard, right? Like change is just hard for everybody. And I think you're exactly right, Sharon, in that it is. It requires, you know, we have to get out of the status quo comfort zone, right? of where we want to live and, and choose the higher path. So

Sharon 16:50

In Hebrew TESHUVAH is repentance. And it means return to God. And we all, like Jalyn said, to return to God, we don't feel worthy. You know, we don't feel worthy to turn to God. So we punish ourselves with unworthiness, when we don't need to.

Jalyn 17:10

That really is the Satan part to me. Yeah, that's the part right there.

Tammy 17:15

Well, what strikes me, Sharon, is when you shared the meaning and Hebrew TESHUVAH, which means to turn to God. Going back to that quote from our Prophet, he says that Satan tries to block us from looking to Jesus, from turning back to Him. And then he says, "Looking to Jesus who stands with open arms." Can you imagine how different we would view repentance if we knew as little kids that Jesus still loves you? Just turn to Him and he's ready to hug you and say, 'Alright, let's move past this. Let's move on.' That conversation would be so much more powerful than anything else, I think. I could have used that as a kid like, Oh, Jesus still loves me? what? even though I chose a different path? You bet He does. The minute you turn back to the Savior, you're in His graces again; He's right there with open arms. I'm so appreciative of that quote: "standing with open arms, hoping and willing to heal, forgive, cleanse, strengthen, purify, and sanctify us." In like, boom, just like that. I love that quote. Well, thank you, both of you for your comments. And I wrote everything down, because we're going to use all of your answers in the next segment, when we talk more about the word repentance, and what it looks like in action.

Segment 3 18:26


Tammy 18:37

So in Luke chapter 3, and in Matthew chapter 3, John the Baptist teaches and baptizes those who are willing to repent. But there are some who are not willing, and they're even skeptical about it. So turn with me to Matthew 3:7. John the Baptist gets done saying "Prepare ye, prepare ye the way of the Lord and make his path straight." Like Jalyn pointed out, he's quoting Isaiah, and he's teaching the people to repent. And there are just some who were like, Yeah, I don't really know. And so in Matthew 3:7, we're going to find out who the people are that are a little skeptical and not sure about this. Jalyn, will you please read for us verse 7.

Jalyn 19:18

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism," (meaning John when he saw them,) "he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?"

Tammy 19:30

Okay, we have two groups of people we're introduced to right here: we have Pharisees and Sadducees. Put a square around their names in your scriptures. Let me tell you a little bit about them. So first, we have the Pharisees. This is a Jewish religious party, and they were the strictest in observing the law of Moses and rituals, very strict. The Sadducees they were a very wealthy Jewish class, and they were a great religious and political influence. And actually, they did not believe - this is interesting, and we always said this in Seminary, seminary teachers - they did not believe in the doctrine of the resurrection. Isn't that sad? So they were "sad, you see" (Sadducee).

Jalyn 20:08

Ah, but um, pum.

Tammy 20:10

You're welcome, I'll be here all night, tip your waiter. There you go. So, the Sadducees didn't believe in a resurrection. But they were very, very wealthy Jewish class. So kind of know the differences between their Jewish religious party, we have Sadducees had a lot of political influence, and we have this group of people. Now we're going to come back to this verse in a second, but I have to tell you about a couple of other people who were also skeptical. Go to Luke 3:7. Because this story is also in Luke 3:7. We have a couple of other people who were skeptical. And I'll read verse 7.

Tammy 20:44

Luke 3:7 "Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?"

Tammy 20:54

And then you're going to turn the page and there are going to be groups of people. The first group is in verse 10. It says, 10 "And the people", so highlight'people. Then verse 12, "Then came also publicans", so highlight publicans. And then verse 14, "And the soldiers", and highlight soldiers. Now, before we discuss these groups of people, what word does John the Baptist use to describe these people, though? What animal was he calling them?

Sharon Staples 21:21

The snake, the Viper?

Tammy 21:23

Vipers Ahhhh, okay. This is really interesting. And I wanted you guys to think about this, because why do you think he's calling them vipers?

Jalyn 21:32


Sharon Staples 21:34

They're, they're poisoning the minds and will of the people and they're destroying almost a religious health of a nation. So they're, they're poisoning the whole, everybody around them and influencing them to evil and it's that bad.

Tammy 21:59

Yeah. Let me know. I'm gonna give you this little bit of tidbit about a viper. And then tell me how this affects the answer you gave, too. A Viper was the most venomous snake in this part of the land. And a viper only bites or lashes out when it's trodden on.

Jalyn 22:15


Tammy 22:16

Now why is he calling 'em vipers?

Jalyn 22:18

Well, I mean, especially when you look at the, the Sadducees, especially. Like, they definitely have their friends in high places, right? And they don't want to be challenged. They don't want people to be standing upon them or trodding upon what they believe to be correct. Same with the Pharisees, like, Well, you didn't walk, you walked 13 steps instead of 12. And so, and we're putting all our faith in that. So if anyone's questioning or trodding upon what they believe they're, yeah, they're, they're gonna strike. Strike some more poison of like, you're, nope, you got it wrong. It's our way or no way.

Tammy 23:00

Totally! Okay. So here John the Baptist is and he has this experience, because one of the things that these groups of people are asking him, they ask him the same question. Go back to Luke chapter 3. And I want you to tell me in verse 10, we're going to underline the question that they ask, verse 10, it says, "And the people asked him saying, What shall we do then?" Like, John the Baptist is telling 'em, get baptized. They're like, Alright, what do we do? Then we have in verse 12, underline the question right there, "Master, what shall we do?" And then in verse 14, the soldiers say, "What shall we do?" So I asked you guys ahead of time to read these verses because I want you to tell me, what did repentance look like for the people, the publicans, and the soldiers? Tell me: what did it look like for the people first of all?

Jalyn 23:46

Well, they, if they had two coats, they needed to give a coat to people who didn't have any.

Jalyn 23:54

Put that into our daily terms.

Sharon Staples 23:55

Take care of the poor,

Jalyn 23:57

Take care of the poor, to whatever level you have. Right? So I think that's what with all the groups of like kind of where, what you have stewardship over, you need to impart that to other people. I've given, you have to be a good steward over what I've given them.

Tammy 24:13

Oh, I like that because let's go to the next one. Sharon, what were the publicans told to do?

Sharon 24:17

Exact, no more than appointed to you. And that is, Don't cheat.

Jalyn 24:24

Yeah, they're taxed, right?

Sharon 24:25

Don't fraud, don't defraud. Don't dung somebody else so you can have more.

Tammy 24:34

Yeah, be honest right?

Tammy 24:35

Yes, exact, no more than you're credited with doing.

Jalyn 24:40

And that had to be, had to be a common practice right? Because you know, publicans were so hated. I mean, yes, you're collecting tax for the, the, you know, the rulers, that they don't that Israel is ticked off is ruling them. But you know, I'm sure that was common practice of like, Well, my family's gota eat, too, so I'm charging you more, skimmin' some off the top.

Tammy 25:08

Well and it must have been common enough for him to call out all the publicans. Not just one or two.

Sharon 25:12

Yeah. And I think it means don't take any bribes.

Tammy 25:16


Jalyn 25:17

Well that too.

Tammy 25:18


Sharon 25:18

You know, don't take any bribes, just no more than appointed to you. Don't, you know, don't say give me 10 bucks under the table because I'm doing this for you. It's just not a good thing.

Tammy 25:28

Very good. Okay, then the last group, what did repentance look like for the soldiers?

Jalyn 25:34

"Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages."

Tammy 25:40

Okay. What I thought was so interesting about these examples is we have three different groups of people asking, Well, what should we do? What should we do? And he was specific with each group of people that it made me think, if I were to ask that question, what would he say for me?

Jalyn 25:55


Tammy 25:55

Like, I think it's interesting because he didn't give the same verse of scripture to each one. That's what struck me, like every group got a different thing that they had to work on, that they struggled with. And so for me, repentance isn't a blanket thing. Like everybody, we all have our own things we have to repent of. And so if I was thinking of that question, Well Master, what will, what shall I do? And I, it made me think, what would John tell me, Tammy Hall, Tammy Uzelac Hall to do at that moment in my life? How can I turn to the Lord, as you taught us, Sharon? How can I teshuvah? How can I choose a higher path? admit my guilt? Because it's hard to do. I'm reading all the answers you gave us in the last segment. It's a lifestyle change for, think about that. For all three of these groups it is a lifestyle change. And each one is going to have to admit guilt, like you said, Sharon. Have a lifestyle change, choose a higher path, turn to God. Right?

Sharon 26:53

Right. And it's like asking first thing in the morning when you say your prayers, where you pray and you say, Lord, what, what Thou have me do today? How would Thou have me serve today? And if you ask that question, you're gonna get the answer. And He's gonna say, Visit Aunt Clara, or go work in the soup kitchen, or I mean, you're gonna get an answer. If you're prayerful and diligent and you're asking sincerely, you'll know what you're supposed to do and how you're supposed to do it.

Tammy 27:24

Yes. Because Sharon, is your answer going to be the same as mine when I say what should I do today?

Sharon 27:30


Tammy 27:30

Not at all, huh?

Sharon 27:32

Oh Well, it may be. It may not be specific. The thought that we're both asking the same question, that's the sameness.

Tammy 27:43

Just like these three groups, the publicans, the soldiers, and the people, they all ask the same question, What shall we do? And they were all given different responses.

Jalyn 27:53

Well, and not even just an answer to the question, but just within the answer is kind of the accusation or damnation of that group as a whole, right. I mean, not, clearly there's people there who don't fit into that, right. You hope there's some people in there who's not but but it really like, even by answering it in the way he did, it was kind of like, God has looked upon your heart. And He knows that's what it is. And, and this is, if that's hitting guilt with you, which is what, you know, repentance and why we feel bad, that little guilt thing that we should use to call us to repentance. Like, I think that, you know, it was an indictment as well as an answer.

Tammy 28:44


Sharon 28:44

Good point.

Jalyn 28:45

Yeah. And I think too, the, I mean, what's fascinating, that the thing that stuck out to me is like, what he's telling them. He's quoting Isaiah, and like, if you read Isaiah, or, you know, look at the world of how we are today how crazy the world is. And I'm, I'm like, I'm like to the freakout, like so if you read, if you read this stuff of saying, like, Look, the axe is at the root; either you're good, or you're not. The fruit's or no. And if you're not, just gonna burn it up. Like you are just gonna be on fire. So I can see like, saying that, and then those groups go, Well, geez. What do I need to do? Right. And so he answers and kind of indicts them at the same, at the same time. But when you said, you think of it, I'm like, Yeah, I'm thinking of that every day. What do I do? How much food storage? What do I do? You know what I mean?

Tammy 29:41

Yeah, yeah. Well, and then I think how many of us, how many of us are vipers? How many of us feel trodden on and react like, wha, uh, whait, what are you talking about? I mean, when we get called out at conference? Boy, viper away sometimes, right? Yes, like we look at these scriptures and we go, They were totally vipers. They didn't like to have to change but Oh, then I'm like, Ouch. I'm a viper.

Jalyn 30:05

Yeah, yeah. Yeah, it's so much easier to go, Look at that Viper. That guy needs to repent. Yeah. But yeah,

Tammy 30:14

I do that all the time when I hear conference talks, I'm like, Oh, I hope so-and-so was listening to this; that's the talk they need to hear. Well, let's end this discussion about repentance with again, another quote from President Nelson's talk, "We Can do better and be Better:" because I, I just really appreciated what he had to say about repentance here. And Jalynwill you we read this quote,?

Jalyn 30:37

"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. He is asking us to change the way we love, think, serve, spend our time, treat our wives, teach our children and even care for our bodies."

Tammy 30:57

Now that, that's change right there, isn't it?

Jalyn 31:00

Yeah, yeah.

Tammy 31:02

And going back to what Sharon taught us, TESHUVAH, to turn to Christ, and all of those ways,

Sharon 31:08

And change your lifestyle, I mean, that, Listing all of those things we should be doing, that's a lifestyle change. That's not just, Oh, I'm not gonna do that again, move on. No, it's, hello, you know. I need to get my life in order; I need to get on the same rung that the Savior's on, you know, in the ladder of, you know, climbing. You just have to have a lifestyle change.

Tammy 31:32

Well, so in your journals, I want you guys to just take a moment and think about that question that was asked, What shall we do then? And I just want you to take a minute and ask that question. Maybe in the morning, when you say your prayers like Sharon recommended, or even right now, and listen to what the Spirit tells you and write it down. Take a minute and write down when you say, What shall I do then? Because I guarantee that you will receive an answer. Now look in Luke chapter 3, look at verse 15. It says, "And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not;" They all wanted to know. Wait, is he Jesus? They just went from being skeptical vipers to not only believing in a Savior but expecting Him. So in the next segment, we're going to discuss how they got to that point.

Segment 4 32:19


Tammy 32:30

Okay, let's go to Luke chapter 3, because it has a very significant Joseph Smith translation. So you're in Luke chapter 3, however, we're not even going to use what's in Luke chapter 3, we're going to go to the JST, the Joseph Smith translation, and here's how you're going to get there. If you're using an iPad or a phone, it's on the Gospel Library app, under scriptures, then in scriptures go to study helps. And then when you're in Study Helps, click on that, and then find Joseph Smith Translation appendix. And then you're going to want to click on Luke chapter 3, because we're going to read Luke 3:4-11 in the Joseph Smith Translation. Now I asked Sharon and Jalyn to read this before coming, because I wanted them to mark some things in this that would talk to us about if you were to read these verses, and you were to hear these verses from John the Baptist, how would they have you be expecting or looking forward to a messiah? Because they're such beautiful words. So I'm just gonna turn the time over, I want you guys to tell me what did you mark in Luke3:4-11 that has us looking forward to the day that the Savior comes.

Sharon 33:39

Okay, I'll start out if that's okay, Jalyn. In verse 4 the second or third sentence says, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord and make his paths straight." To me that, I need to start helping to gather Israel. I need to help the people of the world be prepared for Him. And I, the only way I know how to do that is to do temple work, to live the gospel, to make it so that we're prepared for Him to come. We've done everything we can do. We've gathered Israel, we've, you know, we're taking care of our families, we're doing temple work, we're doing family history. And I just wrote after that verse, "gather Israel, Sharon".

Tammy 34:31

That's awesome. I'm reading that in my scriptures. Gather Israel.

Jalyn 34:38

I was kind of, I like the relief feeling of it. Because, you know, like we talked about, you know, it's prepare the way, the wilderness, the Lord, and all of that. And it talks about what will happen if it doesn't, right? like there's the axe is at the root ready to chop it down. Right? But this to me is all adds all the relief. So it's like the Lord is going to come to take away the sins of the world, to bring salvation to those who are lost, of the 10 tribes,, to those who, to be a light to all those who are in darkness, you know, to be the resurrection of the dead. And it just, this is the, this is the good part, right? This is the part of like the resurrection and ushering in the fullness of times where, finally, you know, Jesus can be in charge, and not us who are kind of messing it up. So it just paints that picture of that day that we'll all 'every knee will bow and every tongue will confess' that, that God is who He says He is.

Tammy 35:49

I like the wording in verse seven. You mentioned this, "to be a light unto all who sit in darkness."

Jalyn 35:55

Yeah. Don't you love that?

Tammy 35:57


Jalyn 35:58

Cuz who hasn't sat in darkness?

Tammy 36:00

Yeah. And then He, I like how He even includes, and just in case you're wondering who that is, "to the uttermost parts of the earth" Everyone who sits in darkness, He is going to be a light t. Like, oh, gosh, okay, that's pretty fabulous.

Jalyn 36:15

Yep. The other part too, in verse nine is to administer justice to all. Because, you know, you see a lot of injustice in the world. And we think our courts are set up to provide justice and a lot of times they don't.

Tammy 36:30

Well, and it made me think. I heard a, my friend Holly said this really great quote that I had never heard before. She was talking to someone who's really struggling. And they called and asked her for some advice about what they should do. And she said to them, and they have, they have kind of estranged themselves from the church, and they haven't really been doing anything to involve God in their lives. And so she said, I just felt so prompted to tell them that they needed to pray. And they had not prayed in forever. And then she said to them, "There are no atheists in a foxhole. And you, my friend are in a foxhole right now. And you need God." And I just thought that when I think about those that He's going to be a light to those who sit in darkness. I mean, how many of us have been in foxholes, how many of us have just pled and prayed and begged and I think that those, those people in those dark foxholes, no matter what they believed in their life, He will be a light to all of them.

Jalyn 37:26

Yeah. Or even how they got there. Right?

Tammy 37:29

Yeah, yeah. Like there's no qualifier, it doesn't say He'll, He'll be as those who sit in darkness, who kind of believed in Me at some point. It's all those who sit in darkness. That has me looking forward to the day that the Savior comes. I'm very expectant of that moment. I love that. What about you, Sharon?

Sharon 37:46

Well, I just put just put preach repentance, to administer justice, who have come down judgment ,and to convince all the ungodly of their ungodly deeds. You know, in our Sunday school classes and Relief Society wherever, talk about repentance, you know. We can come back, it's, He's there, like we said earlier. His arms are always open. And so you don't have to preach punishment, you preach goodness, and love and arms open wide, and all those things. And then verse 10, I put, there's going to be some change with the turmoil that's going on in the world. It is a day of power, and turmoil will be erased, it shall be filled and every mountain and hill should be brought low, the crooked shall be made straight. And the rough waves made smooth, the turmoil will disperse.

Jalyn 38:40

I really love how Sharon, you went through that and went checked it like, here's what I need to do today, based upon what this says. Where Jalyn looked at it and went, Wow, that's gonna be great when the Lord comes down, that'll be super. So that's a good lesson for me of like, how can we, how can we bring that to our world now as opposed to waiting for some eventual day?

Sharon 39:07

Right. I think we have to, President Nelson keeps telling us, He's coming. He's coming soon. And we need to gather and repent and do missionary work and love one another and give our neighbor an extra coat and, and not, you know, not cheat or defraud. I mean, it just goes on and on and on. He and and he does it every conference talk and in his weekly messages to us. He keeps saying we've got to get the world in a in a place that He can come to.

Jalyn 39:40

Right, right.

Tammy 39:41

Yeah. Well, and now you will understand how they went from being vipers to believers, how they were then able to say, Okay, what shall we do? Because everything you just taught us, John, we, we want that. We want Him to come to us in darkness. We want Him to make our rough ways smooth. And so that's how they were able to have that change of heart. That's how they were able to say, What shall we do then? and except what John the Baptist said. And then they were, then they were like, Okay, are you Him? Are you the guy you just taught us about? And John the Baptist is like, No, no, it's, I'm not Him. But boy, you're gonna love Him, because He's pretty amazing. And so in the next segment, then, we are going to continue our discussion about the Savior. And one thing specific that the Savior did, that if he had not done, none of these verses we just read would have been made possible. And we'll talk about that next.

Segment 5 40:32


Tammy 40:43

Alright, ladies, I'm going to ask you 4 questions. These are very easy to answer because I want you to think back to the day you were baptized. All right, here we go. My first question is, how old were you when you were baptized? We'll have Jalyn answer first and then Sharon for all these questions. Ready? Go.

Jalyn 40:58

Eight years old.

Sharon 40:59

I was 18.

Tammy 41:01

Okay. Where were you baptized?

Jalyn 41:05

Heber City Fifth Ward Stake Center.

Sharon 41:09

East Sharon Stake, Provo.

Tammy 41:12

How far did you have to travel to get baptized?

Jalyn 41:15

Four blocks.

Sharon 41:17

Five miles.

Tammy 41:18

Okay. Who baptized you?

Jalyn 41:20

My dad?

Sharon 41:22

Darwin Olson, who was the owner of Dar, of Olsen's Pastry shop in Provo, for whom I worked.

Tammy 41:31

Oh, wow.

Sharon 41:32

Going through school, I worked for him in a pastry shop. And he baptized me. We were good friends.

Tammy 41:39

Oh, that's neat. I didn't know that. I always thought it was missionary that did.

Jalyn 41:43

That's awesome.

Tammy 41:45

And my last question is, why were you baptized?

Jalyn 41:49

Because that's what you did when you were eight years old. And I knew I was gonna get an ice cream cone after.

Tammy 41:56

Right on.

Sharon 41:59

And I was baptized because the Sister Missionaries at BYU convinced me that this was the only true church and lots of other wonderful saving doctrines that I cherish.

Tammy 42:14

And we'll talk more about those later. Okay. Ladies, thank you for answering those questions.

Sharon Staples 42:19

Where were you? Where, when were you baptized?

Tammy 42:22

Oh. I was baptized when I was eight, in Sandy, Utah. In the ward across the street from where I lived. We just walked across the street. Oh, no, we didn't. It was at the stake center, It was a mile down the road. And my dad baptized me. And I was baptized because it was the right thing to do. And I was a very obedient child. And I knew we were going to have a party afterwards for me. I wanted to have a party for me. So yeah, yeah. And I've just never looked back. I was, I just knew. And then after I got baptized, I tried to convince my friends who were not members of the church to also get baptized because it was the coolest thing ever.

Jalyn 42:56

You little missionary.

Tammy 42:58

And I said, I told 'em like, You guys, the water's really warm. It's super fun.

Jalyn 43:02

It was really warm.

Tammy 43:03

It was so warm. I really loved it.

Jalyn 43:05

yeah.That was fun.

Tammy 43:06

Uhhh. Okay, so let's answer the questions for Jesus. Here we go. How old was Jesus when he was baptized? The answer is found in Luke 3:-21-23. And 22 is the baptism, 23 tells us how old he was.

Sharon 43:23


Jalyn 43:24

30 years old.

Tammy 43:25

Yep. Very good. 30 years old. All right, where was He baptized? Let's go to Mark 1:9.

Jalyn 43:34

I'm gonna say River Jordan, but I don't know.

Tammy 43:37

Why don't you read that for us, Jalyn? Yep. Mark 1:9.

Jalyn 43:39

Ahhhh. " And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan." Wait, there's a Primary song - isn't there a Primary song?

Tammy 43:51

(sings) Jesus came to John the Baptist, in Jud.... Yep, I loved that song. One of the hardest songs to play in the Children's Hymn, just so you all know.

Jalyn 44:00

I believe it. It's so fun.

Tammy 44:02

This is really interesting, because I asked you then your next question was: How far did you have to travel? Next to Mark 1:9, you can put that the distance for Jesus would have been around an 80 mile journey.

Sharon 44:13


Tammy 44:14

Yes. From Nazareth

Sharon 44:16

80 Miles Wow.

Tammy 44:17

to Jordan. To the Jordan River.

Sharon 44:18

Well, on, and walking? Yeah. That was no it wasn't, you know, an hour and a half to Hurricane. Oh, my gosh.

Tammy 44:27

Here's something I did not know. That just struck me for this lesson. So the Savior was baptized at a spot more than 1000 feet below sea level, which is the lowest spot on earth where anyone could be baptized with fresh water. So quite literally, he descended below all things. Even when He was baptized.

Jalyn 44:46


Sharon 44:47


Jalyn 44:48

That's the craziest, mind blown.

Sharon 44:51

That's great.

Tammy 44:52

So when it says He descended below all things. Even in his baptism He did.

Jalyn 44:56


Tammy 44:57

Yeah, that blew my mind. I loved learning that.

Jalyn 44:59

Yeah, that's crazy.

Tammy 45:01

Who baptized Jesus?

Sharon, Jalyn 45:02

John the Baptist.

Tammy 45:03

Very good. And you can learn more about him in Mark 1:6-7, that he wore camel's hair, he ate locusts and honey; he lived in the wilderness.

Jalyn 45:13

Wasn't His, like second cousin?

Tammy 45:16

Yes. Very good. And he wasn't very well-liked by many people.

Jalyn 45:22

Right. It is very

Tammy 45:24

He wasn't popular.

Sharon 45:25

He was crying repentance. No wonder they didn't like him.

Tammy 45:28

No one did.

Jalyn 45:29

I mean, he did know from the time like, I ponder about John and kind of the guts it took to be out there, you know, just saying, I will baptize people. Like I couldn't. Like, it'd be like, whose authority are you just baptizing? You know, out of his, you know, Zacharias, his dad knew. Like he knew that they were that he was going to be the forerunner. They knew that he was the one that Isaiah had, had preached about. So I'm sure they taught him that his whole life. But I mean, so you can see where why he's very clear of like, No, it's It's not me. I'm the foreunner, I've known my whole life I'm the foreigner.

Tammy 45:29

Yeah, I'm the preparer, I'm gonna come before Jesus.

Jalyn 45:39

But still, I just wonder if like, you know that's true. And of course he was having revelation, I'm sure along the way. But I'd be a little nervous just to be like, Yeah, yeah, come on out. I'll baptize you. We'll eat some bugs after and honey. You know what I mean? It seems like it is a bold thing, even though if you are called to do that. It still seems like, you know, a big, big deal.

Tammy 46:43

All right. Well, then, where did John get the authority to baptize Jesus? This is a question we might be thinking.

Sharon 46:49

Well, I think it was from his father in the temple, who was of the priesthood of Aaron. And John the Baptist had the Aaronic priesthood and was able to baptize and, and preach.

Tammy 47:02

Perfect. That's exactly correct. Very good.

Sharon 47:04

But, but think of our missionaries today.

Jalyn 47:07

Yeah, true.

Sharon 47:08

You pick up somebody from Kanab, Utah, and you send him to China, or Bangladesh, or, you know, or Iran. Or you know, someplace and say, Okay, preach the gospel, baptize. Oh, my gosh, he can't even make his own bed, let alone go to, you know, Timbuktu, and baptize people.

Jalyn 47:29

Or give a blessing to heal the sick and afflicted.

Sharon 47:31

Right? Yeah. So, I think we have examples today of John the Baptist in about 40,000 missionaries, I don't know how many there are now, 70,000 out there? You know,

Tammy 47:47

A lot.

Jalyn 47:47

It's true. It's true.

Tammy 47:49

And then this same John the Baptist will come and restore the Aaronic priesthood on the earth to Joseph Smith. So this is, it's, it's really cool. Now, my last question to you was, Why were you baptized? And we're going to find out why was Jesus baptized? Let's turn to Matthew 3:15. And Sharon, will you read verse 15 for us.

Sharon 48:10

15 "And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now:" (I think His baptism) "for thus t it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him." I think that means he baptized Him, because he has to fulfill all righteousness, He has to set the example.

Tammy 48:33

Let's put a cross reference next to that verse. You're absolutely right, Sharon. Let's put 2 Nephi 31:5-9. 2 Ne31:5-9. Now before we go there and read those verses of scripture, I do have a question for you. And it goes back to how we started. Has there ever been something in your life that you've done where you had to be careful or stay focused on?

Sharon 49:00


Tammy 49:01

Give me an i, give me a story. What do ya got?

Sharon 49:03

Teach Gospel Doctrine?

Tammy 49:05

Why Sharon?

Sharon 49:06

Oh, my gosh. Well, because you're teaching the doctrine. And you have to focus on the doctrine and you have to be certain of the doctrine and you have to be truthful of the doctrine and you have to not preach false doctrine. And it's just, it just, foc, you have to focus. You have to be directed on what you're doing. You have to be prepared.

Tammy 49:30

Good answer, Gospel Doctrine. My daughter driving, be careful. That that turn was a little bit sharp or not sharp enough, like, you gotta be super careful how you're going to drive. So that's our experience. What about you, Jalyn? Anything you've had to be careful or stay focused on?

Jalyn 49:44

I was thinking of like, anytime, you know, I had to prepare for trial or go actually do the trial. I mean, that's just a throw up moment, you know, every time.bBecause it's exactly how Sharon said about Gospel Doctrine of, you know, you have to know the exact law. You have, you have to prep for questions that you don't even know are going to be asked. You have to prep for whatever, wherever a witness could go, wherever, you know. So you had to prepare for as many unknowns as possible. And, and, you know, be focused while you're doing it so you didn't miss stuff and, you know. Yeah.

Sharon 50:29


Tammy 50:29

Heavy stuff, both of you, great answers. Okay, then, let's go to 2 Nephi 31:5-9 and find out what this talks about, being focused and being careful about has to do with why the Savior was baptized. Here we go. So in verse 5, it talks about how the Lamb of God, if He is holy, why would He even have need to be baptized, right? Then we go into verse 6. And he says, I would ask of you, my beloved brethren, why did the Lamb of God get baptized, and it says, to fulfil all righteous, to fulfil all righteousness? And then verse 7: Know ye not that He was holy? And notwithstanding He being holy, He showeth unto the children of man that He's willing to humble Himself and be obedient to the Father and keeping His commandments. Then we have verse 8, after he was baptized, the Holy Ghost descended upon Him in the form of a dove. But then verse 9. Here we go. Jalyn, will you read verse 9 for us?

Jalyn 51:20

9 "And again, it showeth unto the children of men the straitness of the path, and the narrowness of the gate, by which they should enter, he having set the example before them."

Tammy 51:31

Thank you. Let's mark that word, the "straitness of the path and narrowness of the gate." I think this is so interesting, because forever, I used to always think that strait was STR AI GHT, like a straight path. But this strait is STR A I T, like the Straits of Magellan, that require you, for a boat to get through those straits, you have to be so careful. And so focused. I used to always think it meant it just means that not many people are going to make it. That if it's strait and narrow, it's limited in number. That's not what it's teaching us at all right here, this word strait and narrow, I think it's talking to us about it requires effort and concentration, that the straitness of the way and the narrowness of it requires that anyone can do it, even the most ADHD of us - which is me - you have to stay focused. You just have to be careful. And like, I like how you said, Jalyn, that you have to stay focused so you don't miss anything. And I think that's what this is about.

Jalyn 52:33

You also need a map.

Tammy 52:34


Jalyn 52:35

You know, if you had a map to go through that, that's why sailors have all those charts and diagrams, and all that stuff is because you need to know, where is it not as, you know, deep and all of that stuff. And that's what Jesus did is He, that He showed us. He gave us the map,

Tammy 52:53

He drew the map

Jalyn 52:53

these are the covenants, these are the ordinances. These are, this is how you get through it. Yeah.

Tammy 52:59

Oh my gosh, I think that's awesome. So Jesus drew the map. And there are some areas that are very strait and narrow, and anyone can make it. You just gotta be careful. Just gotta stay focused.

Sharon 53:09

Great analogy.

Tammy 53:11

You don't want to miss anyting, right? Ahhhh.

Sharon 53:13

Jalyn, that's a great analogy. My gosh, it's great understanding.

Tammy 53:17

It really is.

Jalyn 53:18

Well, because of repentance and remission of the sins, you know, that's what baptism is. It's the, it's the, physical manifestation of that covenant.

Sharon 53:31


Jalyn 53:32

Right? And so like, that is the way. Like, that's, that's step #1 on the map. That's the first, the first rapid we got to get through.

Tammy 53:44

And going back to the last segment that we talked about, if the Savior had not been baptized, had not done step #1, none of the goodness that we talked about would have been possible at all.

Jalyn 53:54

Yep. And all of us vipers would be goin', Well, Jesus wasn't baptized. Why do we need it?

Tammy 54:01

That's exactly it. So He is the perfect example for all of us. Oh, my gosh, that is so awesome. Thank you, both of you. Great, great analogy. I love what you just said, Jesus drew the map. That's so perfect.

Tammy 54:12

That is good. Oh, so that's repentance. We have to stay focused and we have to be careful. So in the next segment, then, we are going to learn about two miraculous witnesses that were focused on the Savior at His baptism. And we'll do that next.

Segment 6 54:25


Tammy 54:37

Alright, so I have one more question for you concerning your baptism. Do you remember or know who witnessed at your baptism? Who were the two guys standing there to make sure everything, every part of you went under the water?

Sharon 54:50

I think it was

Jalyn 54:50

No clue.

Sharon 54:51

To me, as I remember, it was a couple of Elders, Missionary Elders who wanted to participate in the baptism who didn't teach me, the sisters taught me. But the Elders, I think wanted to be part of it. And I think it was the Elder Missionaries.

Jalyn 55:08

I'd have to pull out my Book of Remembrance that I still have and look at the program to see. I have no

Tammy 55:17

I have no idea. I'm sure it was just two uncles

Jalyn 55:20

from 1978. There were like 20 something kids getting baptized in my stake. So

Tammy 55:25

Oh, sure.

Jalyn 55:26

It was. Yeah.

Tammy 55:27

So how much do we love now that women can be witnesses?

Jalyn 55:30

Oh, I didn't know that.

Sharon 55:32

Oh, yeah.

Tammy 55:33

And in the Temple

Jalyn 55:34

I'm in the Primary? I don't know these things.

Sharon 55:36

Who can be a witness.

Jalyn 55:37

Wow, that's so cool.

Sharon 55:39

It is.

Tammy 55:40

Women can do it. Let's find out who the two witnesses were at Jesus's baptism. Let's turn to Matthew chapter three. And let's look at verse 16 for the first witness.

Sharon 55:51

16 "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:"

Tammy 56:03

Thank you, Sharon. So who's the first witness that was there?

Sharon, Jalyn 56:07

The Holy Ghost.

Tammy 56:08

Excellent - Holy Ghost, and descended in th, "like a dove". So the Holy Ghost wasn't a dove. But that was the sign of the Holy Ghost that was predetermined in the pre-existence. And we have many things that will back that up. So there's the first witness, that we have a dove. What I thought was kind of cool is Old Testament time - I made this connection - we learned about Noah, and when the earth was baptized, right? And when the earth was covered with water, a dove was also there to witness when it was time to come back and live on the earth. So that is kind of cool. Double witness.

Sharon 56:38

It is, yeah.

Tammy 56:39

All right, here's our second witness. And Jalyn, will you read in Matthew 3:17.

Jalyn 56:43

17 "And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

Tammy 56:51

Thank you. You can also go to Mark 1:11, and Luke 3:22, and it will say the same thing. "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Who is the second witness of Jesus's baptism?

Sharon, Jalyn 57:03

God, God,

Sharon, Jalyn 57:05

God Himself. Highlight, "Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." In a Commentary that I used to prepare for this podcast, I really appreciatd what these BYU scholars said about the wording. When God said, "Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I'm well pleased.", they said this: "This is the most important thing God could say, the most needed testimony He could bear." And then they went on to explain how fascinating it is that Jews, Muslims, and many Christians don't even believe that God has a Son at all, because they believe God is the Son.

Sharon, Jalyn 57:42

And so right here, that, that small wording, "Thou art my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased", it's how God always presents His Son. He presented the same way on the Mount of Transfiguration in Matthew 17:5. He presented in the same wording in 3 Nephi 11:7 to the Nephites. And He'll use the same wording again in Joseph Smith History 1:17, to Joseph Smith. The only difference is after He says "in whom I'm well pleased", He will then say, "Hear ye him." But "In whom I am well pleased." So this solidifies that there are three separate beings. This is our Article of Faith#1. Who can say the Article of Faith #1. What is it?

Sharon, Jalyn 58:22

We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.

Tammy 58:27

Well done. Awesome. There it is. Three separate beings. Now, Sharon, I want to go back to you and your baptism. You were 18 years old when you were baptized. And I'm curious to know, did this truth about the Godhead being 3 separate beings, did this have a role in your conversion?

Sharon 58:44

Well, actually, it did.

Sharon 58:46

Will you tell us about that?

Sharon 58:48

Yeah, throughout my life, I had gone to a lot of churches. I was reared in the Lutheran church and I couldn't grasp that God and Jesus were the same person and the Holy Ghost was the same person as Jesus and God, and they were all three one. And then one came, and then the other, but it was still the same person. I just, it just didn't make any sense to me at all. And so then I went to a lot of churches, many, many churches throughout my life. And when the Sister missionaries came, you know, they said, you know, we want to come and teach you the gospel. And I said, No, I'm not interested in converting to Mormonism now, but the, the term at the time, I didn't want to be a Mormon. And they said, Okay, can we just come and visit? And I said, Okay.

Sharon 59:28

So they came to visit, and we visited and visited and visited week after week after week. And finally I said, if you're preaching that God is the same person as Jesus, and Jesus is the same person as the Holy Ghost, da-da-da-d-a-da-dut. And they said, No, we don't, here read this. And then they had me read the scriptures, you know, "in whom I am well pleased", and the Joseph Smith one. And I thought, that's what I've been looking for all my life is a church that will teach me that they are three distinct beings. And from that point on, I listened to every word they taught me, because I knew they were telling me the truth. And so it was probably the impetus, the the core of why I joined the church was knowing that there is a God and He's my Heavenly Father. And he had a Son, my Savior, and I have the Holy Ghost to guide me and direct me. It was just sweet. It was just the answer to what I was looking for.

Jalyn 1:00:28

Wow, that just, I'm cryin' now. That was just, there was never a stronger testimony born of the Godhead than that. I had no idea that that was, like the whole cruxt of how you joined the church, of you couldn't, you know, that was it.

Sharon 1:00:47

Well, because it and because I knew that was true. And they were teaching me truth, that they wouldn't teach me any falsehoods. And they would confirm that and show me the Scriptures. And I was willing to believe because that, I guess I was looking for the true church all my life and didn't know there was one.

Jalyn 1:01:09

Yeah. But you do,like that is to me, you know, in the scriptures, how the word remember, is the word, you know, most oft repeated and, and your spirit just remembered that. Like, you just already knew that was true and then when you heard that, it was like. And I think we've all had that with different pieces of, you know, Scripture in the gospel when we're all of a sudden, you know. But yeah, that just kind of hit me because I've like, you know, I kind of pondered this of like, well, why do we really need to know? But it, but you know, as I, as I think about it more, like that is the whole, the whole, I mean, how could there be a Son who atoned for all our sins if there wasn't a Heavenly Father that set up that plan?

Sharon 1:02:06


Jalyn 1:02:07

And yeah. I, I just think it's, it kind of when you boil it down is the cruxt of a lot of what we believe.

Sharon 1:02:15

It's a confirmation. It's a confirmation of what we believe.

Jalyn 1:02:19

Yeah. And to believe God when He says, this is My Son. Hear him. Like he's testifying too, to the truthfulness of the Savior and His His atoning sacrifice.

Sharon 1:02:33

And I think the Joseph Smith story of his in the grove, again confirmed my knowledge of the the Godhead being three distinct percentages, persons in the spirit.

Tammy 1:02:46

Wow. Thank you, Sharon.

Sharon 1:02:49

Welcome. Thank you for asking.

Tammy 1:02:50

I didn't, I didn't even know that part of your conversion story. I am so glad that the Spirit was like, Ask Sharon about this. Well, let's do this. We're going to finish this whole episode with this quote from Elder Holland. I highly recommend reading this talk in conjunction with this week's discussion. It's from his 2000 Talk in October, "The Only True God and Jesus Christ Whom He Hath Sent". And here is Elder Holland's testimony about the Godhead. And I think this is powerful. Jalyn, will you read this.

Jalyn 1:03:23

"Now to anyone within the sound of my voice, who has wondered regarding our Christianity, I bear this witness. I testify that Jesus Christ is the literal living Son of our literal living God. This Jesus is our Savior and Redeemer, who under the guidance of the Father was the creator of heaven and earth, and all things that in them are."

Sharon 1:03:47


Tammy 1:03:49

A-MEN. Thank you. Thank you. That's it. That's the end of our discussion.

Jalyn 1:03:54

Thanks, ladies. So good.

Sharon 1:03:56

I'm sorry it's the end.

Tammy 1:03:58

I know; it's sad to be over. Okay, so just take a minute, then and think about what we talked about. And what is your takeaway? Or what's something that you learned today?

Sharon 1:04:06

Well, I learned a lot of things from both of you. But what was confirmed to me is that the doctrines of this gospel are true. They were true in the post-mortal existence. They're true now and they will be true. I mean, in the pre-mortal existence, they're true now, and they'll be true in the post-mortal existence. That, that everything we read about in the Gospel, in the church, in the scriptures, confirm to me that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. So that's it.

Jalyn 1:04:48

That's everything honestly.

Tammy 1:04:50

Smart take away

Jalyn 1:04:51

Yeah. For me, it's still like,I'm still just kind of like when Sharon just bore her testimony there. Like that just really, I don't know, that just really hit of the truthfulness of what you're saying about how important the Godhood is, the Godhead, excuse me is. But I also really liked when, you know, we talked about how John the Baptist had a different injunction for every group of people. And that it's, you know, God takes us how we are, He meets us where we're at. And, and we just, we need to ask. Like, what what can I do? You know, what, what should I do, knowing that, that, you know, that the Second Coming is closer and closer every day? And what do I need to do? How do I personally need to set up, create a world, a church, you know, the Gospel where we can bring everybody in and usher Chtist in for those, those final moments.

Tammy 1:06:03

Excellent takeaway. Thank you, both of you. Thank you. Thank you. Wow, that was good. For my takeaway, this entire episode, all I kept thinking was, it feels so good. Like, I just feel so happy and at peace. And when we finished, I thought of that scripture in Galatians, chapter five, where it talks about the fruits of the Spirit. And I think I'm just so grateful that one of the words it includes is goodness. And I think that describes how I felt. I kept every segment I was like, this is goodness, this, what these women just shared is goodness. And I felt that the whole time we were discussing, just so much goodness, because it's true. And the Spirit confirming each, at the end of each segment, the spirit was like, this is true, this is good. And there was never a time where I felt icky. And that's how I know. Like, there. I was researching something for today. And I saw something I should click on because it was going to debunk what I thought was true. And so I hit play on YouTube. And the moment the person started speaking, I felt this icky feeling in my heart like ugh. Yeah, and I just immediately clicked out like, I knew, I knew that feeling. I was not supposed to feel that way. And it's real. It's definitely real. So thank you for both of you for coming prepared and for sharing your truth. And for having the Spirit be here for this entire discussion. It was awesome.

Sharon 1:07:19

And thank you for providing the, the map for the discussion and for your spirit.

Jalyn 1:07:25


Tammy 1:07:27

Oh, boy. That was a great discussion. I cannot wait to hear what you guys learned. And maybe what some answers are to questions that we asked in this episode. So if you haven't already joined our discussion group on Facebook or on Instagram, go do it. Go follow us, join. It is such a great place to ask questions as you study throughout the week, and I try to answer them as often as I can on Facebook. And then every week at the end of the week on a Saturday, we post a call asking a question from this lesson. And we would love to read your thoughts.

Tammy 1:07:55

You can get to both our Facebook and Instagram by going to the show notes for this episode on LDS on Monday and it's not a bad idea to go there anyway because it's where we're going to have the links to all the references we used, as well as a transcript of this whole discussion, and a glue in from this discussion. You're going to print that glue in off, cut it out, and stick it in your scriptures. 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 awesome study group participants were Sharon Staples and Jalyn Peterson. And you can find more information about my friends at LDS on Monday. Our podcast is produced by Cole Wissinger and me; it is edited by Hailey Higham, and is recorded and mixed by Mix at Six Studios. And our executive producer is Erin Hallstrom. Thanks for being here.

Tammy 1:08:41

We'll see you next week and please remember and never forget that you are God's favorite.

Jalyn 1:08:48

I, look. Amphibian, reptile who cares? It's all disgusting. It's all slimey, crawling on the earth, okay?

Tammy 1:08:56


Jalyn 1:08:56

That's it.

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