51: “I Have Loved You, Saith the Lord” (Malachi)
How do you know God loves you? Maybe you feel His love through simple things, like sunsets or the existence of your favorite ice cream. Or maybe tenderly answered prayers assure you that He cares. Gaining a testimony of God’s love isn’t a journey only relevant in today’s world—the people in Malachi’s day wrestled with the same thing. This week’s lesson in Malachi gives us many truths to “lay to heart” (Malachi 2:2) and is a perfect finale to what we’ve learned all year long: no matter what, God loves us.
Malachi 1:1 (The word of the Lord)
Malachi = My messenger, my servant
Malachi 1:2 (Wherein has God loved us?)
Malachi 1:8 (God will love us despite our imperfections)
Hated = Loved less
The Old Testament is a story of God’s patient, enduring love. And this story continues today. “The Sun of Righteousness [will] arise with healing in his wings,” Malachi prophesied (Malachi 4:2). Jesus Christ did come, bringing physical and spiritual healing to all who come unto Him. He is the greatest evidence of God’s love for ancient Israel and for all of us. (Come Follow Me for Individuals and Families, Old Testament 2022, Malachi)
Malachi 2:2 (Lay it to heart)
Malachi 2:10 (A covenant to love one another)
Malachi 1:14 (Cursed be the deceiver)
Malachi 3:6-7 (The Lord doesn’t change)
Malachi 3:8-12 (Tithing)
Words of the Prophets:
Sometimes we may ask God for success, and He gives us physical and mental stamina. We might plead for prosperity, and we receive enlarged perspective and increased patience, or we petition for growth and are blessed with the gift of grace. He may bestow upon us conviction and confidence as we strive to achieve worthy goals. And when we plead for relief from physical, mental, and spiritual difficulties, He may increase our resolve and resilience.
I promise that as you and I observe and keep the law of tithing, indeed the windows of heaven will be opened and spiritual and temporal blessings will be poured out such that there shall not be room enough to receive them. (Elder David A. Bednar, “The Windows of Heaven”, October 2013 General Conference)
Malachi 4:5-6 (Turn the heart of the fathers)
Oh, my goodness. This is it. You are one book away from being able to brag to everyone you know that you have read or okay read loosely and studied the entire Old Testament. Oh, this is so exciting. Today we get to study Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament. Truly this is a cause for celebration. So after you listen to this episode, treat yourself to something nice and celebrate with maybe some ice cream or some cheese. 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, just want to make sure you know how to, use this podcast so please follow the link in our description that will explain how you can best use this podcast to enhance your Come, Follow Me study, just like my friends - okay, this is so fun. Sherry Soderbergh, Betsy Perry, JacLie lurcher, Tiffany Peck, Wendy Lloyd, Melba Markham, and all of the Altamont Stake and Bluebell Ward. Lovely ladies, women. I love you. Okay, now, here's my favorite thing about this study group. Each week, we're joined by two of my friends, so it's always a little bit different. And these two I could not be more excited. Oh, Hi, ladies. We have oh, this is so fun. Okay, Tamu Smith, who we know and love.
And we're bringing back KaRyn Lay. Hi, ladies.
Hi. Oh, you have to know that Tamu and I accidentally dressed alike. Like we are both in our tuxedo sweaters...
We got our black and white, yes. Look, I, feel like, I, you look very smart. I love your sweater. And I actually look like I'm in my pajamas because I am.
Oh, you look comfy, in all respects, oh my gosh. Well, I asked you two to come on cuz I couldn't think of two better, more wonderful people or friends to help end this year with the Old Testament. And I will tell you this. When KaRyn said the opening - we always begin with a prayer and KaRyn said the opening prayer - and she blessed us that we would be able to be real and share our stories. And so I can't wait to see where this episode takes us because Malachi is just four chapters. It's not a lot. You do read this and you're like, What direction could we take? Do we just stick with the basics? And then it was really cool when things stood out to me knowing when it was both of you that will be on this podcast. The spirit was very clear. Like this is what they need to talk about. And so it'll be interesting to see what direction we go and
Well let us, let us be led by the Spirit.
Okay, well, for those of you listening, if you want to know more about my guests, you can check out their bios and their pictures in our show notes. You can find those at LDS living.com/sunday on Monday. So grab your Old Testament, turn to the very last book, Malachi, something to mark your scriptures with and your scripture journal and let's dig in. Alright, we're at the beginning. We're at the book of Malachi, let's figure out what his name means. In Hebrew, this is awesome. It means "my messenger, my servant". The importance to the name of Malachi is that it has been 100 years since the Jews returned to their homeland to rebuild their temple. And the problem is is they became very complacent and less devoted to the Lord. And so as a result, the Lord has to send a messenger or a servant to whip these people into shape. Let's go to Malachi 1:1, and Tamu, will you just read verse 1 for us?
1:1 "The burden of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi."
Thank you, there it is. So as a result, the Lord's gonna use Malachi to speak to the Jews about their declining commitment to God. That's the whole theme of Malachi chapter 1. Oh, yeah. Go ahead, KaRyn.
Well, the word 'burden', man, that's heavy. He's like the burden of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi. I think that's really interesting because as I was reading this, and I didn't pick this up until we were just talking. But as I was reading these chapters, my overarching feeling was like, these are hard words. Like there's some hard stuff in there that even as I was reading it, I was like, ooh.-ugh. And it's a burden. I was thinking about how the how it's a burden for the Lord to have to chastise us. You know, like that must not be His favorite part of loving us.
Well, and also,
I like that.
Wen the first chapter of the book starts off with "the burden of the word of the Lord". And knowing that Malachi is the one that has to deliver it, like I'm just like, Moses was arguing for nothing. Like everybody else is arguing for argue sake, but Malalchi, his starts off with the burden. Yeah.
It's heavy. Well, and I, one thing I noticed today as I was going back through and reading, I can't believe how many times - in fact, it's six times- that the children of Israel come back and ask the Lord a question in a way of like, kind of a snarky teenager, "Well prove it. How do you know, what do you mean? Why don't you go ahead and show me." Like it blew blew my mind, the audacity for them. Which it just, when you just brought up the word burden I'm like that's not fun and Corrinne, I love how you equated it to that might not be Heavenly Father's favorite part of being
I love that.
of loving us.
Like it's nobody's parents' favorite part of trying to like, you know stick it to their teenager who's been a snark.
Well that's not even it, right? Like it's, like it's not their favorite part of helping us figure out how to be human beings like, or godlike people. I don't know. I just think like, I, now I kind of want to go give Malachi a big fat hug because what is it like to be tasked with the crappy work? Like, there are other prophets who got to do cool stuff like, you know, Deborah was a cool prophetess. And she got to go to battle. I mean, I'm sure that was hard. But Malachi's like, My whole job is to go and tell people that, anyway, I just find it really interesting.
Yeah. Oh, I'm grateful. So grateful that you pointed out the word burden right there. I think that is a great way to start out our discussion on Malachi. And all of these four chapters, which isn't a lot, but boy, it's a lot. And so it's going to be so fun to study these. So here's a really cool fact about Malachi. He is one of the most frequently quoted Old Testament prophets. I thought that was fascinating.
He's quoted by New Testament writers, often with specific reference to the mission of John the Baptist. He is quoted by Jesus Christ to the Nephites, and he's quoted by Moroni to the Prophet Joseph Smith. So I thought that was really fascinating when I read that in my study books. This is pretty cool to me, too. It's the last book of the Old Testament. The Talmud declares that "the Holy Spirit departed from Israel after the deaths of Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi." I thought that was so interesting. Spirit's gone, and now we're awaiting the birth of Jesus Christ to come and make everything right. So that was pretty, you can, then for me, then I can really sense the burden. Because this is i,t Malachi - you go. One chance. And then we're going to have to just wait till Jesus comes as far as we know. So that's how
I just want to say this, for the record. Anybody listening just in case women ever get the priesthood. I actually don't think there's anything cool about being a prophet. So I never want that job. I don't want, I think that most prophets carry the burden. And I support them, I uphold them, I sustain them. I just don't think it's cool. I don't ever want it. So just throwing that out there.
It's hard, hard, hard, hard labor. It's a hard labor for Jesus.
That was one of the most succinct, awesome testimonies of a prophet I've ever heard. That was so awesome. I do sustain our prophet - the burden of President Nelson. Right? That's some heavy stuff. So, okay, let's do this, then. In the next segment we're gonna jump right into Malachi chapter 1, and we're gonna talk about some of the wording in these verses.
Segment 2 7:56
Let's go into Malachi chapter 1 and we're just going to read verse 2. Here's where we start off with the first burden that Malachi has. And Tamu, will you read verse 2 for us?
1:2 "I have loved you, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob."
Okay, let's go to the very first thing the Lord says, Don't you love that? "I have loved you, saith the Lord." And then we get this retort back. 'Where? Where did you love us? How do we know that? What proof do you have of that?'
That's your very first like teenager, whiny teenager moment. Yeah,
'You've never loved me.' You know? So that's what they're saying. 'Prove it. How have you ever loved us?' It's very cool because in the Come, Follow Me Manual, it sets up this idea or this question of, 'Well, prove your love.' I want us to read this from the Come, Follow Me Manual and talk about the evidences of God's love. KaRyn, will you read this quote for us, please.
Sure. "The Old Testament is a story of God's patient, enduring love. And this story continues today. 'The Sun of Righteousness [will] arise with healing in his wings,' Malachi prophesied. Jesus Christ did come, bringing physical and spiritual healing to all who come unto Him. He is the greatest evidence of God's love for ancient Israel and for all of us."
Thank you. So ladies, what proof do you have of God's love? whether in your own lives or from the Old Testament?
I think that that's a very, it's a very complex question. Because I think that there are times where it is just so very obvious to me that, that God loves me, and that God sees me, and I feel validated in that. And there are a lot of times, I wouldn't say most times. Most times I feel like God loves me. I know that God loves me. But there are a lot of times where I actually am the person that's like, Where? Where have you loved me? Show me where you loved me.
The teenager and, and the truth is, is that I know that God loves me because I love my children. That's how I know. I mean, I, you know. They're not perfect. Um, some of them are still teenagers. And yet, I love them and I am going to wade through whatever muck with them. And, and continue to choose them even when I don't feel like they choose me.
That's a great answer. Very powerful.
I was just thinking, I feel like Tammy is going to say that she knows God loves her because of cheese.
Cuz cheese exists. Isn't that like your quote? I feel like
Oh, yeah. Cheese is God's way of saying, Listen. Everything's gonna be okay.
Everything's gonna be alright.
Now I'm gonna go eat some cheese.
Calm down. Uhuh.
Well, but I was just thinking, too, I think I, I feel like He knows who I am individually, uniquely. And He's given me experiences throughout my life with the spirit that have have pinpointed those moments where I'm like, Oh, who I am is enough for Him. You know, just those moments of knowing that who I am is enough for Him. And the biggest one for me was when I went on my mission to West Virginia, and I was mad. I was so mad that I got called to West Virginia because I was from Pennsylvania. And it's like a state away. And I just felt like, Oh, all the smart people go to Russia and I just got called to West Virginia. And then I was horrifically depressed for like the first couple of months of my mission. And I was just like, I don't understand this. I gave up everything to come here and serve You.
But then as I was there, and I was super depressed, and it was the first time in my life I'd ever had that experience. The place where He called me - my very first area on my mission was the only place in that, in that, in that whole mission that had a therapist, a therapist in it that they sent missionaries to. And that therapist taught me who Jesus was. He's the one who taught me that my Savior could comfort me and could heal me and could help me. And I look back at that. And I think, oh, Heavenly Father, I know He loves me because He put me in the places that He knew I needed to be in to find His son. And that has changed my life. It's made me a different, and I hope, a better person. So I don't know, growth. That's how I know God loves me.
It's a great answer, KaRyn. I like how you said, "He put me in a place where I could find His son," and a place you'd never expect. Thank you for sharing that.
I'll add mine. My evidence that God loves me is because I have a dad who loves me, like a lot. He thinks I'm the greatest human being that ever lived. And I love that, that I was blessed with the opportunity to have a dad like that. And so that's where all this comes from. I have a huge amount of hubris when it comes to my relationship with God, because it was modeled for me. And, you know, it's, well you know my dad isn't perfect, because no dad is. He really, gosh, he perfectly loved me. And so that is my evidence.
And I read this, and I'm like, when I read that him saying, I have loved you. I read that and I'm like, I know, no doubt. And then when they say, Wherein have ye loved us? That cuts my heart like, Oh, what do you mean? How could He not love you? And in fact, in Malachi chapter 1, The Lord then goes through verse by verse proving like, Well, I've loved you because I gave you all of these covenants and ways to remember Me. And look what you did with it: you desecrated it. You brought really bad bread to the altar. In fact, he goes into verse 8. He's, if you read that, and it says, And ye offered the blind for sacrifice, is not this evil? And the offering of the lame and the sick. First reading, you're like, why is God picking on the blind, the lame ,and the sick? But He's actually pointing out you're bringing blind animals, lame animals and sick animals for your sacrifices. You can't even muster up enough to do what I've asked you to do. And yet, I'm still going to love you, I'm still going to help you out.
And so the problem is is that they have just absolutely belittled their worship, and they didn't bring their best. And the bottom line from Malachi is, the Lord is saying, Listen, you know who you are. How could I not love you? I've loved you before you were born. I have loved you since way back to the time of Jacob, who is called Israel. You're my chosen people. And so for the rest of the book of Malachi the Lord is going to ask them to do specific things, so that He can bless them, and really bless us and remind us that He loves us so much. And so in the next segment, we're going to jump into Malachi chapter 2, and start seeing some of the ways that the Lord loves us and how He wants to bless us.
Segment 3 17:47
All right, turn to Malachi 2:2 because there is a phrase that is repeated twice, and I'm really been looking forward to discussing this. So Malachi chapter 1, the people get called out for inappropriate worshipping and belittling their worship. Now the Lord is going to call out the priests. And I think we'd be doing a disservice if we didn't include ourselves in this conversation. Let's read Malachi 2:2, and we're going to underline the phrase that is repeated twice. I'll read it while the both of you look for it. Here we go.
2:2 "If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them alread,y because ye do not lay it to heart."
What is it?
lay it to heart.
All right, KaRyn, you're a writer. Talk to me about that phrase. What is the Lord trying to convey by using that?
Well, first of all, you do realize that my last name, my married last name is Lay. And so this is lay it to heart. Little pun on my name. Let's see. What does that mean?
Yeah. What does it mean? Or Tamu, if you've got something. But "lay it to heart."
To take it seriously? I mean, I don't know, when I think about, you know, things that I would, something that I would lay to heart is something that I would take very seriously.
I know I studied poetry in school but this, the Old Testament is tricky, tricky,
But this is right up your alley. If someone were to say, KaRyn, what does it mean to lay something to heart? What are we trying to convey there? Is it serious or not serious? Lay it to heart.
Well obviously it's serious because anything with the heart, in this in this symbolism, is that the heart is, your heart is the place where life comes from, right? So if you're laying it to heart, there's obviously it's like, it settles into your bones kind of a thing right. Like He wants it to be embedded in you, part of you connected to the, your very lifeforce.
Ooh. See? That's why I knew you could answer that. That's so good. Connected to your very lifeforce. And now think about this, these priests are corrupt. And the Lord is saying, None of this is connected to your lifeforce. You're just doing this, you're mimicking all of these covenants. You're making fun of it. You're belittling it, you're not laying it to heart. Now, I want us to turn to verse 10. Because in this discussion, there is a verse that is a very clear doctrinal truth in Malachi, and it's chapter 10. And it might be the most important verse for us to 'lay to heart' today. So KaRyn, will you please read Malachi 2:10. And after you read it, I want us to discuss why is this doctrinal truth so important to lay to heart? And maybe why do people struggle with it?
2:10 "Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?"
This is really interesting that first of all, like this idea of one Father of us all, that we're all brothers and sisters. But I love the use of profaning the covenant of our fathers. Like when we don't, when we don't care for one another as true brothers and sisters, where we're making light of a covenant. I mean, I know we know that we say that. Right? But, you know, as Latter-day Saints, we're all in on the covenant path right now, all in on the covenant path. And I think sometimes we don't realize what covenants are, that we have covenanted with God. We have covenanted, we have bound ourselves to Him to care for and love every single one of our brothers and sisters as though they are our family. That's a lot. So why is it hard for us to lay that to our hearts? I mean, we could spend a whole year talking about this.
Jump in, Tamu.
I was just, I was just thinking, you know, we're talking about covenants. And really, I think that we're talking about this covenant that we made to our Father. But I think that if we don't say it, sometimes it could be overlooked, that that is our baptismal covenant. Like the covenant that we make as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is this covenant that we have made. You know, when we were baptized, and some of us it says long ago is at the age of eight, and some of us more recently. But I think that, I don't think that we, as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints really go back and review our baptismal covenants. And then when you put it in context of, you know, that have not one God created us all? And, and why why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother by profaning the Covenant. When you put it into that context, whoo. The word is a burden, you know. (laughter) Makes me think, Oh, you've said this about this person because of their political stance. Like, I mean, and I'm just gonna say this, but I am that person that at church, I'm just like, yeah, I, you my brother, but you're not my brother. So I'm not going to talk to you today. I'm a petty saint.
Well, I think, I think we all can be right? Like, that's human nature on some level. We find our spaces where we feel comfortable. And when people challenge that you're like, Yeah, today you don't get me, you don't get to like, I don't know,
Yeah but straight up in your face. Like, people are like, Hi, sister Smith. And I'm just like, they didn't say anything to me.
But think about this in your families. If we all have the same father, and let's think about some of our family dynamics, like me with my siblings. Boy, we fight. We fight and then we love and then we fight and then we love. Like, we come back to that that thing that connects us. And families are complicated. They're, they're messy, for sure they're messy. And there is stuff in those families that is just, makes it hard. But to be reminded, do we all have one Father, we were all created by Him.
And let's be clear, and let's be clear, Tammy. It says here, "deal treacherously".
I just want to point out we're not all dealing treacherously.
Let's give ourselves a little bit of self compassion.
Like we may not be living a perfect law, but in most cases, we're not dealing treacherously. Apparently these these folks were and I bet there're some of us who occasionally do deal treacherously. And that breaks the covenant. I think ultimately, the reminder that Jesus Christ can heal even those broken covenants. Like perfection is not necessary, but sometimes a recognition of our need for for the Savior and His Atonement is what is required. Right?
Yeah. And laying it to our hearts that we all come from one Father, same God created all of us, if we can lay that to heart, do you think it will change our behaviors?
Yeah, probably. Wait, I just have to talk about when Tamu said she was a petty person. I have a friend who considers himself, he's like, You know, if we're ever in a zombie apocalypse, and you need somebody to do petty petty, to be like the petty. Oh, what does he say? He'll be the petty.... He'll do the murders and the petty revenge. Those are, those are the two things he says he'll do in the zombie apocalypse. And he's like, and I was just thinking that that's, that is, that is my favorite thing about this, right? Like if you need someone to do your murders or your petty revenge, like shoving something through somebody's fence, Tammy is not happy with this. She's like, Go back, go back around.
Like, I can't wait to hear all this come full circle.
I just think, I just think like, there are moments when we're all petty, and that is not equal to treachery. And we have to be aware of the fact that like, there are two different things: have a little compassion. There are days you cannot deal with your neighbor and, and that's okay. But we come back around and we remind ourselves that that loving others who are different than us is the work of true discipleship.
Well, now I gotta look up the word treacherously.
Look, I just, I looked up the word treacherously.
K. What does it mean?
So this is what it says on the Google.
Then it's real,
Which is, which is interesting to me that Google is quoting the scriptures for the word treacherously. "In a way that, in a way characterized by faithlessness or betrayal."
"Treacherously: Darius of Persia was treacherously wounded by two of his own officers in a way that is deceptive, untrustworthy, or unreliable. The peak looks treacherously easy, but it has seen a reoccurrence of avalanches."
Oh my gosh. So part of this means if treachery is like, is doing things that that are not
faithless, but also it sounds like it's lying or deceit. I was just thinking about how, if we're treacherous against our brothers, it's not that we're like petty, it's not petty revenge; it's not being authentic with one another. It's not connecting with other human beings in our most vulnerable spaces.
Authentic way, in our most authentic truth,
not showing up for people and with people as our truest selves. That is being treacherous with our brothers.
Oh, my Gosh,
That's because I actually just now justified my behavior at church. People speak to me and I don't speak back because I'm like, this is my truest form of me.
And if, I love that definition of that connection you made, KaRyn, because it goes in here. Treacherously - every man against his brother, every woman against her sister. Like to not be authentic? Oh, my gosh. I mean, that's the one thing we pride ourselves on here. Like, in my friendships, people I know, with you. The fact that you're on this podcast is because I know you're going to be authentic. And true. And can you imagine now, how different our meetings would be if we entered every meeting with a goal to remember who our Father is, and to be authentic?
Oh, and to allow other people into our spaces, even if they're different than us. I don't think that means that God expects us to like not have boundaries, Tammu. So if there are some Sundays where you need to have a boundary to protect, or family members
People are like, it's been too long, though. You've been doing this for a minute. But you know, actually, when you said that, Tammy, it actually just made, it took me back to social distancing and COVID and I absolutely loved getting together in Sunday school, with every Sunday, with people that would, it was just a little study group that we had. And it was various levels of education, various levels and professional, you know, people in their professional lives: judges, police officers, housewives, professors, and us challenging each other in thought. And challenging each other and just, you know, with within the context of Scripture. We didn't all come from the same political background, but there was this love and respect. And we were able to bring our authentic selves to Sunday school. And it was such an amazing growing experience for me.
I mean, you know how I feel like in some places in church, some Sunday schools, you have the one person that becomes the spokesperson all the time. And if anyone ever challenges that person, and it creates this level of discomfort, and it's quickly shut down. And, for me, the Spirit is present when we're, when that level of discomfort is enters the room. And it actually allows us to become more vulnerable in this conversation and space. And at church that in my ward that doesn't get to happen. But in this Sunday School, this Sunday School group that we had during COVID, it actually happened and we had in, we came through with this this stronger bond because of it. We were able to be ourselves.
Great example, Tamu, great example. Thank you for sharing that; that was such a fun discussion about that word. I'm glad we looked that up because I'm thinking back to this whole chapter. And that's the problem with the priests, they were treacherous. They were not being authentic in their worship, they were not laying it to heart. And the Lord just wanted them to be real and do the right thing and worship the right way. And so that was awesome. I'm so grateful for that discussion. So what we're going to do in the next segment, is we're going to jump into another way that the Lord is going to ask the people to behave so that He can bless them, and that they can feel loved.
Segment 4 32:12
Have either of you ever had to rebuild a relationship?
I'm in the process of rebuilding an important relationship for me in my life. But I've also had to rebuild relationships with friends and close family members. And yeah, it's a, I think it can be very painful. Because once you're out of that, 'Oh, I think you're great. No, I think you're great. No, you're the best. No, you're the best.' Once you're out of that phase
And once you have really spoken some hard truths to each other,then, once you've spoken a truth, it's hard not to continually speak the truth. But it also can be very healing for the relationship, because, which actually, as I say this, the book of Malachi is actually becoming a very real thing for me. Because once you've spoken hard truths, you're in that place of the relationship where you can be vulnerable and you're willing to bring your authentic self to the table, because you've already hit that rough spot. And if you can overcome that, actually, you realize that you can be real with one another.
Yeah. It's a great explanation of that, Tamu. I actually had an experience where I had to rebuild a relationship, and my very best friend in the world and I got in a fight when we were like, 26, 27 years old. And I did something that I thought was fine, she thought was not fine. And I remember we had a conversation. I went to go see her about it and talk to her about it. And she just said, Well, maybe we just shouldn't be friends anymore. And I looked at her and I'm like, Are you breaking up with me? Is that what, we've been friends since we were 17. Are you trying to break up with me right now? And she looks at me, and I'm like, Well, that is not acceptable. We are not breaking up. She tried to break up with me. (laughs) Is that so great? I'm like, You're not breaking up with me.
And so we had to work it out, we had to rebuild that relationship. We had to have a conversation and have a DTR you know, define the relationship. Like, because we were in a new phase of our life, we're entering our 30s now and life was different. Now we have careers and we're trying to figure out how to do this. And I just remember how both of us had changed so much. And because of that, it required us to rebuild our relationship. And it can be messy and it can be hard. And in Malachi chapter 3, the Lord is telling us it can be rewarding when we rebuild our relationship with Him. Look at Malachi 3:6. Okay, now listen, you're gonna read verses 1-3 and you're gonna go, Oh, this is familiar. I've read this before, so that's why we're not covering it. Verses 1-3 talk about a prophecy of John the Baptist, Joseph Smith, all that great stuff. Go read it, go study it. We're gonna go to verse 6 and 7, because the children of Israel had rebuilt their temple, but then they desecrated it. So the Lord's actually asking them to rebuild the relationship with Him. And look what He says about Himself in verse 6. Tamu, can you please read for us Malahci 3:6.
3:6 "For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob, are not consumed."
Okay. "I am the Lord, I change not;". So He hasn't changed, right? 'I'm here, I've been consistent, I'm the same.' So just by virtue of that, who's the person that's really changed that probably needs to work on things.
He says, "You're the sons of Jacob." But
we've learned this year,
Are we the sons? Lord, is it I?
Yeah. It IS, it is I and so look at verse 7. Tamu, keep reading; will you read verse 7.
7 "Even from the days of your father's ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith, the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?"
Thank you. That's all we want to do right there. So He then says, I need you to return unto Me; this is where the invitation comes. I need you to rebuild your relationship with Me. I'm the same, I'm here. Let's work on this together. And so my question I want us to discuss this is, have you ever had to rebuild your relationship with Christ? And what was that like?
I don't know. I, I have always just felt like He gets me and I get Him and we're working on it. So I don't I mean,
You just said it: 'And you're working on it.'
Yeah. But I guess I don't see it as rebuilding because we're always building.
Okay, talk to me.
Like, to me, it's not like this thing that has disintegrated and then I must rebuild, you know. So when you say, when you say, "Are you rebuilding your relationship with Christ?" I mean, I think that we're constantly in it in a back and forth, right? We're constantly building so I don't think of it as a rebuild; I think of it as a constant building.
I think you're right.
Yeah. And maybe that's why this doesn't resonate for me this whole like, return to Me, I'll return to you.' I feel like there're, I mean, I've sinned. I'm not, like I'm a sinner, let's be clear. But I just, I guess I don't see it that way. I don't see it like I've destroyed somethin every time I sin. I see it as a, I transgressed and I made a mistake, but God is still present. And I, I don't know. And so I guess, to me, like if I feel like I have to rebuild it because I've destroyed something? And I just don't feel, I don't I don't feel like I've destroyed anything when I, when I make mistakes. And I
I like that.
So I don't know. Does that make me like a totally naive like, like, ridiculous human being? But I just, I don't know, I don't know where that came from. But I'm just like, Yeah, I messed up, and I feel bad about it. But I'm, I'm not going to... It's like that thing in the Book of Mormon where He says, you know, 'feel these things as long as much as you need to to feel guilt so that you can move on, but don't sit in it. Don't live in your shame. Like, and so I just, I just don't think that God wants us to feel like we've destroyed something every single time that that we sin.
So tell me, then, who do you think He's talking to in these verses?
So I think He's talking to people who assume that they've destroyed something and can't come back. Maybe. And He's saying like, like, 'Look, you all you have to do is take one step. And the minute you do, I'm gonna run towards you.' That, I think you taught me that, Tammy. Right? It's the succor. It's the 'I will succor you. i will run to your aid. I will run to your aid.
I guess, I, I mean, to be honest with you, you guys. If you look at me, you would think that I have lived a life. (laughter)
Are you trying to tell me you have not lived a life? Because I just think of you as like, like, you're, you're a storied woman.
I have stories. But I have not lived, I mean, I have not lived a life. And, and so you know, If you were to talk to my, my relatives who grew up with me, it'd be like, 'she was actually whatever a square is? That would have been Tamu. And, and for me, what rebuilding looks, rebuilding looks different to me. And I think that, then it does to clearly to Karyn, and clearly to you,and clearly to Malachi.
And so when you pose the question, 'have you ever had to rebuild something?' with I mean, you know, with the Lord? For me, the thing that came to my mind was I have had to rebuild, but my foundation has been solid. So my rebuilding looks like with the restoration of the tabernacle, the Provo tabernacle, temple, you know. It's still the same building. They rose it up, you know, they did some things to the bottom of it. They, rebuilt it from, on the outside it looks the same, but on the inside there has been this change. When you look at the temple, Salt Lake Temple,and what they're doing to it to kind of restructure and rebuild, but the foundation is still there. And so when I'm rebuilding and my spiritual rebuilding, I've never done something where I felt like I couldn't go to my Heavenly Parents. But there have been times where I'm just like, 'I'm not talking to y'all right now, because for whatever reason, we're not talking, we're not talking. But, and so when I, when I'm coming back and trying to reestablish that relationship, the foundation is there.
Yeah. That's a great example. I think we can all agree that the foundation is there. And KaRyn I asked you earlier, what do you think about these people that Malachi is talking to? And we began this whole segment by saying it seems like they're snarky teenagers. We have another one of those moments, because He talks to them about returning. And then they say 'Wherein shall we return.? Like, well what do You mean? How do we do that? And it's interesting, because you all know how to return; you just said you take that step forward. And that step's going to look different for every single one of us. At one point in my life, the step for me was prayer. And I think that's my, I think of you all the time, KaRyn, when we had a conversation about praying. And you were like, 'I'm not really get on my knees and pray everyday kind of gal, but I pray a ton in my car.' And I think sometimes I just forget to pray. And so I think on a regular basis, I'm maybe rebuilding my prayer structure, whatever it looks like, because I do forget to pray. And so my question would be, Well, wherein should I rebuild? Or wherein should I return? And I get a very clear like, start with prayer, or for some of us it's with scripture study.
Well, okay, so maybe if, maybe if you define, maybe part of it is that sometimes when we think of rebuild, we think of that destruction, and I don't think that's, that doesn't resonate with me. But the idea of distance resonates for me, and all of a sudden, when you said that, I was like, Yeah, there are totally times in my life where I feel disconnected from the things of God. And I suspect, I mean, I suspect that that is a rebuilding of sorts, to come back into that kind of communion with Him. But I guess I just don't think of it as my relationship with Jesus is ruined, or that with Heavenly Father is ruined, because I don't, I don't feel that way. So distance, I'm the reason there's distance, not Him. Right?
Right. Well, and it's interesting, because they had rebuilt the temple, like it already existed, it was there. And now the Lord's saying, Let's rebuild our relationship now. Let's use the temple. Let's get you back into the process of what it looks like to be a covenant-keeper. And we do that every Sunday. Every time we take the sacrament we are starting over in that process again. Everything's there, the Lord is the same. He has not changed or deviated. And now we've just got to kind of ask ourselves on Sunday, What area do I need to get closer?
You know what it is, Tammy? I just don't like the word rebuild. Let's just say it. You know what I wish they had used? I wish that Malachii had spoken the burdensome word of like renovation or redecoration or something with the 're' in it. No, we don't have that.
Well, all it is is return, we did 'rebuild' on our own. He just says return. It's, it's this, I used 'rebuild' because they have built the temple and the Lord is saying 'let's rebuild our relationship.' And He's saying in here verse 7, just "return unto me and I will return unto you."
Okay, I like 'return' better than rebuild. I'm sorry, Tammy. I'm sorry.
That's okay. How have you returned to the Lord, then? Maybe that's the question.
That to me feels like a better one. Because I don't resonate with the idea of destruction. But I do resonate with the idea of me, me putting distance between me and the things of God, the things that actually create relationship and communion and connection. I do that all the time. All I have to do is turn on Netflix, and five minutes later I'm like, Oh, is there, does God, does, is this like a thing that matters, you know? So I don't know.
Does God care about this?
Yeah. So that's good. I'm glad that we, thank you for working through that with me. That was a real process.
Well, I'm glad that you continued the discussion because it really is important for us to think about, how do we return to the Lord? and it looks different for every single person. And that's why they asked at the end, "wherein shall we return? Like, what are you talking about, Lord? How are we going to, what do we have to do to to return unto thee? And in the next segment, we're going to talk about one specific thing that the Lord lays out for the people to do, and this is not an easy ask. And I think it's a hard return for many of us.
Segment 5 45:18
Let's turn to Malachi chapter 3, and we're going to read and study verses 8-12. In fact, what you should do is bracket off 8-12 and write to the outside in big letters, ladies, what should we write to the outside?
Tithing. Okay, put it to the outside. Isn't that interesting? When they ask, well, how shall we return to you? And the Lord's like, Well, let me give you one example. And this is a hard ask. So Tamu hit it, read verse 8.
Okay, can I read it like, like, this is probably the first, the first scripture that I ever knew in my life growing up in a Pentecostal church.
It was always said, every Sunday, right before tithing and offering.
3:8 "Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee?" And I say, it doesn't say 'I say', but I'm gonna say 'And I say', "in tithes and offerings."
Let's pass the tray. (laughter)
9 "Ye are cursed with a curse: for you have robbed me, even this whole nation.
10 "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open (up) the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be enough room to receive it.
Receive it, Lord,
Am I still on?
I like this. Keep going. Let's just do verse 11. This is awesome.
11 "And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground., neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts." Amen.
Amen. There it is.
And all nations shall call you blessed.
I l ove it so much awesome.
Yeah, that was, we knew as kids. We were like, when the tithing got passed, the music was goin, we could add that. So...
Oh. K, that is so phenomenal.
"Will a man rob God? Ye have robbed me. This is tithing. And I think it's just amazing. How are you going to return to return to Me? You're going to pay your tithing. And this is a hard ask. Why? Why is tithing hard? And I just want to hear your stories, and talk to me because verse 10, here's my favorite part of the whole tithing thing. Verse 10. "Prove me now herewith." It's the only commandment the Lord has ever said, prove Me wrong. Go ahead. Pay your tithing, don't pay your tithing. 'Prove me wrong herewith saith the LORD of hosts if I will not open you the windows of heaven.' Now there are so many things we could talk about with tithing and I want to know your guys' thoughts. Tell me about your tithing experiences.
Yeah, I mean, tithing has been a hard law for me. And it's not because I don't believe in that, you know. I think sometimes in our beautiful faith tradition there's an expectation that if you pay your tithing, when we read that line, that it's going to, you know, He says, He'll open the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing. And we think of that as like having enough to meet our needs.
Yeah. And sometimes you'd pay your tithing, or at least I would, and I still didn't have enough, and that made me mad. I was really angry about that. So maybe I did have to rebuild this relationship. But it wasn't with Jesus, it was with Heavenly Father. (laughter) You know, my family, we weren't wealthy growing up, and there were many meals where we had like, you know, mac 'n' cheese with hot dogs for dinner and I think my mom invented a couple of weird pizza toppings out of whatever government food you could find or whatever we got from the Bishops Storehouse. And so I I did my best to go to fancy schools and get degrees so that I could provide for myself. And there was a time when my family was experiencing some financial difficulties because of an illness in my family. And we just literally couldn't make ends meet. Like, I didn't have enough money to put food on the table and pay for, pay my tithing. And the more I thought about it, the more angry I got. Because I realized that I was putting money into the system. This is how I was thinking about tithing at the time, right?
Like in our church, I was like, I'm putting money into the system. I've been putting money into the system as though it's some sort of a tax that I pay. And then I'm gonna get gross, like storehouse food back. Because I went and talked to the bishop and he was like, Look, we can help you with your finances but the first thing we do is have you go to get food from the Bishops Storehouse. And I at this point, I had a master's degree. I my pride was like on level 10, I was working 60 hours a week, so I'm working really hard. And I was angry because I'm like, What more do You want from me? And now I have to give You my money - this is the way I was thinking about it - I have to give You my money so that You can give me gross food back. And let's be clear, Bishops Storehouse food is not horrible, but it's not, it's not Whole Foods, right?
And so and I was ashamed. I was like, what if somebody sees this in my pantry? What if one of my friends come over and they see that we're eating peaches out of a can that says Deseret, you know, Cannery, or whatever. And I had made up my mind that I wasn't going to pay my tithing because I'm like, Surely Heavenly Father would rather I just use my money to buy the groceries that we need than to give it to Him to redistribute to me in this way. And it made logical sense. Like it made absolute sense
It really does.
As you say that I'm like, Yeah, that's, you're totally right. You're just gonna get it back.
Yeah. And it made absolute sense. But the reality is is that my accounting was the worldly accounting. Like I was looking at money in and money out and thinking of tithing as money in and money out. And I think that that's something that we do as Latter-day Saints sometimes when we, when we create a prosperity gospel, right? Like, we think that if we pay our tithing, then we get money back out from the system in whatever way. And a prosperity gospel is one where we, we do our accounting with the world's numbers, with the world's money. And we look at people who have a lot and we say, Oh, they must be blessed. They must have done something good. Or we start thinking in ourselves, that we've done something good, we deserve to have a certain amount of things. That story ends with me, knowing that it was kind of the wrong way to think but also couldn't get myself out of it. Like I was in a spiral. And I was just like, I can't pay my tithing.
And I happened to go home to visit my mom. I flew to South Carolina, where my parents are. And I told her what I was thinking about doing and kind of explained my logic, because it was very logical. And my mother should have understood this. And I was sure that she would tell me, You're so right. But my wise mother did not tell me that I was so right. She challenged my thinking. She said, I think, I think you might be, I think you might be thinking about tithing the wrong way. It's not a fee you pay to go to the temple. It's not a, it's not a, it's not a tax that you turn in to the church, into the system to get something back. It's an opportunity for each of us to put something on the altar, to show God that we are willing to give up everything for Him. And I don't think that it's appropriate, nor do I think God wants us to be in need or in want. Like, I don't think that that's what He's asking. He doesn't want us to suffer. He's not trying to make me suffer.
And the truth of the matter was, I wasn't actually going to suffer. I had recourse; I was going to be able to get food, which is, which is what I needed. And I did. We went to the Bishops Storehouse, and it was deeply embarrassing, but I pushed my shame away and I made it happen and I paid my tithing. And my mom just reminded me that the blessings that the Lord would pour out upon me, may be the blessings that I receive by attending the temple - which is the place where the Lord can actually open the windows of heaven - it's the place where those windows can open, I can see clearly, and the blessings can pour out into His house upon me.
So it wasn't things, and it took a lot of years before we kind of dug ourselves out of that financial hole. But I no longer believe in, you know, we tell the stories of the miracles, because we love to hear a good miracle about tithing. But we don't tell the story about the time we paid the tithing and got the weird storehouse food. And I'm here to tell that story because I think it's important, and that my prosperity didn't come, it didn't come the way that I think we sometimes think it will. My needs were met, and that was, that was what God made possible for me. But it was the spiritual gift of understanding that was more important to me, the lesson that I learned. So that's my sermon on tithing.
Thank you for sharing that beautiful sermon and for challenging our thinking on tithing.
That is exactly what we needed Karyn. Thank you for digging deep.
For you, Tammy, anything.
Oh, I loved that story. One of my favorite talks on tithing comes from Elder Bednar in 2013. And we just have to read this because it's, it is exactly in line with everything that you just said. And so Tamu, will you read this quote from Elder Bednar, please?
And we'll put the link in our show notes so you can read this talk. I heard it 2013 and it has not left me.
"Sometimes we may ask God for success, and He gives us physical and mental stamina. We might plea for prosperity, and we receive enlarged perspective and increased patience. Or we petition for growth, and we're blessed with the gift of grace. He may bestow upon us conviction and confidence as we strive to achieve worthy goals. And when we plead for relief from physical, mental, and spiritual difficulties, He may increase our resolve or resilience. I promise that as you and I observe and keep the law of tithing, indeed the windows of heaven will open and spiritual and temporal blessings will be poured out, such that there shall not be room enough to receive them."
Thank you. I love that quote because it challenges the way we think of tithing when it says "not room enough, not to receive it." What does that really look like in our lives? And Karyn, your story was a perfect example of getting rid of your pride and being able to do what you needed to do for your family and not have it be the miracle story.
Hey, Tammy, I was just thinking, you know, we go back to this idea of the heart. When He says "there will not be room enough to receive it." I think that we also think of a physical room. And I don't think that's what He's talking about.
Tell me more.
Like think about when you give tithing. When you lay everything on the altar, you also lay your heart on the altar. And He gives you your heart back whole and full. And so if we have full hearts, if we have whole hearts, there's not enough room to receive even more grace, more goodness, more wholeness. And I just, I just started thinking just then. I was like, Oh, it's not a physical room He's filling up with crap.
We don't need a hoarder house. He's not, He's not trying to fill us in with more things that we don't really need. He's talking about room in our hearts to receive more of His goodness and His grace. That's what He's offering us. So lay it - what was the phrase that we talked about? - l
lay it to heart
lay it to heart
lay your heart on the altar.
I just want everybody to know that I just got a chill because I just saw a window open and a blessing get thrown out and land right on Karyn, and then she shared it with all the rest of us.
That was beautiful. That discussion was awesome. And not even, I was not even prepared for that. So thank you. Thank you, Karyn for preparing for that. It was beautiful. I love that discussion on tithing. I don't think anything, I mean, 'nough said, right? And I appreciate the 'lay it to heart,' put it all on the altar and see what the Lord does with that. And I think that's the problem the priests, again, they were not laying it to heart. And then I think in my own life, how many times have I not laid it to heart because of pride. I love how you said the pride thing. Like I don't want anyone to see these in my pantry. I'm only going to give a part of my heart for this, but you laid it to heart and you did the thing. So thank you. Beautiful. Okay, well, we have one more segment and we're going to go into Malachi chapter 4, and we're going to talk about another thing, another aspect of what we can do so that the Lord can bless us and that we can remember Him.
Segment 6 59:37
Okay, here we go. It's our last segment. Turn to Malachi chapter 4. We're going to talk about Elijah turning the hearts of the fathers. So here's my question. Describe for me what it feels like to be remembered. Have you, has someone ever remembered you? For instance, for me I love nothing more than when I go out to dinner with my husband and I'm not there and the waitress takes the order, and he knows what drink to order for me: half Coke, half Diet Coke, it's always the same thing. And then I'll come back from the bathroom, he'll be like, I ordered your drink for you. Uhh, Ohhh, and you remember it's half Coke, half Diet Coke. You know, because it takes the sweet out of Coke and the ick out of Diet. So it makes me feel so good. What does it feel like for you to be remembered?
Oh, I am a girl who loves her birthday. I am, I know I'm not supposed to be and I'm supposed to be like, Oh, birthdays are overrated. But I love that there's a whole day where people on Facebook that I haven't talked to in 20 years all of a sudden are like, Hey, Happy Birthday! I mean, I think it feels really nice to be remembered and that people remember me in a way that they want to actually wish me a happy birthday. Great. It feels nice. I love it.
Oh, I like that.
Am I a, I'm a pathetic character. Cuz I'm like, please look me up, it's my birthday everybody.
I like that.
No, I think you're being authentic. It depends on what we're being remembered for. For the good, for the positive? I love being remembered. I actually am also a girl who loves my birthday. I demanded that, you know, I leave lists of things that I want. And because my kids are all at a healthy age where they actually can go in together and buy those things. But I also let them know that if I don't get this, nobody is getting remembered on their birthday either. So I go buy myself gifts because I would do some birthing pains for you.
Get this for me, like, I feel like a tyrant sometimes. And they reminded me of that. But I love to be, I love to be remembered. But I also remember, I'm somebody who remembers them also.
Okay, very good answers. I think that's so fantastic, the idea being remembered. Because we're talking about people who want to be remembered and will be remembered. And it's in verses 5 and 6. KaRyn, will you read those forests?
Oh, these are these are the family history and genealogy scriptures nice and Malachi 4:5 and 6.
4:5 "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord;
6 "And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
Who's being remembered?
The fathers. And I would dare say the mothers, as well.
Well, thank you.
Let's just make sure, the parents. The ancestors, all the ancestors are being remembered. And you know what's interesting in that, Tammy is that He says, well, first of all, there's a lot of like curse and dreadful and like, like really negative words in this, but there's a lot of really beautiful ones, too. But I was thinking about how it says, do you think there's any meaning and how He says, "He shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children and the heart of the children? It's not hearts. I always think of it as hearts in my head. But it's the heart of the Father's. Is there, do you think there's any meaning in the fact that they leave the plural off of that?
I don't know. Let me look it up, though. Hold on, I'm going to look it up in Hebrew.
Yeah, cuz I kind of feel like maybe they're trying to say like, like, we think of ancestors as a group, the heart of our ancestors, rather than the heart like individual hearts. But that it's, that it's a whole, maybe, Maybe it means something.
I mean, if you look at the beginning of Malachi, and he talks about how God loved Jacob, but hates Esau. To me, looking at the plural, the singular meaning, it would be the covenant keepers. He's going to turn the covenant-keeping heart of the parents, as opposed to those who did not make/keep covenants.
Now, this is interesting, because in Hebrew, its hearts.
Oh, so it's just a translation thing. See, the Bible has some unique translation issues.
But I don't know I kind of like the idea of it's a collective heart. I like that. And it can't, it doesn't mean it's right or wrong, according to the Hebrew. It could be heart or hearts. But I think it's really beautiful that it's a collective heart. And it goes back to laying it to heart, like laying genealogy to heart. Now, I'm guilty of that. That's not a heart I'm willing to lay right now. I am not good at genealogy. I mean, it's, this is a hard, these two verses are hard for me When it talks about having to, when we went back to rebuilding a relationship or returning to the Lord, if I were to say, Well, how do we return? And the Lord was like, Start your genealogy, I'd be like, can you please give me something else?
Is there anything else for me?
Can I do that, double-timing? I'm not good at this and my Patriarchal Blessing even tells me to do the genealogy on my family's side. And nothing's been done for the Uzelacs.
There's a lot to be done on that. Yeah, I know, I know.
Well, I can tell you that I think that if the Lord wanted, He wanted me to do genealogy, I probably should have been born in Africa. So, and I just have to look at that in a more holistic way, in a more personalized way. Because I think about, when I think about genealogy and the hearts being turned to the Fathers, and I do believe I come from a praying people, I do believe I come from a believing people. And, and I have to think about the day of restoration, and how all things will be restored, including my family, my family line, and those who, who believed, you know. I mean, I do think my ancestors, and I do acknowledge my ancestors, even though I do not know my ancestors, I don't know all of my lineage. But I do believe in the restoration, everything that was lost will be restored. And so again, I think about things in worldly time and things, and God's time, which is eternal. And I think that there for me, I have to lean more into the eternal aspect of hearts of the children being turned to the fathers.
Yeah, I was thinking just as you were saying that Tamu, because your situation is semi-unique, right? Like not unique for black members of the church or black people who've, who've had slavery rip apart their family genealogy, making it impossible to find out, to find them. But I think sometimes we interpret these two scriptures to mean genealogy,
sitting down and doing your genealogy. And I would love to propose the idea that turning the hearts of the children or the hearts of the children to the heart of the Father, looks a little bit more like Elder Eyring's talk about ministering angels, and how they are our family, how our ministering angels are our ancestors, and that we can call them down. That we can, we can invite them into our lives to participate with us, to be our ministering angels, to be part of who we are and how we move in this world. And so it may not be possible for everybody who's listening today to sit down and find and trace their family line down the whatever.
But every single person can connect with their ancestors through the Spirit, right? By remembering the goodness that they have inside of them that came obviously from someone else, regardless of whether you know them. Because I was thinking about, like, if you're adopted, and you were in a closed adoption, you wouldn't be able to sit down and do your genealogy. There are many circumstances where that's not going to be the way that your heart is turned to your ancestors. But I have had beautiful experiences where the Lord has said to me, 'These people care about you, and you can have access to them in lots of other spiritual ways.' So I don't know, I just think that's something we have to kind of shift, is that the doing of genealogy is the only way to turn our hearts.
I like that.
KaRyn, I couldn't agree more with what you said. I mean, even I think within the gonna say the black community. But I'm specifically in the African American community, because there are black people from the diaspora, the African diaspora that went to other countries, so they were also separated. But I was taught at a very early age by my grandparents to invite our ancestors. So when I, when I'm doing something that is extremely heavy or extremely hard, I, you know, I come into my prayer corner, and I invite them in prayer, like, you know, and I need you to come with me and I start calling their names, the people that I know. Come with me, I want you to be there. And when I'm walking into these difficult situations, I know that they're there. You know, I know that they're there with me, because I've invited them to be, every, every time. And so that has been, I think that that is a practice that, I guess we brought with us from Africa through slavery. And my grandparents learned it from their grandparents who, you know, learned it from their grandparents who were enslaved, but just to call the names of the people you know, and, and tell them to come. Come with me. This is what I'm going through.
It's such a beautiful, a beautiful tradition from African Americans that I feel like, I often feel like, you know, we get weird in our church, sometimes about the mystical. But our prophets and apostles have repeatedly told us that this is a birthright. Like, access to our ancestors is part of our birthright as covenant, that sons and daughters of of God. And it's, and, and I love, Timu - who I feel like I learned this from you somehow - I don't know. I mean, we've been friends for a while now. And I've seen you I've seen you connect in ways that, that I didn't know how to do that. I mean, we have stories, but anyway. And I just, yeah, I just love that. Thank you for all the examples that you've given me of, of connecting in that way. ,
Well, KaRyn, I love that you've just used that word 'connect'. Because as both of you have been talking, I looked back at verse 6, it says, l"lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." The curse is a lack of connection. That's what it is. The curse is not being connected to Christ, connected through the covenant to the family of Christ. And it's also not being connected here in this sphere with each other. And there is, I mean, that's what I think is so powerful. I smite the earth with a curse. That is the lack of connection. And you can take that in any direction you want. But it supports what you guys just talked about - a connection on this earthly level, a connection through the veil, and then a connection back to Jesus Christ. That's what it's all about.
Do you think it's important that this is the end of the Old Testament?
Like, this is
It's not lost on me.
This is like the final, like He's like, connect to your ancestors and let your ancestors connect to you before Jesus comes and like uppends all of the, you know. Like He's about to come and like this is a new chapter. And you're, I don't know, I just, like as the old law dies and the new law comes in, our ancestors are....He's like call in your ancestors, they're gonna, you're gonna need them for this change in law, because it's going to be, it's going to be a big thing for us to try to figure out how to live the true law of love.
Oh, my gosh, KaRyn, I love that you just pointed that out. Everything we talked about today, could there be a better message for the end of the Old Testament, beginning of the New?
I mean, it kind of ends with smite you, with, the earth with a curse, which is a little bit dire.
But it is challenging us to connect.
But it's not, it's more of a, If these things don't happen.
Yeah, yeah. Youre right, Tamu.
So get it together, get it together. We'll just do a quick plug for "Love Your Lineage", by the way, another great podcast. So Michelle and Miyamoto, oh my gosh, they 're so much fun. So go check that out if you want to...
And that's all about connecting to your ancestors.
It really is 100%
Look at us! We're totally content marketing without even trying.
I know. Well, I love those women so much. And it is a great podcast. So go check that out. Alright, ladies, that's it. That's the end of our podcast. So just kind of think for a minute, what was your takeaway? Give me a quick sentence about what you learned from today's episode.
I wrote my takeaway down at the very beginning, when KaRyn said, "That is probably not God's favorite part of loving us." And that look, I want to put that on a shirt with the scripture. Like that hit very close to home. And I'm just like, I love that.
That's a good takeaway. I did like that a lot.
For me, it was the, this is bad. It's not, I've learned a lot from both of you ladies. But the moment for me was myself.
It was just that moment of realizing that the windows of heaven, like there won't be room to receive it because it's not a physical room. It's our hearts. That's where, that's where the receiving actually happens. I need to like write that somewhere. Because that's going to change the way that I perceive the blessings of tithing, from here on out, like for the rest of my life. So thank you, Heavenly Father for that little gem. And it's awesome because I came thinking I had nothing to offer and the chance is I didn't have anything to offer. I didn't have anything to offer. But when we put ourselves in vulnerable spaces, and we show up with authenticity, He can use us to teach ourselves and to teach others. So let's not be treacherous.
That was my takeaway.
OK, that's my favorite part.
That, yeah, that was mine right there. And when we connected to the word treacherous, when we took the time to look that word up, I was like, Oh that is, and our conversation about not being authentic. That
Girls. This was so - I shouldn't say girls - women, ladies, women folk.
It was a good Day. Thank you
Oh, I love you guys.
I love you guys. You guys, this was awesome.
Well, we would love to hear what your big takeaway was from this episode. So if you haven't already joined our discussion group on Facebook or Instagram, go do it. It's so much fun. And I love it when people post throughout the week on Facebook, sharing things that they've learned and asking questions. And then at the end of every 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've learned. You can get to both our Facebook and Instagram by going to the show notes for this episode on LDS living.com/sunday on Monday and if you go there, you're going to find a link to all the references we used as well as a complete transcript of this whole discussion. So go check it out.
The Sunday on Monday Study Group is a Deseret Bookshelf Plus original brought to you by LDS Living. It's written and hosted by me, Tammy Uzelac Hall, and today our incredible study group participants were Tamu Smith and KaRyn Lay. And you can find more information about these friends at LDS living.com/sunday on Monday. Our podcast is produced by Cole Wissinger and me. It is edited by Hailey Higham, and recorded and mixed by Mix at Six Studios. And our executive producer is Erin Hallstrom. Thanks for being here.
We'll see you next week, and please remember, just how we began, that you are God's favorite and He loves you.
Wait, I'm sorry, Tamu was literally rubbing a crystal like makeup bead.
Yeah, she is.
Just FYI, Cole. KaRyn came up with "Let's dig in." That's her. That's her. That's her tagline.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai