6: “The Spirit of the Lord Is upon Me” (Matthew 4, Luke 4-5)
OK, here’s an idea: Wants and needs are two very different things. And let’s be honest—temptations are not something we would generally put in the “want” category. But that doesn’t mean we don’t need them. In fact, even Christ needed to be tempted. Before beginning His ministry and calling His disciples, Jesus went to the wilderness to fast and be closer with God. While He was there, He was tempted by the adversary. But why did Jesus need this experience and what can we learn from His example? Let’s study Matthew 4 and Luke 4–5 together to find out.
Glue-Ins (free printables for your scriptures)
“He had gone into the wilderness to commune with the infinite, to set aside the things of the flesh and prepare for his ministry through empowerment of the Holy Ghost. All mortals may, as we travel through this wilderness of life, follow his example and do the same: fill ourselves daily especially with scripture study and prayer so that when the temptations come as they inevitably will they will have no power to overcome us because we are, like our exemplar, filled with the spirit.” (Ogden/Skinner New Testament Verse by Verse, 97)
Matthew 4:3 (Tempted with bread first)
40 = a symbolic period of trial, testing, probation, or mourning (Hebrew)
From Talmage’s Jesus the Christ:
Moreover, the superior power that Jesus possessed had not been given to Him for personal gratification, but for service to others. He was to experience all the trials of mortality; another man, as hungry as He, could not provide for himself by a miracle; and though by miracle such a one might be fed, the miraculous supply would have to be given, not provided by himself. (James E. Talmage, “Jesus the Christ”, Chapter 10)
Matthew 4:3-4 (The first temptation: of the flesh)
Matthew 4:5-7 (The second temptation: divine power)
Matthew 4:8-11 (The third temptation: glory and honor)
Luke 4:8 (Jesus rebukes Satan)
Luke 4:13 (Satan leaves)
CR: Luke 22:28
2 Nephi 31:15-16 (Endure to the end)
Words of the Prophets:
“Enduring temptation is one of the greatest challenges. Jesus endured temptation but yielded not. (See Mosiah 15:5.) Christ withstood because He gave ‘no heed’ to temptations. (D&C 20:22.) You and I tend to dally over and dabble in temptations, entertaining them for a while, even if we later evict them. However, to give temptations any heed can set the stage for later succumbing.”
“With enduring comes a willingness, therefore, to ‘press forward’ even when we are bone weary and would much rather pull off to the side of the road. (See 2 Ne. 31:20.)”
“Without patient and meek endurance we will learn less, see less, feel less, and hear less. We who are egocentric and impatient shut down so much of our receiving capacity.”
“Sometimes spiritual obedience requires us to ‘hold on’ lovingly, such as to a rebellious child, while others cry, ‘Let go!’ Enduring may likewise mean, however, ‘letting go,’ when everything within us wants to ‘hold on,’ such as to a loved one ‘appointed unto death.’ (D&C 42:48.)”
“Patient endurance permits us to cling to our faith in the Lord and our faith in His timing when we are being tossed about by the surf of circumstance. Even when a seeming undertow grasps us, somehow, in the tumbling, we are being carried forward, though battered and bruised.” (Neal A. Maxwell, “Endure It Well”, April 1990 General Conference)
Instead of dismissing temptations as Jesus did, it is giving heed to them which gets so many in trouble! My mission president used to say we may not always be able to keep an evil thought from entering our minds, but we don’t have to offer it a chair and invite it to sit down! (Neal A. Maxwell, “I Will Arise and Go to My Father”, Ensign, Sept. 1993, 67)
“No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of the German army by fighting against it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness — they have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means — the only complete realist.”
- C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity, 126)
Luke 4:16 (Christ reads in the synagogue)
Luke 4:28-29 (He angers those in the synagogue)
Luke 4:17-21 (Christ fulfills Isaiah’s prophecy)
CR: Isaiah 61:1-2
Luke 4:24-27 (Helping widows and lepers)
Anointed = christos (Greek) / meshiah (Hebrew) both words mean anointed one
Words of the Prophets:
“God has not ceased to be a God of miracles. Every book of scripture demonstrates how willing the Lord is to intervene in the lives of those who believe in Him. He parted the Red Sea for Moses, helped Nephi retrieve the brass plates, and restored His Church through the Prophet Joseph Smith. Each of these miracles took time and may not have been exactly what those individuals originally requested from the Lord.
In the same way, the Lord will bless you with miracles if you believe in Him, ‘doubting nothing.’ Do the spiritual work to seek miracles.” (Russell M. Nelson, “The Power of Spiritual Momentum”, April 2022 General Conference)
Matthew 4:18-22 (Christ beckons us to Follow Him)
Words of the Prophets:
Men and women who turn their lives over to God will discover that He can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends, and pour out peace. Whoever will lose his life in the service of God will find eternal life. (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Ezra Taft Benson , 42)
What is the difference between a need and a want? Now I can remember the first time my parents tried to teach me this principle. And I was like, what? There's a difference? Well, in today's discussion of Matthew chapter four, and Luke, chapters four through five address a need in our life, and it's probIably not what you would immediately think. In fact, here's a clue from Doctrine and Covenants section 29, verse 39, it says, "It must needs be that the devil should tempt the children of men, or they could not be agents unto themselves." I'm pretty sure I don't want or need even the smallest portion of what this verse is talking about, but apparently, it must needs be and we are going to find out why today.
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 our scriptures together. I'm your host, Tammy Uzelac Hall. Now if you're new to our study group, I just want to make sure you know how to use this podcast so follow the link in our description. It's going to explain how you can best use this podcast to enhance your Come, Follow Me study, just like my new friend Lexi Sprig. Hi, Lexi. Okay. She is the cutest FSY counselor ever. She was actually EFY counselor back in the day with my daughter Anna, and I got to meet her at Harmons, and she is adorable. Lexi, I love you. Now another awesome thing about our study group is each week we're joined by two of my friends and it's always a little bit different and today is different. We have two old timers, they've been on before but they've never been together. So we have Charmaine Howell from Minnesota. Hi Shar.
Sharmaine Howell 1:30
They love how you always say Minnesota. That's me, now. I love it.
And then we have Diane Iman. Hi, sis.
Dianne Gerdy Iman 1:39
Diane and I taught Seminary together a long time ago both when we were single gals.
Back in the day, Tam, we were sure cute back then.
Sharmaine Howell 1:50
I think you both still are super cute, by the way.
A little bit older and a lot more gray.
Sharmaine Howell 1:56
And both still on fire with teaching the scriptures. So yeah,
Here we go. So let's do this girl.
Oh, we are so excited. We're gonna have a lot of fun today. And there's so much to talk about. So we didn't even have time to get to know each other very well. So whatever. Just know these women are awesome. There you go. And if you want to know more about them, you can read their bios and see pictures of them, which are going to be in our show notes found at LDS living.com/sunday on monday. Okay, just real quick. Again, a reminder, I mentioned this last week, but in case you didn't hear last week's episode, please remember, we are not doing a sequential study of the Scriptures. Meaning we are not going to study Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; we are doing a harmonious study of the Gospels and that is what Come, Follow Me is doing. So every week, we're going to study something from Matthew and then something from Luke, but we probably won't cover the entire chapters, only portions of them. So if you read all of Matthew four, or Luke four through five, and go, Wait a minute, we didn't even cover these certain verses. There's a reason we're going to cover them later on as we get to those specific stories in the life of Jesus.
So just know that. Here's actually a new assignment for you to do. I always say grab your scriptures and something to write in. But guess what I'm gonna say now. Grab your scriptures, something to write in, something to write with, and your copy of "Jesus the Christ", and let's dig in. Okay, we are going to start out with a very big question. And I asked these ladies ahead of time to think about this because I bet it changes often. So here's my question for you both. Is there something specific that you do or have done when you want to feel close to God? Now, for those of you listening, I want you to write down your answers really quick before you hear what my guests say. Because I don't want your answers to be tainted by theirs. So write down, is there something specific that you do or have done to feel close to God? And now ladies, tell me, what's your answer?
Dianne Gerdy Iman 3:41
So one of the things that I have, I've been doing a couple things lately. One of them is driving up to the canyon. I do not like driving in the mountains at all, scares me to death
Sharmaine Howell 3:58
Sounds like a great thing to do then. I'm curious.
Yeah, yes. Wow. Oh, because you're praying the whole time, right? You're so scared.
Dianne Gerdy Iman 4:07
Getting braver. And for some reason, you know, being out in beautiful nature, you know, it just makes you feel closer to Heavenly Father. And then the other, the biggest one is going to the temple. And even if the temple isn't open, just going and sitting in my car on the temple grounds. You know, I've been there at 10 o'clock at night. And just sitting in my car, in the pouring rain, and just praying and just crying, and, you know, receiving answers and feeling my cup filled and feeling so much closer to my Heavenly Father, even though I'm not in there.
Dianne Gerdy Iman 4:56
Not IN the temple
Dianne Gerdy Iman 4:57
Yeah. You know, so when I'm inside the temple, yes, definitely. But if it's closed, I still am feeling it.
Sharmaine Howell 5:07
Those were great. Um, I think mine, I kind of have two also. My first one would be I pray out loud. I don't do that every day, I don't know why. But I pray a lot in my heart, in my head. But when I really need to feel close to God, I have to pray out loud. It just, it makes me really present in the, in the moment. And the other one was, is just breathing and meditating. That might sound funny, but I remember I texted you like a month or so ago, Tammy. And it was after a podcast with Aliah,
Sharmaine Howell 5:48
And she was explaining breathing and anxiety. And I was like, she explained a short definition of anxiety. And I was like, uh, I have anxiety. Just like struck me, like I've never had it before. But then as she explained, breathing and breathing the Yaweh word, I was like, Oh, my gosh. So I started to kind of do that every once in a while when I felt like this anxiety. And it just really brought me back to like the center, and back to the present. And that's what I keep feeling like, you know, when I need to feel closer to God, I need to be right now, I need to be present. I can't be in the past. And I can't be worrying about the future. Having anxiety about either I need to be in the present. And so breathing and meditating and praying out loud, really bring me into the present. And that's when I feel like I can feel the spirit better is when I'm present. And right now. And Spirit really talks to me in those moments. So those are two things that I thought of that I feel like really help me that come closer to God, like in a moment, like moment's notice, you know, like when I'm feeling, I'm feeling distant or I'm feeling like I need help right now.
Yeah, thank you, Char. You know, as both of you were explaining your answers, one of the things I liked was the common theme. Both of you are present, both of you are actively doing something to feel closer to God. I want you to turn with me to Matthew chapter four. We're going to just look at two verses, verse one and two. And I want to show you why I asked this question, what it has to do with Jesus. So Matthew, 4"1,2. We're gonna start with verse one. And Diane, will you please read that for us?
Dianne Gerdy Iman 7:29
Yes. So Matthew 4:1 "Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil." Do you want me to do something?
Yes. Please show us the footnote. Diane is the queen of the footnote. She actually taught us this last year. I'm so glad. K, Diane, teach us the footnote here.
Dianne Gerdy Iman 7:50
Okay. So what I do, this is what I used to teach my seminary students, if you look down in the bottom of your page, you'll see in chapter four, it says 4b, and it says J S T, Matthew 4:1. So that's the Joseph Smith Translation. So down on the bottom, I'll circle the b, and then I underlined J S T, Matthew4:1 "to be with God." So I circle the b and then I underline that, then I go up into the verse, and then I color that. So when I read it, and I would say, "then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness", then I see that colored b so I know I need to look down. And so instead of saying, "to be tempted of the devil", I know I need to replace that with "to be with God". So He went up into the wilderness to be with God. And when He had fasted 40 days and 40 nights, and then this is going to happen again. We go down to the bottom of the page2c. Ccircle the 2c, underline JST Matthew 4:2, and then go back up in verse 2 to the c. Circle the c and color it so that will now read as "and when he fasted 40 days and 40 nights and had communed with God, he was afterwards and hungered and was left to be tempted of the devil."
Excellent, Diane, thank you so much. Okay, so in verse one, he went into the wilderness, to commune to be with God. So I asked you what are some things you do to be with God? Now then we read in verse two, and Diane taught us what did Jesus do to be with God? What's what active thing did he do?
Sharmaine Howell 9:48
Well, it says he fasted but I also liked that he went into the wilderness. Yes, I like both.
Right? Yes, he went into the wilderness and then he fasted, I think This is so awesome to think that this is what he chooses to do to be with God. Here's a really cool quote. And I like this again, because it's from the New Testament commentary that I use. And I just like how succinctly they put his experience. And I'll read this, it says, He had gone into the wilderness to commune with the infinite, to set aside the things of the flesh, and prepare for his ministry, through empowerment of the Holy Ghost. All mortals may as we travel through this wilderness of life, follow his example and do the same. Fill ourselves daily, especially with scripture study and prayer. So that when the temptations come, as they inevitably will, they will have no power to overcome us because we are like our exemplar filled with the Spirit. Now, I want you to look at that quote, and just briefly, tell me what stood out to you about that.
Sharmaine Howell 10:54
I love that it said that he went to be empowered by the Holy Ghost. Yeah, tell me why it's so good. I mean, that's just what we need. And it said, you know, through Scripture and prayer, we can fill ourselves with the Spirit. And that will empower us. Yep. When we need it. And when we're going through our, our wilderness of life, we need to be empowered by that. And so we have to set aside time to fill ourselves up with the Holy Ghost. And that's what I mean, I never really thought about that. That's why he went to the wilderness to be empowered, before he started to the like filled up. I love that.
Shar, thank you for sharing that. And you're exactly right. I guess I was the same. I hadn't considered like that. For me. I always thought the fasting was the temptation or the trial. And it was actually the thing he did to prepare himself to become empowered for what was about to happen. And so in the next segment, we're gonna find out if it actually worked.
So let's talk about fasting. Tell me, what does that feel like for you when you fast? Cuz I gotta tell you, I got a kid in my family who was so hangry you can't even imagine. I mean, when she walks in from school, I know First things first food. We're gonna get a snack before we do anything.
Sharmaine Howell 12:17
Oh yeah. I think for a long time, I was just so grateful. I was either pregnant or nursing. I had this fantastic excuse. And I was like, I just can't, I'm so wish I could. Yeah. And I really didn't wish I could. And only recently, like, maybe in the last six months, that's a terrible admit. But how have I really wanted to start fasting. Okay, my baby's five, bad, bad, I should have admitted that publicly.
Dianne Gerdy Iman 12:47
My baby is 14.
Sharmaine Howell 12:52
Dianne Gerdy Iman 12:52
I think that when we, when we really understand what the purpose of fasting is, then we want to fast. And I'll tell you, as I have been studying these chapters, my testimony of fasting has grown immensely. And you know, how you have those times in your life where, yeah, you, you have these aha moments, and then you just your life goes, and you go, and things are just great. And then you just kind of get complacent. And then you have that aha moment again. That's totally how I felt as I was studying this. And I was like, oh, you know, here's the Savior. And he is fasting to prepare himself for his ministry, you know, and I'm like, when I do have a purpose for my fasting, which I have recently, as I'm going through, you know, different experiences, as I really have a purpose for my fast. I want to fast. But when I don't, man, get me some something.
Charmaine Howell 14:10
Dianne Gerdy Iman 14:12
Right? Give me give me my Captain Crunch. And I'll be fine.
Sharmaine Howell 14:17
I know, I always I always felt like, this was just a terrible part of Jesus's life. When when I was a kid learning this like, oh, he had to fast for 40 days. Why did he do that? This was a terrible moment in his life. Oh, I feel so bad for
like, that's the trial he had to overcome
Sharmaine Howell 14:36
Satan was just in charge of the whole thing.
Satan wouldn't give him any food and made him fast. And we just read he, he chose and his whole purpose was just to commune with God. Right? He didn't even know what was about to come. He just went into the wilderness to get close to His Heavenly Father and when I asked you that question at the beginning, my answers would have been number one I pray in my closet for that's my go to place and then second for me, it is fasting. But I say that not because I'm so great and I fast all the time. It's because when I do really fast I think all the angels on the other side of the veil are like, Alright, everybody, she's serious. This All right, everybody get together. We gotta We gotta do something like I really. She's not playing around.
Sharmaine Howell 15:29
Yeah, send her some good bonus points. So she wants to do this again.
Dianne Gerdy Iman 15:34
She is serious. She needs something.
Yeah, that's exactly me. So let's go into Matthew chapter four. And I want you to tell me and Diane you already read this, we kind of know but tell me in the scriptures. What does it teach us about how the Savior felt physically after he fasted? What does it tell us?
Dianne Gerdy Iman 15:52
In verse two, it says that he was afterward he was he was hungry. Why? 40 days
Sharmaine Howell 16:03
I can imagine.
Dianne Gerdy Iman 16:04
Yeah, going like two meals. Come on.
I mean, you kind of think that maybe Jesus would just not be hungry anymore. And like, yeah, the Scripture to tell us in the story. oh no. He was hungry.
Sharmaine Howell 16:17
Yeah. Makes you feel like, okay, I can relate to that. He was he's a man. He's normal. He's right. He's like I would have been. Yeah, instead of like, Oh, if you didn't say that. I'd been like, Oh, that was just an easy thing for him. He's half god. Right? Right.
For those of us who struggle with fasting on Sunday, now we go, oh, he was hungry, too. Oh, look at what he did. Okay, he gets it. Now. 40 is really wonderful. Mark the word 40. In verse two. We've talked about this before. And last year, we did. And I'm just gonna remind us that in Hebrew, here's a couple things. So it really could be that he fasted for sure, for 40 days and 40 Nights. Absolutely. Another interesting thing is that the number 40 in Hebrew actually means a symbol or a period of trial testing, probation or mourning. The number 40 can mean a period of trial testing, probation, or mourning.
Sharmaine Howell 17:14
That seems very fitting to me. Because, you know, it was his testing period. It was his time where he was trying to prepare for his ministry, right. That's tough for him to go through the amount of time he needed in order to prepare himself for his ministry.
Dianne Gerdy Iman 17:33
Yeah, he needed this strength. Right.
And this this 40 days, yeah, was preparing him. And it was absolutely a period and I thought it was interesting a period of probation. I looked up the word probation, because I wasn't quite sure. I only know probation. Like, you get out of jail, you're on probation. But I thought this is interesting. It says, a critical examination and evaluation or subjection, such examination and evaluation, like a critical examination and evaluation. Wow, what he's doing now from this point on.
Sharmaine Howell 18:08
I love that
This is it where the Savior is like, Alright, big breath. Here we go. I just got baptized, I'm 30 years old, and something is gonna start right. And boy, did it ever. It started. In fact, let's go to verse three. Then after he's done fasting, we come right in here, Shar will you read verse three?
Sharmaine Howell 18:33
And when the tempter came to him, he said, if that'll be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
Okay. Tell me, isn't this interesting? Like, why do you think that this is Satan's first temptation? Bread?
Sharmaine Howell 18:48
Just he's just hungry. The first thing you think of when you end your fast.
I think it's just so interesting, because I've never considered this that like, there's gonna be three major temptations. And he doesn't hit him with the first two, which we'll talk about in a minute. But he could have but he's like, right out of the gates. Food. Right.
Sharmaine Howell 19:05
Yeah I think it's because you know, our flesh is weak. We hear that phrase, like, that is a weak part of us our bodies, right? Yep. Really hard to master that.
Yeah, totally agree. And I've been thinking about this all week. Like, why didn't he just, like, get something to eat real quick? He's about to go through this. I would, right? Yeah, Satan, can you hold for a second. I'm just gonna grab a piece of bread. And then we'll get on with this. And so this was really interesting to me. And I read this in Jesus the Christ. So if you have your copy of Jesus the Christ, I want you to go to page 121. In Jesus the Christ, if you have the book, if you don't have the book, and you have it online, you want to go to Jesus the Christ, chapter 10. And then you want to go to the section that says, the Temptation of Christ. And after you get to the Temptations of Christ, you're going to find the paragraph that says, Moreover, and it's the fifth paragraph, so scroll to get the fifth paragraph. Now listen to this. I thought this was really, really awesome. Okay, here we go. Diane, can you read for us please, about why he didn't just turn them into bread?
Dianne Gerdy Iman 20:12
You bet. Moreover, the superior power that Jesus possessed had not been given to him for personal gratification, but for service to others. He was to experience all the trials of mortality, another man as hungry as he could not provide for himself by a miracle. And though by miracle such a one might be fed, the miraculous supply would have to be given not provided by himself.
That blew my mind. Like the power he had been given was not for his own personal gratification. Yeah. You know, I have just considered, Why didn't Jesus St. Joseph, if it is believed that, that Joseph did die early in his life? Why didn't Jesus bring Joseph back to life? And then I go back to this, like, none of his power for it was for his own personal gratification. It was only in service to others, why didn't he bring Joseph his father back to life? He brought a lot of other people back to life. Right?
Sharmaine Howell 21:21
That's so interesting.
Yeah. So in discussing them this, and we talk about what we're doing to get closer to our Heavenly Father fasting worked, it absolutely worked for Jesus. And he communed with the Lord and he was ready to go. And I asked the both of you to think about a time in your life where you either have you have an experience, you'd be willing to share where you needed to be close to God, you needed his help, and it turned out,
Sharmaine Howell 21:46
I can share. So I think, I think the last time I was on the podcast, I shared a little bit about how it was, it was tough when we first moved here, and starting and opening, this Crumbl store. But I had the added risk of sounding like this was the worst decision we ever made it, I can share one more story about how it was hard. It's a blessing, though, we love it here. But it's hard. Let's just insert that real quick. But yeah, it was really hard. So we opened our first store a week before Christmas. And it was great. It was busy, it was all the things we wanted it to be. But we, we that meant we were really busy. My husband and I, and we were in the store, like physically in the store myself, like maybe 50 hours a week and my husband like 80 hours a week, working from like, 5am to one 1am The next day, you know, kind of these super long hours, because we had a whole new staff to train all these things. And, and it was really tough. So Christmas break rolls around, my kids are out of school, and we're still working just as much and my oldest, um, you know, I'd wake up and wake him up and be like, Hey, buddy, I'm just gonna, we're just gonna run into the store real quick. I'll be back in like two hours. You know, like, eight hours later, I come back and be like, Hi, I'm so sorry, I was gone for so long. And it was really, really hard. And I remember driving to and from the store. And, you know, tears, tears in my eyes, praying out loud. Heavenly Father, I need you. I need to feel close to you, I need to know that what we're doing is right, I need to know my kids are feeling close to you, too, even though I'm not with them right now. And, you know, I remember one time, my husband and I were in our store, balling cookie dough at 2am Just the two of us. And you know, we were like, are we gonna get through this? Is this a good thing we're doing? And so I, you know, I flipped on a conference talk. And we were listening. And we just said a prayer together that like, you know, the spirit that the spirit would be with us and that God would be close to us. And that it would be okay, in our family would be okay, through this really difficult time that that we were experiencing right then. And not to say that it all turned out amazing in the moment because it didn't it was the worst Christmas my kids have ever had. And we've ever had, you know, we weren't together much. And it was really tough. And we worked almost through the whole thing. You know, presents were kind of not a big thing that year. We weren't really prepared for it. And it didn't turn out like how I would have wanted it to. But I don't think that that's always the point. I don't think that's always what God's saying. I'm sure I'll be close to you. And I'll bless you so it all worked out. I don't think that's I don't think that's how it works. But I did feel close to God even though it was hard. And I did feel strengthened by Him even though I had to leave my kids. And I you know I had to be gone a little longer than I had hoped for and I think that, that that's something that strengthened my testimony that it's times always doesn't look like how we want it to look like but that doesn't mean God's not with us.
Sharmaine Howell 24:16
It's beautiful testimony and example Shar. Thank you. Thank you. What about you, Diane?
Dianne Gerdy Iman 25:17
So this past fast Sunday, as I was fasting, I had really been struggling with an issue and something with one of my children. And it's something that I've been struggling with for quite a long time. And as I was praying, and really just focusing so hard and pleading with Heavenly Father that I could know how to help this child and, and also just from my own comfort from my Heavenly Father, because I felt so alone. And I just needed to know also that he was aware of me, and how hard I'm trying as a mom, and as a wife. And I just wanted to, you know, Feel. Feel, you know, loved, I think is what I would say as well. And I just felt kind of alone. And so I prayed and I fasted and and I did feel really loved. But then the next day, I was on the phone with our darling missionary, if anybody listening is in California Arcadia mission. That is where my cute Elder Iman is Spanish speaking so but he called and we had our little chat and and as we were chatting, he said, Oh mom, I forgot to tell you, I was thinking about something that you had said, the last time that we visited and I was in the shower. And I just had some, some verses that I was thinking, I really think that you need to read. And he told me some verses in the Book of Mormon. And they were exactly what I needed to read. And they just, I know that our Heavenly Father knows us. And that he, he is aware of us. And that we're not we're not alone. And and we just need to keep keep going to him. And and He's there.
He's there, thank you. And I know that we are going through his heavy, heavy stuff. So thank you for sharing that. Everyone listening, I want us to kind of just think about what we do to commune with God, and how it helps us in our lives. And if whatever it is, you know, we have a fast Sunday coming up, it's next Sunday. And I want you to kind of think about what your fast will be. Is it something that's going to empower you the way it did the Savior will you use this next fast as a way to become empowered to do the work that He has sent you here to do to get you ready, and to look at fasting as a way to be empowered rather than as the trial, which is what we always thought. And I challenge you to really take that fast into account, so that you can have stories like my friends were. And I like how you how you said Shar, it doesn't turn out the way you think it's going to and Diane, you know that it doesn't turn out the way you think you can but while you're in the thick of it while you're in that wilderness, as we've learned from Aliah, while we're in that, that wilderness, we can be close to God, I can absolutely testify of that. So in the next segment, we are then going to learn about the two next temptations that Satan carefully selected to use against the Savior.
So do this, I want you to grab three colored pencils, three different colors, because we're going to use them to mark the three temptations of Christ. And I like having things color coded in my scriptures. So in Matthew chapter four, I want you to bracket off verses three and four. That's the first one. So put a number one right there. And you can just put the word bread or you can highlight bread in verse three. But this was a temptation of the flesh. So I just put flesh and put a square around it a temptation of the flesh. Now bracket off verses five, six and seven. This is the second temptation. And the temptation name for this is divine power, a temptation of divine power. And then the third temptation bracket off verses 8, 9, 10, and 11, that's the third temptation. And this temptation is called glory and honor. Okay, now each temptation this is interesting because we read it when we read the first temptation with bread, but each temptation has a big old word that I want you to circle and highlight. And this word Satan uses to almost like have the Savior second, guess who he is. Did you guys catch what word it was that Satan uses to Jesus?
Sharmaine Howell 30:32
Is it if?
Yes, Shar, good job, so circle that if in verse three, circle that if in verse six. And then we have it again, in verse nine. He says, If thou will be the Son of God, if thou be the Son of God, isn't that interesting? Why do you think he's doing this?
Sharmaine Howell 30:51
He wants us always to doubt who we are. Yeah, he's not, he's not gonna agree with with Jesus, that He's the Son of God. Right? So he's gonna place a little seed of doubt, if you really think you're this person.
And isn't it interesting because Satan knows who he is. Right? They didn't have a veil. So he is very aware. So of course, he's placing doubt into this person's mind. Well, if you really are, and let's see what you can do with this power, Oh, he's so crafty,
Sharmaine Howell 31:23
And it makes Jesus want to prove himself like you don't believe me? I'll prove it to you.
Dianne Gerdy Iman 31:28
Right. That's the best thing is that just reminds us who we really are. So we see then that that the Savior does teach us, you know, who, who we are. And he says, you know, follow me. I'll make you fishers of men. And we do learn about who we are.
Absolutely. And he comes out him too. I like how the Savior, that his reaction to him. So let's go to the second temptation, and we're going to do divine power. So verse five, there's your footnote, Diane, footnote 5a very important footnote, this is such an important footnote. So you're gonna want to mark that and look down below, because it says, Then the devil take him up into the holy city. Okay, that never happened. The devil never escorted or moved the Savior ever, ever. And down below we have, then Jesus was taken up into the holy city, and the spirit set of him on the pinnacle of the temple. So the spirit moves the Savior, not Satan, but Satan follows him. So it's interesting, the first place he goes is to the pinnacle of a temple. Now, pinnacle of a temple, this is the outermost part, or point of the temple. So he sets them there. And then he says, If you'd be the Son of God, cast yourself for it is written, He shall give his.... And it's interesting. He's quoting scripture right here. It's
Dianne Gerdy Iman 32:55
I love this.
Talk to me, Diane.
Dianne Gerdy Iman 32:59
This is my favorite concept. And I think that it is such a good lesson for us. So Satan goes and he is trying to tempt, tempt the Savior. And the Savior is like, Okay, let me just come back. And instead of, you know, just fighting with you, I am going to come back with a scripture, and this is how I am going to teach you. And I was talking to one of my friends about this. And I said, you know, how great is this? This is how we need to be when we have a temptation. If somebody tries to tempt us, well, why don't we then teach them with a scripture? How cool would that be? Right? So why don't you come and party with me this weekend? You know, and do this? Well, Thou shalt not, you know, but yeah, but I really thought about this. And I thought about when I was growing up, I grew up in Boulder, Colorado. And we had two wards in our whole city. And so we had in my graduating class, there were like five members of the church. And I was a cheerleader. I was the only cheerleader on my squad that was member of the church. And you know, there would be the football games, and then they would go party afterwards. And they would say, you know, Diane come with us. And I would say, No, you know, I don't do that. And they will say, Oh, yeah, that's right. You're Mormon. You don't do that. I'm like, That's right. My church. We don't believe in that. And I would say for my seminary students, you know, it was so great because I could teach them, you know, that, you know, I could teach them the scriptures, basically. Right. And I would say to my seminary students, how hard is it for you guys because here in Utah, you say that to someone? Well, no, sorry. I can't go do that because it's against my religion and What do the other kids say? Well, yeah, so? It goes against my religion too what's your deal? You know? And I thought it is so hard for these kids now, you know, are the kids living in Utah, but I love the way that the Savior does this. He quote Scripture. So everything is a teaching moment. But how cool is that? Right? I love it. I love it. I love the Savior.
Sharmaine Howell 35:27
I love that. I think it's really interesting, though, because in verse six, that's Satan talking. Right?
Right. So Satan knows the scriptures too.
Dianne Gerdy Iman 35:38
But it's not. He doesn't use the whole thing. Right? Isn't that right? Tam
He uses a portion of it. Keep going, Shar.
Sharmaine Howell 35:46
Well it teaches us that Satan uses partial truth with a little bit of the little bit of lies and a little bit of twist against us too, right he's, he's going to trick us with things that sound very similar to what we think we should be hearing, or, or thinking about, or, you know, partial truth. That's one of Satan's tactics I think.
Yeah, you're absolutely right. And he tries to do it with the Savior.
Dianne Gerdy Iman 36:16
And the Savior always goes back to the truth. The full truth, like you said, that it's just he has the partial truth, and that's why it is so alluring.
So let's underline the Savior's answer in verse seven, underlined, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Okay, there's, there's His answer for that. Then we're going to go into the next temptation, the third one. So again, in verse eight, again, the devil taketh, not the devil, but he went up into an exceedingly high mountain and show with him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them. This is a glorious vision, that he is being shown is that interesting, the Savior is seeing a vision. So he goes to the temple, he sees this incredible vision. And again, we have the if I will give all of this to you. So Satan is promising this to the Savior, if that will fall down and worship me. And then let's underline the Savior's answer. Get the hence Satan. I also like the way it is in Luke in Luke chapter four, verse eight, it says, Get behind Me, Satan. So like, like, hit the road? It's the road, Mr. Exactly. It's exactly as I get the road. So we have this answer right here, Get behind me. And I just, it's so fascinating to me. Because the lesson for me is that here's the Savior in good places at the temple and in a vision, and Satan doesn't even care. Like he has no respect, of places. He'll come wherever he thinks he has the smallest chance to get you. And so I just think, fasting what the Savior did before this experience is what allowed him to say no to every one of these things. Like it wasn't like all of a sudden last minute the Savior's like Boy, I wish I had fasted first or wish I had prayed more, like he did the work to be prepared for these three crazy temptations. Right.
Right But it is interesting. It doesn't say that Satan was with him at all during his fasting. It said he came after, after. So you know, there's something to learn in that, you know, when we are trying and we're giving in our whole heart to something, you know, we get the blessing of being protected and being empowered and being strengthened from Satan. We we put up the shield when we do those things. When we fast. It's making me want to fast right now. You know, it's building the shield for him and Satan did not come to him when he was fasting he came after. I think that that's just teaches me something.
Oh, I agree. I agree. Well, and then we have to go to Luke. So let's turn to Luke chapter four. Because in Luke Chapter Four is also the story of the temptations. But there's a verse in Luke chapter four, that's not in Matthew, in Luke chapter four, verse 13, after the temptations of Christ. Then we have verse 13, which is so interesting. I'm going to give us a couple cross references. Shar, will you please read that for us? Luke chapter four, verse 13.
Sharmaine Howell 39:24
And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.
Ah, who can relate to that? Yeah, I had never noticed or considered that Satan departed from the Savior for a season. Now, here's a cross reference. We're going to go to Luke chapter 22. And we're going to look at verse 28. And look what the Savior says about this. Luke chapter 22. Diane, can you read that for us?
Dianne Gerdy Iman 39:53
Yes, I am just getting there.
So this is the Savior and he has just instituted a sacrament and he's about to go into Gethsemane. But before he does, he's speaking to the apostles. And he says this to them in verse 28.
Dianne Gerdy Iman 40:07
Okay, so Luke 22, verse 28. Ye are they, which have continued with me in my temptations.
Isn't that fascinating? That it just didn't end right there, making him all the more human to me, thinking He was continually tempted for a season. Okay. So all of this discussion then brings us to the big 'so what' question and we always use this in seminary when we need to understand the purpose and application of what we just studied. So in the next segment, we're going to answer that, okay, so the Savior was tempted. So what? We'll do that next.
So we just learned about the three temptations of Christ, and now comes the big, 'so what' question so why was He tempted? What do we need to know about what is your answer to the so what? And I want you to answer as if your child came to you and goes, What's the big deal, mom? So Jesus was tempted, what? Why do we need to know that?
Sharmaine Howell 41:16
Well, it's because he came to earth to experience all the things that we're going to experience so that he could know how to suffer and, and atone for them, and to feel it. So that's how I tell my, you know, my littles if they came to me, so that he could relate to me.
That's a really good answer. It's a great answer to the So what? Okay, let me ask you this. Here's, here's a real Alright, Diane, here's my question for you. Does Jesus really get your child?
Dianne Gerdy Iman 41:50
Jesus completely gets my child, He gets my child because He knows the temptations, because He's had temptations come to Him. And He's had Satan with Him. And Satan has made things look appealing to Him. And Satan has not given up on tempting, Jesus Christ, he kept going and going. And Jesus kept saying, Come on, let off, let go. And he kept going. So Jesus definitely gets it.
Right. And the Scripture teaches that we can overcome temptation. He teaches us how to do it. Right, we can learn from His example.
Dianne Gerdy Iman 42:49
And that's what we need. And that's why we have to have the Savior.
I want you to turn to 2 Nephi 31. Diane. This is exactly the way we want to talk about this is that yes, he understands he gets it. And that's the direction I was going at first, until I read this talk. And I read this scripture, I think this is so cool. 2 Nephi, chapter 31. And we want to read verses 15 and 16. And Diane, we read that for us.
Dianne Gerdy Iman 43:18
I will. 2 Nephi, chapter 31, verses 15 and 16. And I heard a voice from the Father saying, yay, the words of my beloved are true and faithful. He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved. And now, my beloved brethren, I know by this, that unless a man shall endure to the end, in following the example of the Son of the living God, he cannot be saved.
Going back to what you just said, like He endured it, right? That's the so what? Yes, he was tempted in all areas possible. And He endured every single temptation. One of my favorite talks by Elder Neal A Maxwell is called Endure It Well. It's from April 1990. I highly recommend everybody read this. I took a few excerpts from it, about the importance of endurance with the temptations of Christ in our lives. And we're gonna take turns just kind of reading some of these and then we'll talk about it. So here's the first one. Neal A. Maxwell says this, enduring temptation is one of the greatest challenges. Jesus endured temptation but yielded not. Christ withstood because he gave no head to temptations. You and I tend to dally over and dabble in temptations, entertaining them for a while, even if we later evict them, however, to give temptations any head can set the stage for later succumbing. Okay, here's what else he said. Shar will you read this please?
Sharmaine Howell 44:55
With enduring comes a willingness therefore to press forward even when we are bone weary and would much rather pull off to the side of the road.
Somebody felt that when you heard bone weary, tired, here's another one. Without patient and meek endurance, we will learn less, see less, feel less and hear less. We who are egocentric and impatient shut down so much of our receiving capacity. Diane will you read this next one.
Dianne Gerdy Iman 45:26
Sometimes spiritual obedience requires us to hold on lovingly such as to a rebellious child, while others cry, let go. Enduring may likewise mean, however, letting go when everything within us wants to hold on, such as to a loved one appointed unto death. And that's Doctrine and Covenants section 42:48. patient endurance permits us to cling to our faith in the Lord and our faith in His timing, when we are being tossed about by the surf of circumstance, even when a seeming undertow grasps us somehow in the tumbling. We are being carried forward, though battered and bruised.
Thank you, this idea of enduring tell me how that speaks to you when it comes to temptations.
Sharmaine Howell 46:24
I think when it said in that first quote, you read that, you know, we tend to dally and dabble in temptation that says giving in that's us not enduring, right. Jesus Christ never gave in He was constantly being tempted without giving in. So that's, that's the harder way to go. Never giving into it. Right. So I just, you know, sometimes I, I've heard the, well, Jesus Christ never had to go through any of these things, because he never experienced it. Right? Like he never gave in to the temptation. You never experienced this. But he experienced the never giving into it.
Oh, and that's that's major.
Charmaine Howell 47:10
Dianne Gerdy Iman 47:11
I have a great quote from Elder Maxwell. And when you shared when you said you were sharing something from Elder Maxwell, I thought, Oh, I wonder if it's this. Listen to this. I think this is so classic. He said, instead of dismissing temptations, as Jesus did, it is giving heed to them, which gets so many in trouble. And then Elder Maxwell goes on and says my mission president used to say, we may not always be able to keep an evil thought from entering our minds. But we don't have to offer it a chair and invite it to sit down. Yes. Isn't that classic? Don't we do that though?
Sharmaine Howell 47:52
We entertain it.
Dianne Gerdy Iman 47:53
We do. We just are like, okay, okay,
So this endurance to endure it? Well. Oh, my gosh. Okay. So let me have to end with this quote. Because this is probably my all time favorite quote on temptation. And I shared it all the time teaching seminary, and, and Shar goes right along with what you just said, because I had some students say to me, I'd rather have a seminary teacher that experienced all the things than someone who never did, because then I know that you get it. And I was like, Why? Because I was giving him the lesson how, you know, Jesus Christ was tempted, He just didn't give in and they're like, I'd rather I'd rather have Jesus that gave in that understands everything, right? And then we read this quote by CS Lewis, Mere Christianity, it's so good. Can I read it? No man knows how bad he is, till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation, know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of the German army by fighting against it, not by giving in, you find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives into temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. This is why bad people in one sense, know very little about badness. They have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it. And Christ because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means. This only complete realist.
Sharmaine Howell 49:44
That's so spot on. I love that. It really makes you realize how important fasting is. It is us taking a moment to say I will take charge of my body I won't Eat something for X amount of time, I'm in charge. And I won't give in, right? This small little way that we can do that. By simply not giving into our hunger pains for a little while.
Dianne Gerdy Iman 50:12
And what a great way to become like the Savior too, you want to be like the Savior, okay, do what he did.
You can fast you can do it. I mean, this is the so what for me, that I learned when I was preparing for this because I thought, you know, his endurance, either 40 literal days of the time it took to learn the lesson, his endurance, he just gets it. And I just thought, listen, we're all in our 40s, right, every single one of us. And I've said that so many times, we are all in the midst in the wilderness, in our 40s, this time of trial probation testing, and he gets it. So we can too, and he will absolutely help us through all of it. And it's completely and totally about enduring. And just making it through the wilderness that we're in. And the thing I think is so neat is that this trial, this probation, going back to Matthew, chapter four, verse one, is to help us be with God. That's what it's all about to be with God, not to be tempted of the devil.
Dianne Gerdy Iman 51:14
Let's write that in our scriptures. Yes, that is the purpose of of the temptations to be with God.
Yep. That's the purpose of all of this for us.
Sharmaine Howell 51:26
Yeah. And every time we endure through one, we know how it feels to get to the end of it. And we know we can do it again.
Absolutely and now the way we began the very beginning of this whole episode, we need temptation, don't we? That is a need. And quite frankly, I think it's a want now now that I know what it means to be with God. Bring it on. I can take it I can endure it right. Oh, great discussion. That was so good. Oh, my gosh, I love it. Okay, well, in the next segment, we are going to talk about some examples of people who were in their 40s and what the Savior did for them.
So for this segment, I kind of like doing this. We're going to start with how the story ended. I love doing this kind of stuff. So let's turn to Luke chapter four. Okay, we're gonna go into Luke. Here's what we're going to be now. Look at Luke chapter four. We're going to do verse 16. We're going to first read something that Jesus did, and then we're going to read the reaction before we tell you what everything he did. So here we go. Luke chapter four, verse 16, and Shar read verse 16, for us.
Sharmaine Howell 52:41
And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up and as his custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day and stood up for to read.
Okay, now, let's go to verses 28 and 29. We're not going to read what he read yet, but we're going to see the reaction of what he read and said, Diane read verses 28 and 29.
Dianne Gerdy Iman 53:01
Okay, Luke, 4:28-29. And all they in the synagogue when they heard these things were filled with wrath, and rose up and thrust him out of the city and led him onto the brow of the hill. Where on their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.
What do you think they liked what he said?
Dianne Gerdy Iman 53:25
They are mad, Arrest him.
They are so mad. Okay. You want to know what he said? You want to know what he read? Let's get to it. Okay, let's go back in. We're still in Luke chapter four. And we're gonna go to verse 17. It says, and there were delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. So we know Esaias is Isaiah. So they bring him the book of Isaiah. And he opens it up and he starts to read and here's what he reads is verse 18, and 19. So Diane, will you read 18 and 19.
Dianne Gerdy Iman 53:57
You bet. Luke chapter four verses 18 and 19. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
That's it. That's what he read. And we're going to cross reference this you can put Isaiah 61 verses one through two, that's what he read is Isaiah chapter 61. verses one and two. And I just, I love uh, you know, I'm a visual person, and I'm just imagining him read that and then look what it says verse 20, and He closed the book.
Sharmaine Howell 54:45
And he gave it to the minister and sat down. He's like, Mic Drop.
Okay, so let me just tell you a little bit about verse 18 and 19 and what some of these things mean and what the Jews believe it to mean as they're hearing him say this. So we have right here anointed, we have that verse, The Spirit of the Lord hath anointed me. So in Greek, the word anointed is Christos, in Hebrew, it's meshiah Messiah, basically. So both words mean Anointed One. He says, I've been sent to the poor in spirit. They know that means those who need repentance, okay? The brokenhearted not only physically but emotionally, where it says preach deliverance to the captives. In Isaiah, it says, Open the prison. This is interesting, because it doesn't have the exact Isaiah in here. But this idea of referring to the work in the prison is in the Spirit World, those who are waiting for the Savior to come again. Then we have recovering the sight to the blind, physically and spiritually blind. And then to teach the acceptable year of the Lord like the acceptable year of the Lord. This is interesting. This is when salvation is offered to the souls of men. That's what that idiom means. So he gets done, he teaches this, and then look he mic drops, right? He sits down. And then he says to everybody, they're verse 21, highlight this one. And he began to say unto them, this day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears, and they are about to lose it, because there's no way it's about to be fulfilled. And then the Savior gives this really these two great examples of people in their 40s People who are in this period of trial and testing. He cites Old Testament stories. So he first says in verse 24, to them, Verily I say unto you, no prophet is accepted in his own country. He was like, Well, you know, no prophet has accepted his own country, implying that somehow he is a prophet. He's actually the Messiah. But then he says, you know, the story in verse 25, you know, the story of the widow and Elias, where she didn't have anything to eat. And he's saying, he could have helped anybody that didn't have anything to eat. And the only person that believed was this woman. So she's the one who got the help. Then he goes on in verse 26, and 27, to say, oh, there were a lot of lepers in Israel. And the prophet could have helped all the lepers to be cleansed. But there was only one who was willing to listen and do what he said. And that was Naman. So he's using stories they're familiar with. He's like, Yeah, that's me. Like, I am here to do this for you, to heal you to help you, to those of you who are in your 40s in your experience in your temptations, and they were not having it. They were so angry that he would even suggest that they did they tried to cast him out. This cause such a ruckus. My question is, how does accepting Jesus as the Messiah, allow for miracles in our lives, allow for him to heal the brokenhearted, to preach the gospel to the poor, to give sight to the blind and set at liberty those who are bruised. Okay, when you think about that, and we're going to read a quote by President Nelson and then kind of talk about what believing in the Messiah can do for us. and Shar, can you read this quote for us?
Sharmaine Howell 55:02
God has not ceased to be a God of miracles. Every book of Scripture demonstrates how willing the Lord is to intervene in the lives of those who believe in Him, He parted the Red Sea for Moses, helped Nephi retrieve the brass plates, and restored His church through the Prophet Joseph Smith. Each of these miracles took time, and may not have been exactly what those individuals originally requested from the Lord. In the same way, the Lord will bless you with miracles, if you believe in Him, doubting nothing, do the spiritual work to see miracles.
Thank you. Oh, my gosh, the if? Did you notice that if in there, yeah, if you believe in him. So talk to me about this? How does accepting Jesus allow for miracles in our lives?
Dianne Gerdy Iman 59:04
Are we going to put the work into it? Do we have the energy or the desire? You know, is it something that we're going to make a priority? Or is life just kind of? Are we going to think we're too busy?
Sharmaine Howell 59:25
Or do we think that you know, Jesus can be in someone else's life but not not do that in mine? If I'm gonna accept Him into my life, then I better believe that he can do those miracles to me too.
I think it's so fascinating to me that the Savior is reading the scriptures to them, proving what he can do for them. Citing to examples, Old Testament stories they're familiar with, and they lose it. They are so angry. There's no way you could possibly do this for me. What are you talking about? Get out of here like, not me, not me. And so yeah, they
Dianne Gerdy Iman 1:00:04
it's like, yeah, only two people decided to take me up on this.
Right. And I like that because the widow, she had to make a little cake. And they had to dip seven times in the gross, yucky River, like, you have to do the work.
Sharmaine Howell 1:00:24
The Prophet recently said, do the spiritual work, to gain the testimony that you need to gain. We have to do the work. We have to put in the work in order to be close to God, right? In order to have this Savior in our life and giving us these miracles. We can't just kneel down and say, Please bless me with this miracle. Thank you and go along our way.
Dianne Gerdy Iman 1:00:47
Yeah. Which I think so often we do. You know, yeah, I had my prayer with my family this morning. Okay, here we go. We'll pray again tonight. And everything will be fine.
And it's so subtle, like you read verses 28 and 29. You're like, I would never be like that. I mean, I wouldn't kick Jesus out. I wouldn't yell at him. Right. I think sometimes. I'm very, I subtly do it though.
Dianne Gerdy Iman 1:01:10
Yes. casually. casually. Yeah, yes. We don't even think about it.
Yeah, butI forget the miracles that have happened.
Dianne Gerdy Iman 1:01:20
Yes. Yeah, we forget the miracles that have happened.
Yeah, in fact, I'm gonna write that my scripture and don't forget about the miracles that have happened. And I like I said, I'm not going to casually cast him out.
Sharmaine Howell 1:01:34
Right, because we wouldn't we wouldn't do this. We wouldn't just say, Oh, heck no, that's that's ridiculous. Right? But we would maybe just be like, Oh, I'm just gonna not think about that today. I'm just not gonna do anything today. Oh, well, yeah.
What's one day? Please?
Sharmaine Howell 1:01:52
Oh yeah. Story of my life.
It's hard. Is that hard?
Sharmaine Howell 1:01:59
Don't forget the miracles that he has done right in our own lives? Yeah.
Oh, gosh, yes, in our own lives. And we've talked about this many times. And I'm going to bring it up again, because John Hilton, when we talked about lectures on faith, I will never forget this because he said he challenged all of us to get a journal and call it our greatest hits. And every time something good happens in our lives, we're supposed to write it down every time we have a miracle or a spiritual experience, so that we can remember our own greatest hits. And then to share those stories. I think it's okay to share those stories. I think we have to because it, I mean, here's the Savior sharing stories of people that had miracles. And so for us to do that will encourage us. Oh, that's right, miracles are still happening. Good stuff. Okay. So then, since he just got done talking about doing the spiritual work, in the next segment, we're going to learn more about what it means to do the spiritual work and what it looks like according to the Savior
If you were asked to do something immediately, what would that mean to you? What does the word immediately mean
Sharmaine Howell 1:03:11
Right away. Get up off my butt and do it. What else does that mean? Right now?
Have you ever said that to your child? I need you to do this immediately.
Sharmaine Howell 1:03:22
Right. And then I say this is not a joke. Right now. Yeah.
Dianne Gerdy Iman 1:03:28
And then my child says uh yeah, in a little while.
Right. Doesn't have the same significance immediately doesn't really meet right immediately. Okay, what about this word? What if I said to you, I need you to do this straightway
Sharmaine Howell 1:03:43
I would say the same but down the straight and narrow path. I don't know. I don't know if that's any different. Straightway? I don't use that word with my kids. But maybe it would you know, take them off guard and they might do it immediately.
Please do and get back to us. I want to know how that worked out for you. Yeah, hi hun, I need you to straightway right so straightway it means without loss of time. Now that is great.
Dianne Gerdy Iman 1:04:17
I'm trying that tonight.
That means they can't say in just a second. I get that all the time. No, sorry. Straight away. I said straight right. Okay. So we're gonna study these two words in a story that's found in Matthew chapter four, verses 18 through 22. So let's go back to Matthew chapter four. And I will read this here we go. And Jesus walking by the Sea of Galilee saw two brethren Simon called Peter and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea for they were fishers. Okay, we know this. And verse 19. Diane read that for us.
Dianne Gerdy Iman 1:04:53
All right. Matthew, chapter four, verse 19. Oh, if you look at This one there is a Joseph Smith translation so glad Diane's here, let's do this. I love when you pick me to read these, it really makes my heart happy. Oh look at you. So go to the little 'a' down towards the bottom circle of the 19a underline the JST Matthew 4:19, underline those words, then go back up into verse 19. and circle the A color that in. Let's read it. So once again, this is Matthew four, verse 19. And he saith unto them, I am He of whom it is written by the prophets. Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
Excellent. Okay, so let's underline in verse 19. What's the action that the Savior asked them to do?
Dianne Gerdy Iman 1:05:58
Follow me very good, underline that, then we're going to turn the page. And we're going to look at what their response was, in verses 20 and 22. Find those words, here we go in verse 20. And they straightway left their nets and followed him. Let's highlight straightway well then 21 He says, and going from thence, he saw two other brothers and James the son of Zebedee, and John, his brother in a ship with Zebedee, and their father mending their nets. And He called to them, and they immediately left the ship, and their father, followed him. So there's the word immediately straightway and immediately. Tell me why you think their response was so swift.
Sharmaine Howell 1:06:40
Somehow they knew the importance of who He was, and the importance of His work. And, and, you know, sometimes I read this, and I wonder, how did they know? You know, Jesus hadn't performed miracles at this point. He just basically said to them, as far as we know, I am He of whom it is written by the prophets. That was His testimony to them of Him. Follow me. And I believe the spirit testified to them that that was true. And that they knew that they needed to follow Him and that being fishers of men, whatever that was going to mean was more important than being fishers.
Oh, I like how you said that Shar. Especially because you can cross reference this story with Luke's account in Luke chapter 5. And what Matthew doesn't tell us, is that this is the story where the Lord told them to cast their nets after they had toiled all night with no success but they went ahead and cast their nets and suddenly the nets were filled until they broke and I have to wonder, which came first and why didn't Matthew include that? Because to your point Shar, did they straightway follow before the miracle or after? I don't know, I just think it's really interesting that Matthew's account is they just got up and left, but Luke gives us a little more detail into that.
Sharmaine Howell 1:07:41
They must have had such a power such a testimony born to them.
And I think what strikes me in this story is that's all there is. That's the story is that they straight way off their nets, they immediately left the ship. No questions asked. They're gonna follow Jesus. Done deal.
Sharmaine Howell 1:07:59
I know, the thought the question that crossed my mind is, you know, what are the nets and the ships that I'm standing at that I'm so busy in that I need to leave? What am I so busy in that I should walk away from?
Because we all have them? I think for me it's really to do God's will and not my own. Like when I was single, you know, all right. I could do it. But now I got kids. And and it really is I want it to be my will and not thine. Like I want my kids to do what I want him to do. Yeah, and turn out the way I want him to turn out. And I think I have learned through all of this that. God, our heavenly parents are the greatest parents in the world. Like they just let us choose. And they're there when we're willing and ready to come back. But to let go and to just let let God's will prevail. While they're in their wilderness, whatever that looks like. That it's going to be okay.
Sharmaine Howell 1:09:39
But I'm the net. Like, I think I'm the net, that's the thing. Like I want to be the kids net. And I just need to drop my dad walk away and just follow Jesus. It'll work out.
Dianne Gerdy Iman 1:09:52
Right? Because what we have is good. But if we can drop our net, what's out there is better. Yeah. You know, like as we think about, you know, these prayers that we've said before, oh, Heavenly Father, if I could just married this person, please, please, please. I remember doing that. If I could marry this boy, please Heavenly Father just have him ask me. Yeah. Wow, I'm so glad that that kid did not ask me and that I married Kyle. You know, and I think we think that we know what is best for us. Right? But the Lord knows what we need and what is best for us.
Yeah. And I want my kids in my ship. And I want them wrapped in my net. And yet, God's like, No, I knew they were going to be where they are the whole time. Just let that let it go. Drop your net.
Dianne Gerdy Iman 1:10:55
Remember who's in charge?
Sharmaine Howell 1:10:56
Yeah. And I think it's interesting. He says, Follow me. Leave, leave what you're doing because what you're doing is blessing your life. But I want you to follow me so we can bless other people's lives.
Oh, okay. Let's read this quote. This is Ezra Taft Benson. This is a classic Ezra Taft Benson quote, but it goes perfectly with this.
Dianne Gerdy Iman 1:11:21
I love this. Men and women who turn their lives over to God will discover that he can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quickened their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, rise up friends and pour out peace. Whoever will lose his life in the service of God will find eternal life.
Amen and eternal life comes later. Not right now. So you gotta endure it, whatever it is, you're going through endure it. Drop your nets, get out of your boat, follow Jesus and and endure all of this yuck; the wildernesses that we're in, right? Yeah. Ah, gosh, that was awesome. Okay, I want everyone to do this in their journals, I want you to write down a goal right now of something that you can immediately or straightway do this week to follow him. Something you can do to drop your net, to get out of your ship. So that he can do all the things we just read that Ezra Taft Benson taught, one thing you can do?
Sharmaine Howell 1:12:42
I just, said one thing I can do is serve my husband this week. I think I think it really is looking outward. You know, when Jesus says follow me, it's it's not. It's not worrying about ourselves. It's about serving somebody else.
Yeah. Oh, great answer. Great. And it makes me think of how we read that Jesus' power was that he didn't do anything for himself.
Sharmaine Howell 1:13:06
Right? It comes back to that he was like, I can't do that. And I won't do that. Because that's not what my power is given for.
Even though I'm really really hungry. Right. It woulda made sense? Yeah. Diane would you be willing to share?
Dianne Gerdy Iman 1:13:20
I think that this week, I am going to focus my scripture study more on how I can love others, like the Savior loves. And I think that that is going to teach me how to be more like him. And how to endure a little more joyfully, and how to be a better fisher of men. So I would say that this week, I'm going to study I'm writing this down, study. How to love more like the Savior. Yes.
Great, great goals. Both of you. That was awesome. Wow, thank you so much. That's the end. That's our discussion. You guys.
Sharmaine Howell 1:14:20
What it's already over. That was fast.
Okay. Just take a minute and gather your thoughts. And I just want to know, is there anything that is going to be a takeaway for you today, anything we studied or talked about that that touched you, struck you?
Dianne Gerdy Iman 1:14:34
I do have one and I actually wrote it down? I know. So I wrote down for me how Jesus could oppose Satan was through quoting Scriptures, and that in order to quote the scriptures, he had to know the Scriptures, and I thought I need t o be sure that me and my family are in the scriptures as much as we can. And so that we can call something out when we need to. And, you know, I think also just with temptation would also be choosing now how you're going to respond to a situation. And I know when I was in high school that really helped when somebody asked me to do something, and I was able to say, Nope, I'm sorry, because I had made up my mind when I was younger. So it was never a hard decision.
It's great application. That is awesome. Diane, thank you. Shar?
Sharmaine Howell 1:15:44
I think mine would be just Jesus's example of fasting. I really love talking about this fasting and how he fasted for the purpose of being empowered by the Holy Ghost. And I think it's going to change I hope it's going to change the way I fast this coming week and this year and, and fasting for, you know, to be empowered with the things that I'm going to be going through and to have the power to endure temptations. And I just think it's given me a good light to see fasting a little bit differently than I have not just not just to say a prayer and please bless it, this will happen and be blessed in my life and please heal this person. There's just so much more to fasting than I have given thought to I think in the last little while and I love this example of Jesus and His fasting and the strength he got from it and how he knew afterwards who he was and his mission and He was ready to go do it.
Yeah, I liked how our discussion just kept coming back to the fast and fasting this was a powerful lesson on fasting that wasn't even the intention. Yeah, like cool for me, each one of you had one: Diane at the very beginning when I asked how you get closer to God and you said you drive up into the mountains and that you hate driving and you hate driving in the mountains.
Dianne Gerdy Iman 1:17:09
I'm a bad driver
You know it just made me think how you choose to do something that you don't enjoy doing in order to get closer to God and it made me think, what what is that for me? And then again it connected how we ended like what is my net? What is my ship that I'm just unwilling to let go of and get out of because it's comfortable and Diane you're willing to be uncomfortable to get closer to God and so it kind of just That's my thing I what am I going to straightway do I'm going to put the word straightway on a sticky note and put it on my bathroom mirror because I just want to be reminded. Am I willing to just straightway believe in Christ and straightway Yeah, drop my net, get out of that boat and do something uncomfortable so that all so they can get closer to Christ and it might be this fast Sunday. You know, I'm just gonna call There you go everyone knows I'm not good at fasting I try so hard but I'm gonna commit to a legit fast.
Sharmaine Howell 1:18:08
You're gonna have to put the word straightway on your fridge.
Or on the Oreos in my pantry
Sharmaine Howell 1:18:16
Walk away straightway!
Mom, why does it say straightway everywhere in the house. I don't know. I'm gonna be so mean becasue I'm hungry. Okay, I'm the Grouch. I get hangry. It's so funny. You guys are the best, Thank you so much. That was a wonderful discussion.
Dianne Gerdy Iman 1:18:31
Love you girls!
Sharmaine Howell 1:18:34
Great, thank you so much, Tammy.
Thanks for coming. So prepared. Love you both.
Dianne Gerdy Iman 1:18:38
Sharmaine Howell 1:18:39
You too, See ya.
Oh my gosh, that was so fun. Okay, I cannot wait to hear what you guys learned. And this week when we ask a question on Instagram and Facebook, go answer it. I want to know everything that struck you as we studied from these books of Scripture. If you don't already belong to our discussion group on Facebook or Instagram, go do it. It is such a great place to ask questions as you study throughout the week. I try to answer them and the whole community for Sunday on Monday answers questions. It's really fun. And then on Saturday, we do a post asking a question from this episode. So you can get to both our Facebook and Instagram by going to the show notes for this episode on ldsliving.com/sundayonmonday, and it's not a bad idea to go there because that is where we have the links to all the references that we used and we used a lot today as well as a transcript of this entire discussion and a glue-in a really good glue and and if you're wondering what it is, I'm just going to tell you right now. It's the CS Lewis quote, you have to put that in your scriptures. The Sunday on Monday Study Group is a Desert Bookshelf PLUS+ original brought to you by LDS Living. It's written and hosted by me Tammy Uzelac Hall and today our awesome study group participants were Sharmaine Howe and Diane Gerdy Iman, and you can find more information about these friends at ldsliving.com/sundayonmonday. Our podcast is produced by Cole Wissinger and me. It is edited by Hailey Higham and it is recorded and mixed by Mix At Six Studios and our executive producer is Erin Hallstrom. Thanks for being here, we'll see you next week, and oh please remember that you really are God's favorite
Sharmaine Howell 1:20:08
Don't leave me on a cliffhanger
Transcribed by https://otter.ai