50: “Holiness unto the Lord” (Haggai, Zechariah)
Have you ever heard someone use the phrase “the apple of my eye”? Did you (or they) know they were quoting the prophet Zechariah? We may be approaching the end of our Old Testament study for the year, but we still have a lot to learn. The books of Haggai and Zechariah are full of wisdom regarding temples, repentance, and the sweet reminder that God’s children are always the apple of His eye. These two prophets taught their people the same truth we like to say at the end of every podcast episode: you are God’s favorite.
Jeremiah 29:10 (70 year prophecy)
Haggai = chaggai - My feasts, my holy days
Zechariah = zecharya - Memory, remembrance of hashem (the name)
One Minute Scripture Study by Kristen Walker Smith
Haggai 1:2,4 (The time to build the temple)
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (Christ’s strength in our weakness)
Words of the Prophets:
“With the dedication of each new temple, additional Godly power comes into the world to strengthen us and counteract the intensifying efforts of the adversary.” (Russell M. Nelson, “What is True?”, Oct. 2022 General Conference)
Haggai 2:3-4 (Work is the solution)
Haggai 2:7 (Be filled of God’s glory)
Consider = soom - to set or fix
Words of the Prophets:
I repeat the admonition of the Lord to His people delivered through the Old Testament prophet Haggai: “Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways.” (David A. Bednar, “Put On Thy Strength, O Zion”, Oct 2022 General Conference)
If there is one lament I cannot tolerate it is the poor, pitiful, withered cry, “Well, that’s just the way I am.” If you want to talk about discouragement, that is one that discourages me. Please don’t give me any speeches which say “That’s just the way I am.” I’ve heard that from too many people who wanted to sin and find some principle of psychology to justify it. And I use the word sin again to cover a vast range of habits, some seemingly innocent enough, which nevertheless bring discouragement and doubt and despair. (Jeffrey R. Holland, “For Times of Trouble”, Adapted from an address delivered at BYU)
Zechariah 1:3 (Turn to God)
Zechariah 1:12 (Waiting on God’s mercy)
Zechariah 1:14 (A great jealousy)
Zechariah 2:4-5 (God’s protection)
Zechariah 2:8 (We are the apple of His eye)
Matthew 6:22 (The eye is the light of the body)
Apple = baba - means the pupil or aperture
“Why do some persons 'find' God in a way that others do not? Why does God manifest His Presence to some and let multitudes of others struggle along in the half-light of imperfect Christian experience? Of course the will of God is the same for all. He has no favorites within His household. All He has ever done for any of His children He will do for all of His children. The difference lies not with God but with us.” (A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God: The Human Thirst for the Divine)
Zechariah 8:2 (A jealous God)
Zechariah 8:3-7 (Description of the New Jerusalem)
Lord of Hosts = sabaoth - that which goes forth; armies, war, warfare
Zechariah 9:9 (Christ’s entry)
CR: Matthew 21:4-5
Zechariah 11:12-13 (Judas’s betrayal)
CR: Luke 22:5
Zechariah 12:10 (Piercing in His side)
Zechariah 13:6 (The prints in His hands)
CR: D&C 45:51-52
All right, you guys, really quick before we jump into this week's episode, I just want to tell you about something really exciting. Our journals are here! Our New Testament 2023 journals have arrived, and they are so pretty. The cover is in color. We have more pages this year than we've ever had before, a lot more room to take notes. And it is a combination of Hebrew and Greek words, because the New Testament which we get to study was translated in Greek. So we're gonna want to know what some of those words mean. You can get the journal at Deseret Book. com and search Sunday on Monday, Let's dig in. You can also find the link in our show notes as well as on our website at LDS living.com/sunday On Monday. So go get it; it is going to be so awesome.
My youngest daughter often asks me, Mom, who's your favorite? Now, did you ever ask that question growing up? I mean, what is it about being the favorite? Heck, my siblings and I, we still ask our parents that question. We're full- grown adults. And let's be clear, I think we know who it is, mom and dad who are listening right now. It's me, right? It's totally me, right? Anyway, this week's study of Haggai and Zechariah is the week of all weeks where we finally get to find out who is God's favorite. And I know that you know that I know who God's favorite really is.
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. If you're new to our study group, 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 Diana Telford. Oh, my gosh. Hi, Diana. How much do I love that you came and said hi to me at Cubbies (restaurant). So shout out to her who listens. And we have a mutual friend Krista Justenson. So Hi, Krista. Now my favorite thing about this study group is each week we're joined by two of my friends - sometimes just one - and this week is a one-friender And it just has to be because I'm so excited to introduce who it is. It is Kristen Walker Smith! Hello!
Kristen Walker Smith 1:51
I couldn't possibly have another person. It's just Kristen!
Kristen Walker Smith 0:00
Oh my goodness. I love, you know how much I talk.
It's the 'Kristen-Tammy' show. Like it's going to be so fun.
Kristen Walker Smith 2:10
Oh, I'm so excited.
Now. I love this person so much. Kristen does a really cool podcast and she has a book called "The One Minute Scripture Study". It is so cool. Give us your pitch books. I love how you set it up. What is the deal with your book? Why?
Kristen Walker Smith 2:33
Okay, so I am a mom with kids who have a very short attention span. And sometimes I also get to the end of the day and I haven't had time to do the deep dive like I want to. And so I created a podcast, as well as a book: "One Minute Scripture Study in the New Testament" for this next year that helps you dive into the scriptures in one minute a day and how to actually change your life. Make you a better person, you learn something, you can take action on it. So it's for those busy days, those kids with low attention span.
Boom, there it is. That's awesome. And you can get it on Amazon, you can get it at Deseret Book, you can get it at Seagull Book. I mean, it's just really, really exciting. So
Kristen Walker Smith 3:08
Yeah. Thank you, Tammy.
And Kristen knows her stuff. And I'd like to announce that Kristen is a new Hebrew student. She's learning the Hebrew language!
Kristen Walker Smith 3:17
Yes!! Inspired by YOU!
WAH!. How's it going?
Kristen Walker Smith 3:21
Oh, I am still struggling through the alphabet, girl. It is so hard. Those vowel markers. Oh my goodness.
It took me a full year.
Kristen Walker Smith 3:19
Just give yourself a break.
Kristen Walker Smith 3:29
Okay, thanks. cause I'm one real bad.
Oh, gosh. I mean, I don't even think I can sing the alphabet yet. I know all the letters, but I've gotten not very far in their alphabet song.
Kristen Walker Smith 3:39
I'm trying. I'm trying really hard. But yeah, I'm stuck on the vowel markings. I'm like, I cannot, yeah, anyway, so working on it, but it's hard and you're keeping me inspired. So keep going,girl.
But how fun when you get to New Testament and then you get to talk what jot and tittle means.
Kristen Walker Smith 3:53
Well, and I love like, anytime a Hebrew word comes up and I'm like, I can pronounce that. Like I don't know what it means, but I can pronounce it, yay!
Well, then, for you to be like, those jot and tittles took me forever to figure out. Those vowel markers, so. Yeah, yeahl yeah. No, I'm so excited for you. I love it, I love it.
Kristen Walker Smith 4:00
The struggle's real.
Oh, it is real. Well, for those of you listening, if you want to know more about Kristen and find a link to her books and all that fun stuff, and her podcast, you can go to our show notes, which are at LDS living.com/sunday On Monday, and we're gonna have all the information there.
Now, I just have to say I really struggled with this episode, because for weeks I tried to study and read and it for me was brutal. And Kristen and I were kind of joking at the beginning, not many people get this far in the Old Testament. In fact our producer was funny because he says, I'm pretty sure my Primary scriptures are still stuck together with the gold leafing on the side. When you get your new scriptures at age eight, right here, like nobody opens up to Haggai or Zachariah, am I right?
Kristen Walker Smith 5:47
It's true. It's true.
Oh my gosh, it was just interesting, because then I finally forced myself to just sit down and read. And I might say that Haggai and Zechariah might be some of my favorite Old Testament books.
Kristen Walker Smith 5:57
Yeah. Because I never really read them and studied them. And now the messages that come from them, I'm like, Where have these been?
Kristen Walker Smith 6:03
Oh. That's awesome.
So, everyone, get excited because this is it. Grab your scriptures, your scripture journal, and something to write in and we're gonna have fun. We're gonna jump right into the book of Haggai and Zechariah. And we're gonna do some fun facts about these books. So here's what you need to know. Okay, here we go. Haggai, or Hagga i - however you wanna pronounce it - here is what his name means in Hebrew. His name means 'my feasts, my Holy Days, associated with the temple', which I think is so cool in light of our, what we'll talk about today.
Kristen Walker Smith 6:04
Haggai spoke the prophecies contained in his book around 520 BC, so we're gonna go back to the time when we discussed Ezra and Nehemiah, when the temple got rebuilt. That's the time when Haggai was alive was when they all were allowed to come back and rebuild their temple. Okay. Now, the Jews obeyed the word of the Lord that Haggai had succeeded in completing the temple. We do need to know that. And Haggai's revelation it motivated the people to get to work. We're gonna talk more about that in the next segment. Like what it why did they have to be motivated because they get to build our temple, but you'd be surprised. Then we have Zechariah. And his name means 'memory, remembrance of Hashem'. Well, this is kind of cool because the word of HASHEM literally translates in Hebrew as "the name". HA is "the" and SHEM is "name". And it's just another way of saying God or Lord. And Jews don't usually say, Yahweh, Jehovah, God; they'll say, Hashem, which is their way of saying His name, and keeping it sacred.
Kristen Walker Smith 6:44
So yeah, 'memory or remembrance of the Lord or Hashem'. Now, Zechariah would have been a contemporary with Haggai. They're together at the same time preaching to the people. Most of the messages in the book of Zechariah are couched in some serious symbolic imagery and descriptions really similar to the book of Revelation, which I thought was kind of cool. And I think it's neat because his visions are very similar to Nephi's experience with visions. Like for instance, Zechariah is told to look, and an angel comes to him and shows him things. So I thought that was pretty cool. So other than that, that's what I got for these two books. Kristen, do you have anything else to add?
Kristen Walker Smith 7:20
Well, just, I mean speaking of Nephi. What - I'm gonna say ZAchariah the whole time. Everyone forgive me, I don't speak Hebrew as well as Tammy. So ZAchariah and Haggai. They're fulfilling prophecies of the Prophet Jeremiah, who preached in Jerusalem back at the same time as Lehi, right? And so if you look back at Jeremiah 29:10, he told the people. He's like, guess what, you're going to be in exile. And it's going to be 70 years. Like, he gives them an exact number, which is really nice. Like, usually that doesn't happen. And he tells them, then, You're going to need to go back to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple and these 70 years are almost over. But I don't, I don't know. Like, if I was an Israelite, I would think it would be hard to believe it's really going to happen. Like you've, that's their whole lives for some of them that they've been in this place. And are they really going to go back to Jerusalem? So is that going to happen? It's kind of this like crux of the point of what they're teaching.
That's really cool, because then it makes me think of Nephi in 3 Nephi where they were given a timeframe from Samuel the Lamanite.
Kristen Walker Smith 8:16
Okay. You're, and when the time came and it hadn't happened exactly like they thought it would but it was coming. Then oh my gosh, do you think that'll happen for us with the Second Coming? What if the prophet gets up and says "in seven years"? Okay, I'm not saying he will, but, it seems to be a pattern in Scripture.
Kristen Walker Smith 8:32
I would love that.
Like they're given timeframes to get things done.
Kristen Walker Smith 8:35
Yes. No, the Lord is so generous to be like, Hey, you need to get ready, like, get ready. So, I would love that.
Well, and if conference isn't enough for us to know to get ready, Kristen and I will then say right now, "Everyone listening - Get ready."
Kristen Walker Smith 8:48
Get ready, right now!
Yes, stuff's comin. So here's what we're going to do is in the next segment, we are going to find out just how motivating Haggai's words were, and - I thought this was cool - how specific his name, which means 'Lord, feasts, holy days at the temple', really have to do with the story in Haggai.
Segment 2 9:05
Okay, here we go. All right, Kristen, craziest or best story about a place you've lived?
Kristen Walker Smith 9:23
Okay, so I love this question because my husband went to Belgium for his master's degree program in International Relations. And this was, I'm going to age myself here, this was like pre-internet stuff. Like the internet was there, but we just didn't use it, right? But in order to get our Visas to move to Belgium, we had to have a place that we were going to live. They didn't want us to come and be homeless in Belgium. And so we had to find a place to live without ever being in the country. And so we looked online, you know, like trying to navigate this crazy internet thing. And we found this apartment that looked fabulous. Like it was so nice. And we were like, wow, and we can afford it on our student budget. And so we rented it. Like we had to, it was very hard because in Belgium they speak French and Flemish, they don't do a lot of English. And so like we're trying to communicate with the landlord and everything.
Kristen Walker Smith 9:24
Anyway, we get it and so we actually get to Belgium, and we are so tired because like the flight was long. It was early in the morning, and we get there and we are being driven to our apartment building. And the inside was beautiful. But what we didn't know was that we had gotten an apartment in the drug center of Brussels, Belgium. Like it was so dangerous. It was so dangerous. Like there were gangs on the street; they would like would constantly, they did this little bit to ask my husband if he wanted drugs because he wore baggy pants so they thought he wanted drugs. And like so anytime we were in our apartment it was fine. But as soon as you left, you were like, I might die. Like I literally might die. So we spent a year in a drug alley, basically.
Oh my gosh. Okay, that's a crazy good story. Because my sister has a similar story. I took her out for college, before Internet era. Like there's no Yelp, there's no reviews you can look up. So we found this really inexpensive apartment in San Francisco, well within her budget, one bedroom, one bath in the same place. And I drove her there. And we did not know, we don't know anything about San Francisco. And it was in what's called the "Tenderloin District", which is the same as what you described. We pulled up and she looked around, and she just started sobbing, because we knew we had made the biggest mistake ever. And I almost turned around and just brought her home. I'm like, Oh, you can't do this. You can't. I mean, it's just funny, because when you move somewhere, the first thing you need is housing. And I couldn't just leave her like, we're gonna have to move you into this place. And we're gonna have to make the best of it. And I want us to think about this, because I like how you said you just had to get a place. And so many times, we would never move somewhere without somewhere to live. That just seems contrary, right?
Kristen Walker Smith 10:17
Okay. So I want us to be thinking about this, because they are going to go on this big pilgrimage back to build the temple. And so when they get there, the first thing they do is look for a house, or begin to build their houses. But that's a problem. Let's go to Haggai chapter 1, and we're going to look at verse 2. And this is interesting what the Prophet and the Lord had to say to the people who were first seeking housing. And Kristen will you please read that for us.
Kristen Walker Smith 12:29
1:2 "Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the LORD'S house should be built?"
Now why is it not come? What do they need?
Kristen Walker Smith 12:38
Right. Yeah. It makes sense, to everyone listening you're like, of course you would find find a house first, right? But look what the Lord says to them in verse 4. Keep reading for us.
Kristen Walker Smith 12:48
4 "Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste?"
All right. Now, Kristen, talk to me about this. Because before we met, I asked Kristen to give me some of her thoughts on Haggai. And I loved what she wrote about this idea. They wanted to build houses, and He's like, why are you building your houses and laying Mine to waste? So Kristen, tell me your thoughts about this part of Haggai.
Kristen Walker Smith 12:56
Well, I think if we, if we put our little logical caps on, like, it really does make sense to build your house first. Like, literally you need, you need protection from, and especially in the desert, like where they were. And you're gonna be there soon, right? Like the desert's hot, a desert's.....The sun is like unrelenting, and they need a place to sleep, right. And so of course, you start building your house, first. You have to take care of your most basic needs. That's not them being fancy, right? They just need their basic needs taken care of. And then they can build the temple. This is logic, right? But it turns out that God doesn't always use our logic. Like He didn't want them to do things in that order. And I think sometimes He asks us to do the same thing. So let's all like put our therapy caps on now. So I used to have - I used to have, I still have - but I used to have a much worse case of obsessive compulsive disorder.
And what does that mean for people who don't know?
Kristen Walker Smith 14:03
Okay, so obsessive compulsive disorder is basically your mind has obsessive thoughts. And then it makes you feel like you're forced to do compulsive behaviors. So for me, the obsessive thought was I can't get in contact with germs or let my kids get in contact with germs. So it was tons of hand washing. Like my hands were raw and bleeding, and I was still washing them. And it was not going anywhere. I was literally like, kind of homebound for about seven years. And it was just avoidance, avoidance, avoidance and wash, wash, wash. And so I mean, I'm in this state, and I'm saying it now, like, it's so funny. Wasn't that a fun time? Like, but at the time, it was awful. Like I went to bed every night sobbing, I woke up every morning, sad to be alive. Like it was the worst. And I was just in constant anguish. And so I prayed to God. I'm like, God, you have to help me get out of this. Where do I go? Like, like, where do I go first? And guess what His message was? Go to the temple. And I was so mad.
Oh, wow. Oh my gosh, well, I'm dying. Especially because back then there's a lot of touching.
Kristen Walker Smith 15:08
Yes. Yeah. And that's, that was the thing. The temple stressed me out like, it made my anxiety worse. All of those people, like having to touch doorknobs, using public bathrooms, coming into physical contact with people. Like I would leave the temple and I was more anxious than when I walked in. It was not a place of rest for me at the time. And I had really been hoping that God would direct me to a great therapist. That makes sense, my most basic need. And instead He sent me to the temple. And guess what? The temple did not heal my OCD at all. (laughs)
What? I was hoping for this really great, like...
Kristen Walker Smith 15:44
No, no. There was no miracle. No, it did not improve one iota from visiting the temple. But here's the thing. What did improve was my sense of God's love, and my awareness of His presence in my life, even when everything felt so dark. So I had thought that I needed this mental healing miracle. But God saw that this was His chance to give me a greater miracle of a spiritual connection and awareness of Him. And so I think when we face troubles, or we have questions, we think we know what we need. But what we really need is to take it to God, because the path that we want to go on might not be where He needs us to go.
Yeah. Let me ask you this. As you were going through all those years of your OCD and like you, gosh, the way you described it was so dark and emotionally and painful. How did becoming aware of God's love help you through that process?
Kristen Walker Smith 16:37
You know, what? The greatest thing that happened to me during that time, and I just have to tell you, like it literally took over my life. I had no hobbies, I had no friends, I could never do something like this. Even like my family, they just suffered so much because of it. And I thought, this is the stupidest trial. I didn't do anything wrong. Why is this happening to me? And then I read the words of Paul, because I had no hobbies so I started reading the scriptures and I did get through Haggai, by the way. I got through.
Kudos, Nice. See, there's the silver lining.
Kristen Walker Smith 15:44
Okay, so but anyway, I was reading in my scriptures, and I was in 2 Corinthians 12. And this is in verses 9-10 if you want to follow along. And Paul is quoting the Lord talking to him, so he says, "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." And from that I get basically that when we are at our lowest, Christ's strength is basically at its, at its greatest. We can see it most clearly, we rely on it most. And then Paul says something that I began to feel in my heart. "Most gladly, therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities and persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then am I strong."
Kristen Walker Smith 17:02
And I realized in that moment, as I read it, I thought, Okay. I'll live like this forever. I will be sad forever, I will be miserable forever. I will be friendless forever, if this is what Christ needs me to do to have Him for my best friend. And so it got me to the point where I could be grateful for my trial, when I started learning to sense God's love that this wasn't Him punishing me. This wasn't Him just like him, like, Hey, I'm Zeus with a lightning bolt. This was Him bringing me to Him, and I was willing to do whatever it took.
Wow, Kristen. Wow. Thank you for sharing those verses in 2 Corinthians. Because as you're reading them I'm like, those are the verses that prove that our infirmities are our superpowers. That they really do make us stronger. People have always said that, now I've scriptural proof. That is so cool. Oh, my gosh, I love that. I'm, hold on, I've got to mark that and make sure that I put a note with it, and put your name next to it.
Kristen Walker Smith 17:02
Oh, that makes me happy.
That is so cool.
Kristen Walker Smith 16:21
I'm in your scriptures now.
You bet you are. That is powerful. That message though, that you just declared to all of us, which is absolute truth what you've taught, it is truth, that your problem wasn't solved, but you were strengthened, and you came away knowing that God loves you. Is, I can't think of any better reason to have a temple. If that is the first thing, I mean, now it makes sense why the Lord is, You build a temple. Like listen, you sleep in your sleeping bags, it's gonna be fine, I'll protect you. (And those scorpions might bite you in your ear. That's my biggest fear in the world.) I'm going to help you. And He even says that in Haggai, He says I will protect you. I've got you. You start building My house - and I have to tell you, this last October conference when President Nelson in his opening talk Saturday morning, I was struck with his wording when he said to us about temples. And I wrote it down and then I waited till it came online. Cuz I'm like did I hear that right? And he said this about temples. "With the dedication of each new temple, additional godly power comes into the world to strengthen us, and counteract the intensifying efforts of the adversary."
Like it's just what you said, it's not going to take away all of our yuck, but that temple will strengthen us. And then by going there we get to receive of that strength. So
Kristen Walker Smith 20:15
I love that.
Oh, gosh, Kristen, thank you so much for sharing that personal experience and for preparing that. That was awesome. So that's kind of the message of what Haggai is about. He's just trying to encourage these people - build the temple, you can do it. So going back to Kristen's story, where she felt prompted to go to the temple, I want you to pay attention to what promptings you are getting right now, as you're listening to this story of Kristen, and the scriptures in Haggai, and our continued conversation in Haggai and Zechariah. Because you're going to receive them, and I believe it will be the strength in you, 100%. Now as we continue our discussion, I want you to think about this, because the Lord cares about you a lot. And in fact, as you get these promptings, you might have to consider your ways. Haggai 1 & 2 encourage us to do this. And they say it quite often. And we'll talk about that in the next segment.
Segment 3 20:24
Alright, everybody. Grab a colored pencil or a pen, and we are going to circle a phrase that is repeated several times in Haggai. Here we go. Let's go to Haggai chapter 1, and it is in verse 5 at the very end. "Now therefore, Thus saith, the Lord of hosts, consider your ways, circle it. Let's go down to verse 7. "Thus saith the Lord of hosts, consider your ways." circle it. Now let's go to 2:18, twice in verse 18. "Consider now from this day and upward from the our and 20th day of the month, even from the day of the foundation of the Lord's temple was laid, consider it."
Okay, here's something cool in Hebrew. This word 'consider' is SUM. And it means 'to set or fix'. So when we're asked to consider our ways, we might have to fix our ways, or reset the way we are doing things. How much did I love, when Elder Bednar actually gave that exact line. He said in his conference talk back in October, in Haggai, he asked us to consider our ways. He challenged us to consider our ways. So we're going to continue with that challenge to consider your ways, because the Lord is asking us to fix our ways or to reset the way we've been thinking, and the way that these people have been doing things needed to be fixed. That's what's going on with Haggai. And so let's go into a story. Because Kristen, I want you to tell me about a time in your life when you had to consider your ways.
Kristen Walker Smith 22:48
I love that you're like calling me to share a time when I needed to repent. So let me just tell you all my sins, guys.
Every chance I get.
Kristen Walker Smith 22:56
Let me tell you about all my problems.
We all have them. I just, Kristen tells the best stories. I love a storyteller.
Kristen Walker Smith 23:01
Oh my gosh. Well, no, this is uh, this is not a good story. Like this is, is basically painting me in the worst light. So please just know I have grown up since this story happened, okay?
She was 7.
Kristen Walker Smith 23:13
I was married so I was not 7. When I first got married, I was very proud of myself, because I never fought with my husband. And I was like, Look at me being a good wife. I'm like 21 years old. And I'm like, I am such a good wife. I have this down. And my husband, though one day pointed out. He's like, Babe, we don't fight because you give me the silent treatment. He's like, when when we get in an argument, you just don't talk to me. Like, in fact, he actually one time like, I would not talk to him for like a week. And one time I did this and he called my mom. And he's like, Mom, what do I do? She won't talk to me. And she's like, Jared, I warned you before you married her. No, mom, no. So he like, he called me out on this. And I was like, Well at least I'm not yelling at you. Right? Like, I am thinking that my ways are great. I'm like, I am not a yelling wife. So I am doing a good job. And he's like, but it's also not healthy that you will go a week without talking to me. And I'm like, no, no, no, I'm fine.
Kristen Walker Smith 24:13
But then, oh, then I read the words of my best friend in the world - Elder Holland. If you're listening to this, Elder Holland, we're best friends, you don't know it. And he invited me to consider my ways. So my husband tried but Elder l was the one who got through to me. And so this comes from a talk he gave at BYU called "For Times of Trouble", which is my favorite of all of his talks.
One of the best talks. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Kristen Walker Smith 24:35
Yes, so good. So imagine little like 21-year old Kristen sitting on her own throne advice and just thinking, Okay, this is just the way I am sweetie. Like, this is how I process fights. And I am doing a good job because I don't fight with you. This is just the way I am, get used to it. And then I hear these words from Elder Holland. He says, "If there is one lament I cannot abide it is the poor, pitiful, withered cry, 'Well, that's just the way I am.'" UHHH, like my heart sunk when I read that, okay, so. But he goes on, he goes on, he makes it worse for me. He says, "If you want to talk about discouragement, that phrase is one that discourages me. Though not a swearing man, I am always sorely tempted to try my hand when I hear that."
He's totally my, he's our friend.
Kristen Walker Smith 24:37
Oh, he is. He is so great. And then he says this, I love this. He says, "Please spare me your speeches about 'that's just the way I am'. I've heard that from too many people who wanted to sin and call it psychology." Uhh, you guys, a little part of me died when I read that! But I realized that is exactly what I was doing. I was saying, Hey, this is just the way I am. This is what my mom did. This is what my grandma did. This is how Walker girls are, right? Like, get used to it. And I was trying to sin and call it psychology. And so I began to consider if I was making excuses for my sin instead of working my way through it. And I was, I was. And I am so grateful for that invitation to consider my ways because it changed my marriage, and it changed my life. So it hurt. Oh, it was so good.
Whoa, that is SO good. Because as you're sitting there, every one of us, including me, we've all had these consider our ways moments, where we're like, ummm. In fact, it's so interesting in Haggai, because the Lord will often bring up like, You know, I want you to think and remember your own family and where you came from. And Zechariah will do that, too. He's like, remember your forefathers? How'd that work out for them? Like maybe it's time for us to kinda change and consider our ways. Let's go to Haggai chapter 2, because these, this wording is awesome. If you're wondering, Okay, well, how do I start? How do I consider my ways? The instruction's pretty clear. Haggai 2:3, he says, "Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? And how do you set it now? Is it not in your eyes in comparison of as nothing".... like who saw this first time? Okay, so He, because remember He's instructing them, I want you to build the temple. And they're like, Augh, all right. Then in verse 4, love the instruction! Kristen, read it and tell us what does He tell them to do? How am I going to do this?
Kristen Walker Smith 27:06
2:4 "Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the Lord; and be strong, O, Joshua, son of " (Oh, girl, you gotta say that one. Josedech? Oh, yes. Hey, there we go) "O, Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts:"
Yeah, how are they gonna do it? What is it?
Kristen Walker Smith 27:28
Work, with His help.
Like, be strong and get to work. With His help. It's exactly how we do. It's how we consider our ways. It's how we fix whatever needs to be fixed, how we reset, and get in tune with that. And that is exactly what the people did. And the blessing is so awesome. Verse 7, the blessing of doing this, He says, and the blessing of them building the temple. But I think the blessing of us considering our ways,
2:7 "And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory. saith, the Lord of hosts."
Highlight or circle the word 'desire'. This is pretty cool, because the word 'desire', the implication of that word is Jesus Christ. So I'll even rephrase it, "And I will shake all nations, and the Savior of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts." Like He will come to the temple. That's why it's so important for you to build. But if you can also consider your ways and fix, and be strong and work on your own temple, WE will be filled with His glory. He will come to US. And your story is a perfect example of that, Kristen. He came to you, didn't fix you, but you felt of His love.
Kristen Walker Smith 28:43
Yeah. And I absolutely love that you're talking about that, because didn't we all have such an interesting experience with the pandemic, where we couldn't go to the temple? I think so many of us felt like, Oh, but that's where I find Jesus. But our bodies are temples, right? And Jesus can come to those. Like Jesus can come to us. And so I think it was a hard experience to be away from the temple, but it was a great experience to realize how Jesus can fill our personal temples as well.
Yeah, absolutely. So here's something to consider, then: if you're in this space where you're like, Okay, I do need to consider my ways, I do need to fix, I do need to set or change things, one of the things that will require that we've talked about is to be strong and get to work. And that is one of the problems that these children, the people of Haggai had is that they were willing to do it but not really, not as, they were willing to do as well as the Lord wanted them to do it. And so Kristen, I think you've got another such a good story about this. Put it into terms that we can understand, what's going on here?
Kristen Walker Smith 29:42
Okay. Well, I'm just going to share another sin. So you guys, like settle in, I'm going to make you feel really good about yourself. So I just, I think that what they did was just so typical of us. Like, okay, we'll build the temple, but we're not going to do our best. And I had an experience like this where I was called to be the Family History Specialist in my ward. And you guys, the first thought that came into my head -oh, I am horrible person - okay, first thought that comes in my head is what a waste of talent. Like they should put me with the youth, k? like, I'm so humble, right? Like, I'm so humble. And so I started doing my calling, but just enough. Like if someone asked me for help, I would do it. I would go to the meetings I had to go to, but I sure was not going to go out of my way to do this sub-par calling because I am capable of so much more. Has anyone else done that? Am I just like the first person in the world?
Kristen Walker Smith 29:42
Uh, let's be clear. Yeah. The first calling everyone comes to your mind is nursery, which for the record, favorite calling of my whole life. I'll take that everytime again.
Kristen Walker Smith 30:16
Oh, I wish you were in our ward.
But I, no absolutely. Everyone knows. People think their calling's beneath them. And that they could do so much better if they were_.
Kristen Walker Smith 30:44
Right. Okay, well, so I was in the situation that you've probably never been in because you're a better person than me. But I realized, (laughter)
Oh, are you kidding? I was called an organist. And I deserved that. Oh, my gosh, so I was a brat about the organist.
Kristen Walker Smith 30:57
Oh, my gosh. Well, I realized I was reading the scriptures one day where it talks about magnifying your calling. And I'm like, I am not magnifying this like making it like, and I love that word magnify. It's like make it greater than. Like, like, make it something big and wonderful. And instead, I was like making it shrink basically.
Well, cuz in my find I'm like, Oh, I'll magnify it, alright. I'll make sure the sun hits it at the right point and then it'll burn it up like I did all the ants when I was a kid, yeah. I know how to use my magnifying glass to my benefit. 100%
Kristen Walker Smith 31:24
Well, I took it the right way, Tammy. I didn't try and burn it down. So I changed my heart. And it, actually it was so shocking. It became my favorite calling. Like I would hold indexing parties at my house. And I went to the home of each Primary kid in my ward before they joined the youth program. And I would teach them how to find family names in the temple. And I would have these youth family history activities, which makes me sound great. I'm not great. Like I had a partner and she was the one that helped me do all this. But Jesus was really the impetus behind this. Like He pushed me to change how I saw my calling. And now it has taught me, I consider every calling I get the most important calling in the church, because it's the only one I have control or stewardship over. And so I love every calling I've been given, but it required me to realize, Hey, we've got to give the Lord all of it, right? We can't just do our callings the way these people were building the temple or we're like, 'we'll do it. But just the basics', right? We need to give it our all and it changes everything.
Oh, it completely changes everything. It changes the people you work with, it changes the people you serve with, it... Holy cow, Kristen, that's a great example. Because then you just testified to us when you considered your ways. When you fixed how the way you were thinking, you were verse 7. That the desire of the nations, that the Savior will come and He will fill His house with glory. And He did that just with the 'stupid old calling', you know? THIS calling? Yeah, that's exactly what it's about. And it's about working and being strong. And Kristen, that was a great application to what they were going through. And that's what they did. They were like, All right, we're gonna, we'll go to work, we'll get this temple built. So, such a good story, I'm so grateful that you shared that with us. And as a result, here's what's so cool. When we consider our ways, when we fix what we've been thinking, and when we put it - when we set it, the greatest thing about all of that is that it connects us to Christ. And then in the next segment, we're going to learn why that is so important.
Segment 4 33:18
I just need to know, Kristen, because I know you are one of many daughters. Are you the favorite child? you the favorite daughter? who is?
Kristen Walker Smith 33:38
Obviously, well, I actually, I love that you're asking this question because for Christmas last year, I bought my mom a mug and it said, "I love that we don't have to say out loud that I'm your favorite child." (laughter) So yes, I'm the favorite of course.
Course you are, 100%.
Kristen Walker Smith 33:54
Okay, that is so fun. Do you have a favorite in your family, though of all your children?
Kristen Walker Smith 33:58
I always tell my kids that the one who's causing me the least trouble in any given moment is my favorite.
Oh. Um hmm. For me, whoever's unloading the dishwasher. Favorite. Right there and I didn't have to ask you.
Kristen Walker Smith 34:10
We're good moms.
Okay, well, let's jump into the Book of Zechariah. Ohhhh, you guys, this is, this is it. This is the book of all books. This is going to make it very clear to us who God's favorite is. And I can't think of a better verse in all of scripture to teach this to us. So let me give you a little background leading up to this verse of all verses - get your favorite color to mark it. Here's what you need to know. Turn to Zechariah 1:3. And here's where we're going to start with this story. Zechariah is a prophet, he is also a priest, and it is believed that his revelation came roughly two months after Haggai's. They are together, they're revealing to the people what they need to do and they are here to build a temple. Then we go into verse 3. Kristen read that for us.
Kristen Walker Smith 34:52
Zech 1:3 "Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts."
Okay, very good. And then he comes into this conversation and we brought this up earlier. In verses 4 and 5 He's like, don't be like your fathers, like how'd that turn out for them? Let's not redo, let's not repeat history here. And then in Zechariah 1:12-16 we have this question being asked. Verse 12, "the angel of the LORD answered and said, O LORD of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem...?" Tough question.
Kristen Walker Smith 35:29
Like, how long will He not have mercy on them? And then we have in verse 13, "And the Lord answered the angel that talked with me, good words and comfortable words." Boy, don't you love that? Like he's gonna hear something good and comfortable, that's going to help all of their hearts. And those words of comfort and goodness are found in verses 14-17.
Kristen Walker Smith 35:49
Well, I love in verse 14, the very first thing He says is, "I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy." I love that. He's not just like, Oh whatever, they can do what they want. He feels passionately about us and about us being with Him. Like I just, I love that He loves us so hard,
And that word 'jealous' is real. Like, He's, it's not a Hebrew word that means something different. He really is a jealous God. And in "The 10 Commandments" when He says, "I am a jealous God, no other gods before me." You know, He's not messing around. He really is. It's just me. So Oh, I'm so grateful you brought that up. Okay, so He talks to the people in these verses, and then we get to Him returning the mercies in the temple. And now let's go to Zechariah chapter 2, and we're going to look at verses 4 and 5. He says, not only will I withhold my mercy, I'm going to bring it back. In fact, I will be so merciful to this people if they repent and build a temple, that you won't even need a wall around the temple, which is unheard of.
Kristen Walker Smith 36:06
I mean, one of the jobs is to build a wall to protect the temple. All of our temples today pretty much have walls, the majority of them anyway, as this protection for it. And He says you won't even need a wall. Let's read verses 4 and 5. Go ahead Kristen and read that,
Kristen Walker Smith 36:46
2:4 "And said unto him, Run, speak to this young man, saying Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein;
Kristen Walker Smith 37:07
5 "For I, saith the LORD, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her."
Kristen Walker Smith 37:15
I love that.
Tell me why?
Kristen Walker Smith 37:17
Well, I just think that the walls of Jerusalem were so symbolic, like, when the walls were strong, the people were good, they were safe, right? And when the walls came down, that's when they go into Babylon. And so I love that the Lord is like, No, we're not focusing on physical walls anymore. I'm your wall, focus on Me, like, Oh, that's so good.
Oh, I just think it's phenomenal. And so He is their wall. And then He starts in these verses 6,7,8. He starts talking about His people and how much He loves them, and the people who have done bad to them and what will happen to them. And then we get to verse 8, and ohhh, here we go. Get your favorite color, let's mark this. Verse 8 says,
"For thus saith the LORD of hosts, After the glory hath he sent unto the nations which spoiled you:" (and spoiled means destroyed, not gave them lollipops and ice cream for breakfast. He says, spoiled or hurt you,) "for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye." There it is.
Kristen Walker Smith 38:15
Oh, my gosh, Kristen, what does it mean to you to be the apple of someone's eye?
Kristen Walker Smith 38:22
You know what, I've actually been pondering on that. And I'm like, who's the apple of my eye? Like, I don't know if I have an apple of my eye. But I think I'm my mom's apple of her eye. And what that means to me is that I just bring her so much joy. And she feels so much love for me. Like it's not, it's not a one-sided thing where like, Oh, she loves me, and I'm a jerk. It's that I make her life so much better. My life is better, her life is better, because I'm in it. And I think that's what the Lord is saying to us. He's like, I'm so grateful for you. Like you make my life better. It's not just I love you even though you're doing terrible things. It's, I am better because of you. That's it to me, but what do you think?
Well, I'm thinking about your first story when, and when you're weak I'm strong. When you struggle, I am more strong. Like, wow, that changes the whole meaning of being the apple someone's eye. Okay. I think that's so cool. Well, I thought about it too, all week. And I thought I, like in my mind, I'm like, I know what it means to be apple of someone's eye. My dad one time, said that to me when I was a little girl, You're the apple of my eye. And I'm like, thank you. But I had to call in for some reinforcements.
So there is a friend of ours, Dave Peterson. He is an Ophthalmologist. And I thought he might know something about this. But I did text his wife and say, Okay, listen, I want to make sure I give him the correct credit. And make sure that he's a source we can all trust. And she wrote back and then said, Trusted source, Ha ha ha. She's like, no, seriously, he is. So here's a little bit about our friend Dave Peterson who gave me some incredible insight on this verse of Scripture. He is Dr. David Peterson, MD. He's a board certified Ophthalmologist and eye surgeon and he also specializes in pediatric opthomology. I've had him look at my eye one time for something, he's a, is trusted for sure.
Kristen Walker Smith 40:04
So he knows what he's talking about.
He definitely does. He's paid the price. He knows the eye. Okay. He does cornea transplants. Like this man knows this. So I sent him this verse of scripture and I said, Ponder it and get back to me. Well, how interesting is this, because in that verse, the word apple - so according to my friend, Dave, who I was super impressed that he looked this up. But in verse 8, where it says, The apple of his eye, the word apple in Hebrew is BAVA, which means pupil or aperture. So then he taught me all about this word. And this is so cool, so I'm going to tell you everything he told me. And then when we're done, we're going to discuss it.
"Now this is the hole through which the light enters the eye and allows us to see and everything we see comes in through the pupil. Part of the pupil is the cornea, which is the most tender part of the eye. It is the cornea which is in front of the pupil, and the cornea is like a glass window pane. The iris, which is the color part of the eye, it's like the curtains on the window. And the pupil is like the window itself. Now the cornea has more nerve endings per square millimeter than anywhere else in our body. So truly, it's the most sensitive area of our body." So he said, God could be saying, Listen, if you mess with Israel, it's like poking me in the eye. And you bet I'm gonna respond, because that hurts."
He said, "It also could allude to the idea that the Lord's entire focus is on Israel." He gave a scripture from Matthew 6:22 that says, "The light of the body is the eye. If therefore thine eye be single, the whole body shall be full of light." And then he said this, "His eye is full of us. We are His focal point." He then said, "It used to be believed, and in a lot of old, scholarly articles and books it does say that the cornea or pupil, if it's damaged, it can never be repaired. It's irrepairable. But modern-day medicine has made it possible for us to do cornea transplants. He's like that's not entirely true. Now we can actually repair and fix a cornea." But then he said, "Wouldn't it be so nice to have a transplant from God's cornea to mine? If I, and then he thought, How many times have I needed a transplant? How many times have I needed to be able to see the way the Lord sees?"
So that is what he sent me. And I was like, oh, okay, well, that changes a lot. So tell me any connections you made or what stood out in his definition of the apple of my eye.
Kristen Walker Smith 42:31
I loved, love, love, love that you talked about how tender it is. Because this goes back to the jealous God, how we, I think we sometimes like feel like God and Jesus Christ are sitting on these thrones, and they're so distant. But holy smokes, they feel so so strongly about us. And the fact that we are the apple of their eye, and that's the part that can can get hurt. When we hurt, they hurt. And I think that going back to like, you know, in the past where I talked about my OCD and how much it hurt me, that was one of the best things that I realized was that God was hurting over my hurt. He wasn't just watching me hurt. He was hurting right along with me. And so I think that is a God I am happy to do anything for, right? A God who I'm the apple of His eye; when I hurt, He hurts. He wants to protect me. Like, I just think it brings up there is, there should be an emotional connection between us and God, not just a spiritual connection. There should be great love from us towards Him, because there's so much love coming to us from Him.
Oh, I like that connection. Kristen. Absolutely I like that connection. He does, that sensitive part, He feels it. And He will react when we are hurting. Oh, gosh, that's good.
Kristen Walker Smith 43:49
Well, and can I ask you a question? I know this is your podcast. But this is something I have pondered on a lot is because like I just said, like we should be connected to God. He feels so strongly about us. But like, I have firmly come to believe that God wants to be known to every one of us, right? Like God, you're always talking about how everyone, you're God's favorite, right? Like, I'm God's favorite. We're all God's favorite. But He really doesn't have any favorites in the way we think of it. Like He's not like, Oh, well, I will be more connected to Jeffrey R Holland, because I like him more. Right? Like we can all know Jesus the way that he does. Like, He can be the apple of our eye as well, but I often look at that and I'm like, what does that look like practically? Like, sure, I'm the apple of His eye, but how do I in a practical way make Him the apple of my eye? What do you think?
Wow, that's so good. Oh, for sure. Because the part that really resonated with me was when he said it would be nice to have a transplant from God's cornea to mine. And it has been the times in my life where I have had to step back and view. Okay, here's my real personal story. And not many people know this. So I had a supervisor that I worked with in seminary, and it was not a good relationship at all. And he did not like me. And I know you're probably thinking, what? Who wouldn't like me? Listen, there's plenty of people. (laughs) But this supervisor really didn't like me. And at one point, he wrote me like a four-page letter of all the horrible things that I was doing as a teacher, and why I wasn't a good seminary teacher. And I was devastated. I had never in my life experienced anxiety, to the point where I threw up. And I did, I threw up from this letter, it was crazy.
And I can remember hating him so much. Hating him, and it affected the way I taught, it affected the person I was. It wasn't a good space for me to be in. And I can remember getting to the point where I was truly on my knees. And I'm, now I'm thinking about all this and connecting it that I, I literally asked the Lord to help me see this person the way the Lord saw him. Like, and now I'm realizing I was praying for a cornea transplant. I wanted to see through God's eyes. And He did that for me. And I was shocked, because I was able to also see things about myself that I didn't really want to see. And so I think that's how it works for me, is I love this discussion we've had. And there are many times in my life where I still have to pray for a cornea transplant. I'm still as a mom, I have to pray for that. As a wife, as a friend, as oh my gosh, a daughter, a sister. I am constantly asking the Lord to help me see people the way He sees them. Yeah, I've had many cornea transplants in my life. Unfortunately.
Kristen Walker Smith 46:32
I love that. I have a favorite quote that kind of talks about this and I know like this might ruin your analogy of favorites but I love, I love this reminder that God is jealous over all of us. Like it's not just, Oh, I'm jealous over the people who are righteous or I'm jealous over the people who like can fit into their high school jeans or whatever, right? Like He doesn't care about the things that we care about as much and so, and so.
Kristen Walker Smith 47:01
But there's a quote that I love and it's from - he's a minister, not a member of our faith, Aiden W Tozer. He was actually quoted in conference by Elder Suarez in April. And I just love this quote from him because it changed my life. Because I often thought, Well, Elder Holland is the apple of God's eye. Or President Nelson is the apple of God's eye. Like He loves them. And that's why they know Him better is because God has created this relationship with them. But AW Tozer he says, "Why do some persons find God in a way that others do not? Why does God manifest His presence to some and let multitudes of others struggle along in the half-light of imperfect Christian experience?" And then this is the part I love. He says, "Of course, the will of God is the same for all. He has no favorites within His household. All He has ever done for any of His children, He will do for all of His children. The difference lies not with God, but with us."
Kristen Walker Smith 47:56
And I'm just like, mic drop, like, like, all of us are His favorite, but we have to make Him our favorite.
Kristen Walker Smith 48:02
And so anyway, I just love that quote, so much.
Awesome, quote. Thank you so much, Kristen. Wow, thanks for that discussion. So I want anyone to be thinking like for those of you who struggle to feel like you're maybe God's favorite, now's the time to consider or fix your old way of thinking about that. And to set this mind in as truth that God loves you, You are the apple of His eye, I want you to consider that. Now, we have something else we want you to consider or fix or set. And it has to do with the Savior's Second Coming. So we're going to dive into that in the next segment.
Segment 5 49:30
Let's go to Zechariah chapter 8. Grab something to mark your Scriptures with, pick your favorite color. And I want you to go verse by verse and put a square around the phrase, "Thus saith the LORD", or "Thus saith the Lord of hosts" every time you see it. If you go through, you will find it 10 times in chapter 8. Now some scholars believe that this phrase is an official declaration, "official declaration from the Lord." And there are 10 In this chapter, which is so cool. We only have time to focus on six though. So we're gonna jump into these. And the very first official declaration is found in verse 2, there it is: "Thus saith the LORD of hosts." And this is what Kristen taught us, that God is a jealous God and He is, so don't mess. I think it's great. Then we have the second official declaration, and that's in verse 3. And Kristen, will you read that for us please.
Kristen Walker Smith 49:33
8:3 "Thus saith the Lord; I am returned to unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain."
Perfect, K. We have this idea of this Jerusalem. Now in verse 4. I'm going to connect it to this because Jesus says Jerusalem again. Look at verse 4.
4 "Thus saith the LORD of hosts;" (here's another declaration.) "There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age.
5 "And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof."
Starting to sound like a pretty awesome place, right?
Kristen Walker Smith 50:11
This Jerusalem we're talking about. Now let's get a little more information on it. Read verse 6 for us. This is official decoration #4.
Kristen Walker Smith 50:20
6 "Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If it be marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, should it also be marvelous in mine eyes? saith, the Lord of hosts.
Okay, and then verse 7, another decoration "Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country;
8 "And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness."
Kristen Walker Smith 50:46
Really quickly here, one thing I find so interesting is you're talking about these declarations "Thus saith the LORD of hosts", and I'm sure you've talked about this before, but I love that He is using that word, Lord of hosts, that phrase, Lord of hosts.
Tell me why
Kristen Walker Smith 50:58
Because, well, if you look at the Hebrew, which I can totally read, it looks to me like it says TSABA, and that is that which goes forth - army warfare. And so He is reminding them of who's talking every single time here. He's like, Oh, I can make this happen. Like, I'm the Lord of hosts, I'm not the Lord of any that, like, He doesn't point out like, I'm the Lamb of God, or any of these more gentle things. He calls Himself, the Lord of hosts, reminding them, I have power. I'm jealous, and I also have power to do something about it. And I just love that.
Oh, I do too. Because in these declarations, He is proving to us that He has power to do something pretty amazing, mind-blowing. We don't fully understand it kind of state, because He mentioned Jerusalem several times. And I really appreciate it. So Kristen and I kind of went back and forth before we recorded with some ideas about how to teach this and what it would look like for us. And I love that Kristen mentioned it would be so fun to talk about the idea of Jerusalem, and the New Jerusalem and what that looks like. Because here it is, this is what's mentioned. In fact, there are several other verses. The official declarations in these verses say what it will be like in these Jerusalems and I love the idea in verse 5: there will be boys and girls playing in the streets. Like it's going to be a lovely place. So let's dive into this idea of what these Jerusalems are because there are actually three that fit into this category.
Kristen Walker Smith 52:25
Okay, you're blowing my mind, by the way, by saying that because I just discovered when I was reading in the Bible dictionary that there were two new Jerusalems and I'm like, What about the articles of faith? Like they say that Zion, the New Jerusalem, right? So I thought I was crazy for finding out there was two, but you're saying there's a third one.
There is a third Jerusalem. Okay, this is super-duper exciting.
Kristen Walker Smith 52:47
Okay, so, let's do this then. Because we've often wondered like, well, what Jerusalem are we talking about? So we're going to talk about the three Jerusalem's that fit into this category. First one is - and you can put this anywhere on your page - when you see this Jerusalem. The chapter heading says in the last days, Jerusalem will be restored, Judah will be gathered, and the Lord will bless His people beyond anything in the past. Here's how it's going to happen. It will happen in these Jerusalems. So the first New Jerusalem is going to take place in America. And here are the cross references you want. It's Ether 13:3. It's also in Doctrine and Covenants, Section 84:2-4, and we'll put these in our show notes so you can go and read them. This new Jerusalem will be in America. In 1831, Joseph Smith received the revelation that the site for the City of Zion would be near the town of Independence in Jackson County, Missouri when the Savior comes. so we have this New Jerusalem in America.
Now, here's the second Jerusalem. This is the New Jerusalem in Old Jerusalem. So we have an Old Jerusalem that's going to happen. Now many references. We have this one right here in Zechariah 8:3-6. We also have Ether 13:5. We have 3 Nephi 20:22 and 46. And 3 Nephi 21:23-24. Now we talked extensively about this, when we did our book of Ezekiel, because we learned that there will be a temple that will be built in Old Jerusale. and that the Jews are planning on that temple being built. There is a whole committee where everything's, they're ready to do this. And from what I understand, the nails have been bought, the wood has been purchased. Like there is this, they are ready to build this temple and we believe that. And we believe that when the Savior comes again, He will rule and reign from Old Jerusalem and New Jerusalem. These two capitals will exist on the land. It will be during the millennium. We have Zion, the New Jerusalem in America, and Old Jerusalem in Palestine. And that Jerusalem will be rebuilt, it's pretty amazing. Now we're gonna come back to that in just a minbute 'cuz I'm gonna tell you the third Jerusalem. This is cool.
Kristen Walker Smith 55:02
This New Jerusalem is the City of Enoch. And they will come back down on the earth to dwell with us. And they were, they're also considered a New Jerusalem. And you can read about that in Ether 13:3. And then in Moses 7:18-19; Moses 7:62. And I just think these are pretty cool, because I didn't know that either until I started studying this, that they consider that City of Enoch to come down and be also part of and a New Jerusalem that will exist.
Kristen Walker Smith 55:36
All these righteous, good people
Kristen Walker Smith 55:39
Yes. Oh, I'm excited
on the earth.
Kristen Walker Smith 55:42
Hope I'm here for it.
Me, too. Right, totally. When Christ comes, then the Millennium begins. So this is kind of cool. In 1836, Doctrine and Covenants section 110, is when the keys of the gathering of Israel had been restored. Now, I thought this was kind of cool. And I read this in an article by a scholar that said up until 1836, the gathering of Israel was something that was spoken of like, it might happen, it might happen. Then, in 1836, section 110, when the key of the gathering had been restored, it's now talking future - it will happen. And we are living in that will. We are living in the time of the gathering. So now why all this talk about Jerusalem? Okay, I'm gonna have Kristen tell us a really cool story about how Orson Hyde ended up in Jerusalem, and it dates back to a dream he had in 1840.
Kristen Walker Smith 56:31
Awesome, and I'm quoting here, so he said, or this says, "From his baptism into the church in 1831, Orson Hyde had hoped to someday fulfill a mission to Jerusalem. One night in 1840, he dreamed that he took a missionary journey through London, Amsterdam, and Constantinople and finally ended in Jerusalem. Inspired by this dream at the next church conference, he proposed undertaking a mission to the Jews. Fellow Apostle John Page pledged support, citing Book of Mormon prophecies of the gathering of Israel, and conversion of the Jews. Joseph Smith commissioned Hyde to represent the church to the priests, rulers and elders of the Jews in foreign lands. Hyde departed from Nauvoo, Illinois, nine days later and followed the path he had seen in his dream."
Kristen Walker Smith 57:17
That is awesome.
So cool! I know, right?
Kristen Walker Smith 57:19
Oh, the faith of that man, though. Can you imagine?
Well, here's the cool thing about this whole experience. So in the History of the Church, Volume IV, has his entire dedicatory prayer that he gave on the Mount of Olives. And I think this is profound. And you can read it. I just pulled out a few things that stood out to me in this dedicatory prayer that I wanted to share with you. Listen to this. In part of it, he says,
"O Thou who didst covenant with Abraham, thy friend, and who didst renew that covenant with Isaac and confirm that same with Jacob with an oath, that thou wouldst not only give them this land for an everlasting inheritance, but that thou wouldst also remember their seed forever."
I mean, that's us! That's us, that's all the Jews. He's calling them back. But listen to how cool this is. He speaks to the heart of Cyrus. So he's citing this right here, the rebuilding of the temple. He includes all of that in his blessing. Then he says, "Let them know that it is thy good pleasure to restore the kingdom unto Israel, raise up Jerusalem as its capital, and constitute her people a distinct nation and government, with David Thy servant, even a descendant from the loins of ancient David to be their king." I mean, in 1841 he's prophesying that Jerusalem will become the capital again.
Kristen Walker Smith 58:34
And it is today.
Kristen Walker Smith 58:35
And when he's talking about the descendant of David, is he talking about Jesus there?
Yes, he is talking about Jesus. I think that is so cool that He'll come there, that is awesome. And He WILL come there. And so we are going to talk about that return in the next segment and it is powerful stuff.
Segment 6 58:52
So, we have learned in our past discussions about prophets, that the most important duty of a prophet is to bear witness of Jesus Christ. I have a great link you can go where you can find that quote. But that's his job is to bear witness of Jesus Christ and Zechariah is no exception. So we're going to turn to several really cool witnesses and visions Zechariah has about Jesuses, and I, this just blew my mind when I was reading it. Because I read it. I'm like, he's talking about Jesus right here. And oh, wait right here. So let's do a couple of these verses. Let's go to Zechariah chapter 9. We're gonna read verse 9. Here's just one of the first revelations that Zechariah has about Christ, and then we'll give you a cross reference. Kristen, will you read verse 9 for us.
Kristen Walker Smith 59:45
9:9 "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass."
Okay, let's put Matthew 21:4-5. That's the triumphant entry right there.
Kristen Walker Smith 1:00:04
Right, which why does it keep pointing out though, what He's riding on? My understanding is that this was a sign of a time of peace was that He was riding on like a donkey or something instead of riding in as a warrior on a horse, right? So it's a sign of Him coming as a time of peace, but I don't know. Is that correct?
No, that's exactly it. Yes. So this is kind of cool. Royalty would ride on a donkey, which seems totally contrary to us, because in my mind, I'm thinking wouldn't royalty enter in on like a Clydesdale or something? But during New Testament times, a donkey was a symbol of Jewish royalty. So riding on a donkey, it showed that Jesus came as a peaceful and lowly Savior, not as a conqueror upon a warhorse. I thought that was kind of cool that it's also a symbol of royalty. Let's do another one. Go to Zechariah 11:12 and 13. And I'll read those.
11:13 "And the LORD said unto me, cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord."
Now, the word Potter in Hebrew is actually translated as "Treasury". That is exactly what happened. He threw the 30 pieces at the Treasury. And you can cross reference that story with Luke 22:5, that's the Judas kiss.
Kristen Walker Smith 1:01:17
Isn't this 30 pieces of silver - that's the price of a slave, right?
It is the price of a slave. Yep
Kristen Walker Smith 1:01:22
That's so interesting.
Let's do another one. Go to Zechariah 12:10. And Kristen, will you read that.
Kristen Walker Smith 1:01:31
12:10 "And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn."
I love that.
Especially that part, "look upon me whom they have pierced", that piercing in his side. The prophecy there. Let's do another one. Let's go to Zechariah chapter 13. And we're going to read verse 6. I'll read that.
13:6 "And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends."
You can cross reference Doctrine and Covenants section 45 to that. That is exactly where it says that the Jews will ask that, and we've talked a lot about that word, and the way that the Lord's name is spelled, and it's the most merciful thing the Lord could have possibly done. This isn't a way of the Lord saying, trying to stick it to the Jews, like, 'Ha-ha! I always said I was who I was going to come.' It's that they will see the prints in His hands and in His feet, and they will know, 'Oh, my gosh, we have spelled Your name, Yahweh, this way the whole time. They will recognize Him. It'll be the most beautiful, most incredible reunion of all reunions. I love it.
Kristen Walker Smith 1:02:50
Well, can I just, I get so mad sometimes when I read the scriptures. Like, I know they're supposed to be peaceful, but I get so mad because we're looking at this. This is the Old Testament, okay? This is not stuff that was written after Jesus. And so this is the scripture that those Pharisees were reading, right? They're reading this stuff about wounds in his hands and coming upon a donkey and all this stuff. Like there're all of these signs of what their Savior is going to look like. But they're waiting for like a warrior, or whatever. They see Jesus, and they're like, Not you. We won't take you.
'Couldn't be you.'
Kristen Walker Smith 1:03:23
Right. And I get so frustrated because I'm like, this was their job. Like, this is what they did all day. They studied the scriptures and they were looking for the wrong savior. And I just, how did they miss it? What do you think about that Tammy? Like, how did they miss this Jesus?
Oh, gosh. You know, that is a good question. And the thing that comes to mind is, I think, I think they were looking beyond the mark. And I love this idea. I've studied this before and I love what Elder Maxwell says about this. He said, "Some are blinded because they are looking beyond the mark, when the mark is Christ." And I like that so much, that the mark is Christ. He then it compares it to like this archery. And he says in archery, you want to hit the target, and you have to aim for it. And if you look beyond the target or the bullseye, it's going to cause you to miss it. And then he goes on to say that may be one reason that the word 'sin' in the New Testament comes from the Greek word HAMARTIA. Now this is so cool, because it means "missing the mark". And so when you look past the mark or the bullseye, you're gonna miss it every time and I've done that. Gosh, I have looked beyond the mark. And I think we do that. I think that's what the problem is.
Kristen Walker Smith 1:04:21
Which goes back to, we talked about this way earlier, my story about having OCD and talking to the Lord and saying, This is what I need you to do for me. And we probably miss Him because we're looking for the Savior who's going to heal my OCD, and we get the Savior who sends us to the temple. And so
We want that warrior, we want the Savior on the horse all the time.
Kristen Walker Smith 1:04:51
Right. Okay, so maybe I should get less mad and introspect a little more. Thank you for calming me down. K.
Yes. You're very welcome. But I'm so glad you asked that question. Because yes, we do. We get the peaceful Jesus and that's the Jesus who showed up. The peaceful Jesus - He could have been the warrior Jesus.
Kristen Walker Smith 1:04:56
Yeah, He could have.
He had the power, the motive, the ability, everything. And He chose to come riding in on the ass at peace to do what needed to be done and let everybody make their choices.
Kristen Walker Smith 1:05:18
Wow, Kristen that's a great discussion. Great question. I love when questions get asked. So good. Okay, let's go to another one. Go to Zechariah 14:9. Read that for us Kristen.
Kristen Walker Smith 1:05:30
14:9 "And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one."
Kristen Walker Smith 1:05:38
I LOVE that.
Kristen Walker Smith 1:05:41
Because people, especially like at this time, you had your local gods, right? And you prayed your local gods and you probably had multiple of them. And so people would say, Oh, yeah, the the God of Israel is pretty strong right now. But we've still got our own gods.' But I love this. He's like, Nope, we're getting rid of everything else that distracts you. You are not going to be distracted by other idols, by other gods. It's on Me. Like this is our jealous God again. Oh, I love it!
Yeah. And this is our God who comes at the millennium, this is it.
Kristen Walker Smith 1:06:09
Oh my gosh, I love how excited you are. Because we have to read this first, then. Okay, let's go to Zechariah, and we're going to look at chapter 14 and we're gonna read verses 20-21. Because here He is, He's the only God we're living with Him, and here we get this. Kristen, read 20 and 21. We're gonna talk about some of these words.
Kristen Walker Smith 1:06:28
14:20 "In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the Lord's house shall be like the bowls before the altar."
Kristen Walker Smith 1:06:30
21 "Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more than Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts."
Kristen Walker Smith 1:06:49
I'm so excited right now, but I don't even know what that means. So will you explain it?
Yes, let's dissect these verses, because I read them too. And anyone who reads them, they're like, hmm, pots? bowls? All right. I love how you read, it was so animated, because now we're gonna break down some words. And then after we do, I want you to read it just like that again, because it's so good. Okay, here's what we want to know; grab your pencils, and mark all of this up in verse 21. In that day means the Second Coming. Then it talks about the end of the war, the Mount of Olives has been split over. Then we have HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD. Now, this is on the hat of the high priest as a reminder of how to conduct himself. It's the sacredness of his calling. And now we're, we're literally seeing it, we're not even reminded of it. Holiness to the Lord.
Now we have the bells of the horses. Like what are we talking about there in verse 20? K, this is awesome. It's like the most secular item. Like all things if you, you get the bells on a horse to announce its prancings when it's coming. Even the most common thing will bear His name and be important to Him, even the smallest thing like a bell. And then we go into pots, the cooking bowls or the cooking pots. Even the most mundane and meager vessel of instruments will be holy, nothing will be lost outside of His holy influence, nothing. Because there will be no more Canaanite, and what that means is there will no longer be any non-believers. Like people will believe in this Man, in this God, in our Savior, Jesus Christ, who will now rule and reign over all of us from both Jerusalems.
And so then I'm like, consider this now: who is the apple of His eye? It just, it's exactly what he'd been predicting, exactly what he'd been saying this whole time. And then I like this because all of us, even those of us who feel the most mundane, meager or common, we are His favorite. Like he loves us. He loves the bells, the pots, the vessels. No matter how simple you feel, or maybe useless even, you're the bowl that never gets used because it's chipped. And my kids just keep putting it back in the cupboard every time we do dishes. Like it's holy, and God loves it.
Kristen Walker Smith 1:08:57
That is awesome. Okay,
Now read it again.
Kristen Walker Smith 1:08:59
I'm so excited about these verses, I understand them now, so I'm even more excited. Okay.
Kristen Walker Smith 1:09:03
"In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the Lord's house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more than Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts."
Kristen Walker Smith 1:09:26
I love that!
That's a great day!.
Kristen Walker Smith 1:09:30
It is so cool! Oh, I'm so excited for that day.
Oh, my gosh, me, too! I love those two verses. And now when I see HOLINESS TO THE LORD is the temple, oh, yeah, that's me. That's me.
And that's our study of Haggai and Zechariah. So fun. Okay. So here's what we do. At the end of every episode, we always ask our guests to think of what their takeaway is, but I'm going to switch it up today. I decided instead, I want you to tell me what will you consider this week, since we've been focusing on that word?
Kristen Walker Smith 1:10:00
I love that. And my consideration is actually my take....I've been pondering on this because if you've ever listened to my podcast, I do a takeaway at the end. And it has to be five words or less. And so I've been stressing about this and like, how do I make this five words? But I've realized that what I am going to consider, and my takeaway is, is make Jesus my favorite. I'm His favorite. I need to make Jesus MY favorite. And so how am I going to do that? So and I think it needs to be actionable. I don't want to just think about it and be like, Oh, I'm gonna ponder on Jesus being my favorite. No, like, how, what steps am I going to take every day to make Jesus my favorite? So that's my takeaway. But what about you?
That is such a great takeaway. I think that is, can I have it be my same one?
Kristen Walker Smith 1:10:39
Make Jesus the apple of my eye. I just, that's my goal. And I think, you know, I just love your stories. I always have. You tell, you are so awesome with the way not only the way you tell the story, but you're willing to be transparent with your story. And I think for me, I loved your story about the temple. How you didn't get help for your OCD, you were just reminded that God loved you.
And how often sometimes that's just what we need - to be reminded that we're loved. And when you taught us the part about how our weaknesses make him stronger, that that really is our superpower. Then bring it on. Like, let's work through this with the Lord. He is going to help us, because He IS powerful. He is our warrior. And we always want Him to be warrior Jesus. But then I'm thinking about everything, but a lot of times He's just peaceful Jesus, and that works. And
Kristen Walker Smith 1:11:30
And that's what we need.
He sits with us. So, thank you for teaching me all of those things today, Kristen. That was so good.
Kristen Walker Smith 1:11:35
Well thank you; I learned so much.
Well, those were great takeaways. I didn't even see that coming. My whole takeaway thing changed from today's discussion, so I can't wait to hear what your takeaway was from this episode. So if you haven't joined our discussion group on Facebook or Instagram, go join, sign up, it's so fun. You can ask questions throughout the week as you study or just share things you're thinking. And then at the end of the week on a Saturday, we post a call for your big takeaway, so comment on the post that relates to this lesson, and let us know what you learned. Share something cute and fun, maybe even in five words like Kristen did. You can get to both our Facebook and Instagram by going to the show notes for this episode at LDS living.com/sunday on Monday and it's not a bad idea to go there. Anyway, that's where we're going to have the links to the references we used today as well as a complete transcript of this whole discussion. So go check it out.
The Sunday on Monday Study Group is a Deseret Bookshelf Plus original. It's brought to you by LDS Living. It's written and hosted by me, Tammy Uzelac Hall and today our so fabulous study group participant was Kristen Walker Smith. And you can find more information about her at LDS living.com/sunday On Monday, as well as links to her cool books and podcast. Our podcast is produced by Cole Wissinger and me; it is edited by Hailey Higham, and recorded and mixed by Mix At Six Studios. Our executive producer is Erin Hallstrom. Thanks for being here. We'll see you next week.
Oh, and please remember this week that You are the apple of His eye. You're his favorite.
Kristen Walker Smith 1:12:58
Sorry, I need a moment. Kids hate when I read that word 'ass' in the Scriptures because they think I'm cussing.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai