8: "Stand as a Witness" (Doctrine and Covenants 14–17)
Do you remember a time when your home was so full of family or guests it was basically “at capacity”? The Whitmers knew this feeling all too well in their small home with eight children. Then things became a little more exciting than usual when they took in Emma, Joseph, and Oliver to help with the translation of the Book of Mormon. As the work of restoring the gospel progressed, some of the Whitmers began to wonder how they could help. In this week’s lesson, we’ll study Doctrine and Covenants sections 14–17 to see what the Lord had to say to three of the Whitmer sons and learn how these revelations relate to us today.
Section 14 Title: Call to Labor—David Whitmer
Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to David Whitmer, at Fayette, New York, June 1829. The Whitmer family had become greatly interested in the translating of the Book of Mormon. The Prophet established his residence at the home of Peter Whitmer Sr., where he dwelt until the work of translation was carried to completion and the copyright on the forthcoming book was secured. Three of the Whitmer sons, each having received a testimony as to the genuineness of the work, became deeply concerned over the matter of their individual duty. This revelation and the two following (sections 15 and 16) were given in answer to an inquiry through the Urim and Thummim. David Whitmer later became one of the Three Witnesses to the Book of Mormon.
Quote: "In 1828, Peter Whitmer’s 23-year-old son, David, had some business to conduct in Palmyra, about 25 miles (40 km) away. While there, he heard talk of a young man who had allegedly found gold plates containing ancient writings. David paid little attention to what he supposed was “idle gossip” until he met a schoolteacher named Oliver Cowdery. Oliver Cowdery told David that he believed there was some truth to the matter and that he planned to travel to Harmony, Pennsylvania, to meet Joseph Smith himself.
"David received a visit at his father’s home in Fayette some months later. Oliver Cowdery and Samuel Smith, Joseph Smith’s brother, were on their way to Harmony. David later remembered Oliver promising that 'as soon as he found out anything either truth or untruth he would let me know.'5 True to his promise, Oliver sent David letters during the spring of 1829. In them he shared firsthand details about translating the golden plates and gave his testimony of a revelation given to him through Joseph Smith6" (Curtis Ashton, "Peter Whitmer Log Home in Fayette, NY," ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
Story of David Whitmer and His Field:
“David went to the field, and found that he had two heavy days’ work before him. … He then fastened his horses to the harrow, and instead of dividing the field into what is, by farmers, usually termed lands, drove around the whole of it, continuing thus till noon, when, on stopping for dinner, he looked around, and discovered to his surprise, that he had harrowed in full half the wheat. After dinner he went on as before, and by evening he finished the whole two days’ work.
“His father, on going into the field the same evening, saw what had been done, and he exclaimed, ‘There must be an overruling hand in this, and I think you would better go down to Pennsylvania as soon as your plaster of paris is sown.’
“The next morning, David took a wooden measure under his arm and went out to sow the plaster, which he had left, two days previous, in heaps near his sister’s house, but, on coming to the place, he discovered that it was gone!
“‘I am astonished at that,’ replied his sister, ‘for the children came to me in the forenoon, and begged of me to go out and see the men sow plaster in the field, saying, that they never saw anybody sow plaster so fast in their lives. I accordingly went, and saw three men at work in the field, as the children said, but, supposing that you had hired some help, on account of your hurry, I went immediately into the house, and gave the subject no further attention.’
“David made considerable inquiry in regard to the matter, both among his relatives and neighbors, but was not able to learn who had done it” (Lucy Mack Smith, History of Joseph Smith by His Mother, ed. Preston Nibley , 148–49; Stephen E. Robinson & H. Dean Garrett A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, Deseret Book).
Peter Whitmer, Jun.
Joseph Smith, Sen.
Samuel H. Smith
David Whitmer Seeing the Plates:
"Not many days after the above commandment was given, we four, viz Martin Harris, David Whitmer, Oliver Cowdery, and myself, agreed to retire into the woods, and try to obtain by fervent and humble prayer, the fulfilment of the promises given in this revelation; that they should have a view of the pl[ates] &c[.]40 we accordingly made choice of a piece of woods convenient to Mr Whitmer’s [house],41 to which we retired, and having knelt down, we began to pray in much faith, to Almighty God to bestow upon us a realization of those promises. According to previous arrangement, I commenced by vocal prayer to our Heavenly Father and was folowed by each of the rest in succession; we did not yet however obtain any answer or manifestation of the divine favour in our behalf. We again observed the same order of prayer each calling on and praying fervently to God in rotation; but with the same result as before. Upon this our second failure, Martin Harris proposed that he would withdraw himself from us, believing as he expressed himself that his presence was the cause of our not obtaining what we wished for: He accordingly withdrew from us, and we knelt down again, and had not been [p. 24]. many minutes engaged in prayer when presently we beheld a light above us in the air of exceeding brightness, and behold, an angel stood before us; in his hands he held the plates which we had been praying for these to have a view of: he turned over the leaves one by one, so that we could see them, and discern the engravings thereon distinctly: He addressed himself to David Whitmer, and said, 'David, blessed is the Lord, and he that keeps all his commandments:' when immediately afterwards we heard a voice from out of the bright light above us, saying [HC 1:54] 'These plates have been revealed by the power of God, and they have been translated by the power of God; the translation of them which you have seen is correct, and I command you to bear record of what you now see and hear” ("History, 1838–1856, volume A-1 [23 December 1805–30 August 1834]," p. 25, The Joseph Smith Papers)
Endure: "To remain firm in a commitment to be true to the commandments of God despite temptation, opposition, and adversity" (Guide to the Scriptures, "Endure," ChurchofJesusChrist.org ).
Quote: “Several years ago, my wife and I were present at the inaugural ceremony of the interactive children’s exhibit in the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City. At the end of the ceremony, President Thomas S. Monson walked toward us, and as he shook our hands, he said, 'Endure, and you shall triumph'—a profound teaching and one whose truth, of course, we can all affirm" (Elder Claudio D. Zivic, "He That Shall Endure unto the End, the Same Shall Be Saved," April 2018 general conference).
8 And it shall come to pass, that if you shall ask the Father in my name, in faith abelieving, you shall receive the bHoly Ghost, which cgiveth utterance, that you may stand as a dwitness of the things of which you shall both ehear and see, and also that you may declare frepentance unto this generation (Doctrine and Covenants 14:8).
- Action words: ask in faith, believe, give utterance, stand as a witness of what you hear and see, declare repentance
11 And behold, thou art David, and thou art called to assist; which thing if ye do, and are faithful, ye shall be blessed both spiritually and temporally, and great shall be your reward. Amen (Doctrine and Covenants 14:11).
- How can we assist?
Title of Section 15: Call to Labor—John Whitmer
Title of Section 16: Call to Labor—Peter Whitmer
5 Behold, blessed are you for this thing, and for speaking my words which I have given you according to my commandments (Doctrine and Covenants 15:5).
5 Behold, blessed are you for this thing, and for speaking my words which I have given unto you according to my commandments (Doctrine and Covenants 16:5).
6 And now, behold, I say unto you, that the thing which will be of the most worth unto you will be to declare repentance unto this people, that you may bring souls unto me, that you may rest with them in the kingdom of my Father. Amen (Doctrine and Covenants 16:6).
3 And I will tell you that which no man knoweth save me and thee alone (Doctrine and Covenants 15:3).
Title of Section 17: 3 Witnesses of the Book of Mormon
References in the Book of Mormon of Witnesses of the Plates:
Foreshadowing of the Three Witness:
Martin Harris: D&C 5:11-13, 24-28
Oliver Cowdery: D&C 6:25-28
David Whitmer: D&C 14:8
What Did the Three Witnesses See?
1 Behold, I say unto you, that you must rely upon my word, which if you do with full purpose of heart, you shall have a aview of the bplates, and also of the cbreastplate, the dsword of Laban, the eUrim and Thummim, which were given to the fbrother of Jared upon the mount, when he talked with the Lord gface to face, and the hmiraculous directors which were given to Lehi while in the wilderness, on the borders of the iRed Sea (Doctrine and Covenants 17:1).
3. Sword of Laban
4. Urim and Thummim
2 And it is by your faith that you shall obtain a view of them, even by that faith which was had by the prophets of old.
David Whitmer's Account of Being a Witness:
"We not only saw the plates of the Book of Mormon but also the brass plates, the plates of the Book of Ether, the plates containing the records of the wickedness and secret combinations of the people of the world down to the time of their being engraved, and many other plates. . . . There appeared as it were, a table with many records or plates upon it, besides the plates of the Book of Mormon, also the Sword of Laban, the directors—i.e., the ball which Lehi had, and the Interpreters. I saw them just as plain as I see this bed (striking the bed beside him with his hand), and I heard the voice of the Lord, as distinctly as I ever heard anything in my life, declaring that the records of the plates of the Book of Mormon were translated by the gift and power of God." When asked if he saw the angel at that time, Brother Whitmer replied, "Yes; he stood before us, our testimony as recorded in the Book of Mormon is strictly and absolutely true, just as it is there written."5 (Stephenson and Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, Vol. 1, "Doctrine and Covenants 17," Deseret Book).
Why did there need to be witness?
4 And this you shall do that my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., may not be destroyed, that I may bring about my righteous purposes unto the children of men in this work (Doctrine and Covenants 17:4).
Joseph Smith's reaction to having witnesses:
Joseph's relief at not being the only one to carry the burden of knowing and testifying is reflected in the account written by his mother concerning his return to the house after the vision had been granted to the Three Witnesses. He exclaimed: "Father, mother, you do not know how happy I am: the Lord has now caused the plates to be shown to three more besides myself. They have seen an angel, who has testified to them, and they will have to bear witness to the truth of what I have said, for now they know for themselves, that I do not go about to deceive the people, and I feel as if I was relieved of a burden which was almost too heavy for me to bear, and it rejoices my soul, that I am not any longer to be entirely alone in the world" 8 (Stephenson and Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants, Vol. 1, "Doctrine and Covenants 17," Deseret Book)
5 And ye shall testify that you have seen them, even as my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., has seen them; for it is by my power that he has seen them, and it is because he had faith (Doctrine and Covenants 17:5).
The string used to bind the original manuscript of the Book of Mormon:
Mary Musselman Whitmer Background:
"Born Mary Musselman in Germany on August 27, 1778,1 Mary immigrated to the United States and married Peter Whitmer, a Pennsylvania farmer who was also of German descent. They moved to New York early in the nineteenth century, purchasing the farm in Fayette that played host to many important scenes, including the Book of Mormon translation" (Robin Scott Jensen, "A Bit of Old String: Mary Whitmer’s Unheralded Contributions," ChurchofJesusChrist.org )
Conversion of Sarah Conrad:
"While doing the hard work that hospitality required in an era before washing machines and other technologies, Mary Whitmer hired a neighbor, Sarah Conrad, to help her in the kitchen. Sarah also gained a testimony during the translation process. Sarah had noticed light shining from the faces of Joseph and Oliver as they came downstairs. When she learned from her employer that the change in the men’s countenances was 'connected with a holy sacred work,' she believed and later joined the new church" (Curtis Ashton, "Peter Whitmer Log Home in Fayette, NY," ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
Story of Mary's Witness:
“The translation was going on at the house of the Elder Peter Whitmer, her husband. Joseph Smith with his wife and Oliver Cowdery, whom David Whitmer a short time previous had brought up from Harmony, Pennsylvania, were all boarding with the Whitmers, and my grandmother in having so many extra persons to care for, besides her own large household was often overloaded with work to such an extent that she felt it to be quite a burden. One evening, when (after having done her usual day’s work in the house) she went to the barn to milk the cows, she met a stranger carrying something on his back that looked like a knapsack. At first she was a little afraid of him, but when he spoke to her in a kind, friendly tone and began to explain to her the nature of the work which was going on in her house, she was filled with inexpressible joy and satisfaction. He then untied his knapsack and showed her a bundle of plates, which in size and appearance corresponded with the description subsequently given by the witnesses of the Book of Mormon. This strange person turned the leaves of the book of plates over, leaf after leaf, and also showed her the engravings upon them; after which he told her to be patient and faithful in bearing her burden a little longer, promising that if she would do so, she should be blessed; and her reward would be sure, if she proved faithful to the end. The personage then suddenly vanished with the plates, and where he went, she could not tell. From that moment my grandmother was enabled to perform her household duties with comparative ease, and she felt no more inclination to murmur because her lot was hard" (Robin Scott Jensen, "A Bit of Old String: Mary Whitmer’s Unheralded Contributions," ChurchofJesusChrist.org ).
Women who had witnesses of the translation process:
Emma: "As the person closest to Joseph and with him from the beginning to the very end of the translation process, Emma 'was arguably more intimately involved with the coming forth of the Book of Mormon than any other individual besides Joseph,' Sister Easton-Flake said (Marianne Holman Prescott, "Four Women Were Witnesses to Book of Mormon Translation Process," ChurchofJesusChrist.org ).
Lucy Harris: Lucy Harris saw the 116 pages and also had a dream about the plates. "In her dream she recalled a personage that appeared to her and chastised her for interfering with the work. The angel then showed her the plates, resulting in a powerful witness. Upon waking up, Lucy Harris insisted on giving Joseph $28—personal money she had received from her mother prior to her mother’s death" (Marianne Holman Prescott, "Four Women Were Witnesses to Book of Mormon Translation Process," ChurchofJesusChrist.org ).
Lucy Mack Smith: "After Joseph had obtained the plates, Lucy and other family members saw their outline through the cloth that covered them and even handled them on occasion" (Marianne Holman Prescott, "Four Women Were Witnesses to Book of Mormon Translation Process," ChurchofJesusChrist.org ).
2 And it is by your faith that you shall obtain a view of them, even by that faith which was had by the prophets of old (Doctrine and Covenants 17:2).
Quote: “All members of the Church are, by covenant, witnesses of Christ.”
Noting that at baptism we promise to always remember Him, President Packer said, “Everything we do, we do in His name. Every prayer that is offered at the table or the four-year-old [who prays] concludes the prayer ‘in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.’ Every sister teaching a Sunday School or Primary class ends her teaching in that name, and that is His name. As the scriptures say, ‘For by this name shall ye be called at the last day,’ even ‘the name of Christ’ (3 Nephi 27:5). So the name is the key word.” When we do those small and simple things we are a witness of him ("The Twelve and the Seventy, Part Three: Witnesses to the World," ChurchofJesusChrist.org ).
8 And if you do these last acommandments of mine, which I have given you, the bgates of hell shall not prevail against you; for my cgrace is sufficient for you, and you shall be dlifted up at the last day (Doctrine and Covenants 17:8).
The Lord's Witness of the Book of Mormon:
Quote: "But once convinced of the truth of the work, Peter Whitmer Sr. was steadfast. His response to the warnings of his former spiritual leader was to repeat, in German, a motto adapted from the scriptures: 'Jesus Christ, yesterday, today, and forever'13 (Curtis Ashton, "Peter Whitmer Log Home in Fayette, NY," ChurchofJesusChrist.org).
0:00:00.6 Tammy Uzelac Hall: Do you have a memory of a time when your home was at capacity? And by that, I mean, what's the greatest number of house guests that you have ever had, and how long did they stay? Because the setting for today's episode is the Peter and Mary Whitmer home, and boy did they know "at capacity." Peter and Mary, they already had a large family to care for: Eight children. But when these two learned about Joseph Smith from their 23-year-old son, David Whitmer, they offered Joseph, Emma, and Oliver Cowdery a place to stay and finish the translation of The Book of Mormon for about a month. The more the merrier, I guess? But that's not the only thing the Whitmer home was used for.
0:00:38.0 TH: So in today's discussion of doctrine and covenants, Sections 14-17, we will learn more about the Whitmers, their home, and their witness to the Restoration. Welcome to the Sunday on Monday study group, a Desert Bookshop Plus Original brought to you by LDS Living, where we take the "Come, Follow Me" lesson for the week and we really dig into the scriptures together. I'm your host, Tammy Uzelac Hall. Now, if you're new to our study group, we just wanna make sure you know how to use this podcast, so follow the link in our description that will explain how you can best use this podcast to enhance your "Come, Follow Me" study, like my friends in Phoenix, Arizona, the Travis and Jess Peterson family. Hi, guys, and hi to your cute kids. Now, another awesome thing about our study group is, each week we're joined by two of my friends, and so it's always different, and today I'm so excited because I love these two women so much. We have Shiloh Keno from New Zealand and Sharon Staples from Utah. Hi, ladies.
0:01:32.6 Sharon Staples: Hi, good to see you again, Tammy. Hi, Shiloh.
0:01:36.2 Shilo Kino: Hi, Sharon. I'm a big fan.
0:01:38.5 SS: I am a good fan of yours, and, I don't even know you yet, so I'm looking forward to this.
0:01:43.2 TH: I love you two so much. And the whole time you've been getting ready for this episode, I'm so nervous and excited, 'cause I just know that there'll be such a good discussion that will come from this.
0:01:52.3 SS: We'll try not to let you down.
0:01:55.6 TH: Yeah, you better not, Sharon.
0:01:56.3 SS: No. I'm not... No. Shiloh, you're gonna have to carry this.
0:02:00.5 SK: I'm really excited, 'cause I listened to Sharon a lot on the podcast last year, so I'm a bit starstruck at the moment.
0:02:08.5 TH: It is true. Sharon's so nervous right now. She hates adulation of any kind. I'm sorry, Sharon. Yeah. Hates it, hates it. Alright, so if you wanna know more about Shiloh and Sharon, you can find pictures and more information about them in our show notes, which are listed at ldsliving.com/sundayonmonday. Okay, here's something fun about this week's episode. This is sort of like a story time episode. It is packed with so much Church history. Am I right, ladies?
0:02:34.2 SS: Yes. I learned a lot.
0:02:35.5 SK: Yes.
0:02:36.2 TH: Okay. So I'm inviting the listeners, if you can, if you're not listening at work, if you're gonna do it at night or with your family, go put on your jammies, grab a blanket, pop some popcorn, grab your favorite beverage, and get cozy because we have some really fun stories that we've prepared for you today. So, we're gonna start out with a fun fact. So, the Whitmer home, I thought this was cool, the home and the land was purchased by the Church in 1926. Then they built on it and reconstructed the Whitmer home, so the home that's there now is not original, it's a reconstruction. And for the 150th anniversary of the organization of the church, both a log home replica of the Whitmer home and a modern meeting house were built on that property. Now, on April 6th, 1980, President Spencer W. Kimball welcomed a worldwide congregation to the Sunday morning session of General Conference from that log home at the Whitmer farm, and it's so much fun to go back and see it. So in our show notes, I included a link where you can click on and actually see Spencer W. Kimball standing in this log home replica speaking and starting General Conference from that in 1980. I thought that was pretty cool. I mean, I was alive for that.
0:03:42.8 SK: Wow. That's amazing. I didn't know that.
0:03:44.5 SS: I didn't either.
0:03:45.3 TH: I probably shouldn't... I was nine. So there we go. I didn't really know we even had Saturday session, of Conference till I was on my mission, so I'm not surprised that I missed the log cabin session. But go watch it, 'cause it's so much fun. So, why is all of this important? Why do we bring this up? Because the Whitmer home is where the church was organized, and we're gonna study that in a couple of weeks, but it's also where the first church meeting was officially held, and there was one more significant thing that happened in this home. So, friends, grab your scriptures and let's dig in to some of the revelations that transpired at the Whitmer home. Okay, ladies, I started the very beginning by asking if anyone had had an experience where their house was "at capacity," and I wanna ask you the same question, do any of you have any story where your home just had lots of people living with you, or maybe you were a guest in someone's home with a lot of people?
0:04:33.7 SS: Growing up there was just the four of us, mom, dad, and my brother, and we lived in small homes or even mobile homes. I never experienced lots of people or cramped conditions, but I can imagine it as I watch what's happening throughout the world with immigration and people gathering in camps, and I think, "Oh, my gosh, how do they do all of that?" And then re-reading about the Whitmer home and how crowded it was. Then I asked myself the same question, "How did they live? How did they eat? How did they go to the bathroom? How did they find time to interact with one another? How did they have prayer?" It sounds as if it was a real challenge. But I have no personal experience with that. But I relate it to what's going on in the world today.
0:05:19.2 TH: Wow, thank you for bringing that up, Sharon, for giving us that visual. I appreciate that.
0:05:24.7 SK: For me, we have a thing called a marae, which is a meeting house that Maori have. Usually it's for funerals and big things. We all gather. So if you can imagine a house, a meeting house with maybe 100 to 150 all sleeping in that same area. And usually with a funeral with Maori, it's like a week long. So we call it a tangi. So, "tangi" in Maori means "to cry." And so, we have a week with the family, where we have the body inside the meeting house. At my marae, there's two toilets...
0:06:00.9 SS: Oh, my gosh.
0:06:01.0 TH: Oh, my goodness.
0:06:01.3 SK: And three showers, and I used to hate it when I was younger because you try and sleep and there would be someone snoring, snoring so loud. Or, when I was younger, it was a bit scary for me to think I was sleeping near a dead body, 'cause that's what we do in our culture.
0:06:19.2 TH: Oh, yeah.
0:06:19.4 SK: But... And it was hard sometimes, 'cause I, for me, I was quite a shy, like introverted child, it's like I'd want to get away. But at the same time, it was beautiful 'cause I got to be around family and things like that. So it's a beautiful thing in Maori culture, I think, to be in that community, but at the same time, it's what I had.
0:06:39.5 SS: Thank you, Shilo for sharing that, that's something I'd never considered. That's a lot of people. And when you said that the body is still in the room, wow, that is... That's at capacity for me mentally, I think. So thanks for sharing that. So here's an interesting thing about the Whitmer home. It was roughly 700 square feet, which is not very big, and there are 13 people who are living in this double log home. And while they're staying in this home, let's go to Doctrine and Covenant section 14. We're gonna read just the section heading of Doctrine and Covenant section 14. And Sharon, will you read that for us?
0:07:13.1 SK: Revelation given through Joseph Smith, the prophet, to David Whitmer at Fayette, New York, June 1829. The Whitmer family had become greatly interested in the translating of The Book of Mormon. The prophet established his residence at the home of Peter Whitmer, Sr. Where he dwelt until the work of translation was carried to completion, and the copyright on the forthcoming book secured. Three of the Whitmer sons, each having received the testimony as to the genuineness of the work, became deeply concerned over the matter of their individual duty. This revelation and the two next following, sections 15 and 16, were given an answer to an inquiry through the Urim and Thummim. David Whitmer later became one of the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon.
0:08:00.6 SS: Thank you. So for those of you who are marking the titles, the title for Section 14 is Call to Labor, David Whitmer. So how did they end up at the Whitmer home? This is the story that we need to tell. And it's such a fun story. Now, remember back in Episode 5, we learned that it was very common for school teachers to live with their students' families, and Oliver Cowdery was a teacher for the Smith children. He ended up living with the Smith Family and learning all about Joseph Smith. Meanwhile, during this time, a man by the name of David Whitmer, he had some business to conduct in Palmyra. Now, while he was there, he heard all this talk, this swirling talk, and people were talking about this young man who allegedly found gold plates containing ancient writings. And David in his writing, he's like, I didn't really pay attention because it just seemed like idle gossip to me, until I met a school teacher by the name of Oliver Cowdery. So Oliver Cowdery told David, "You know what, I think there's actually some truth to this, I really do. In fact, I'm gonna go and meet this Joseph Smith guy that they're talking about. I'm going with his brother Samuel Smith, and we're gonna go see him in Harmony."
0:08:58.9 SS: And so they left and on their journey, a couple of weeks later, they actually stopped by on their way at the Whitmer home and they visited David. And Oliver assured David, "Listen, I'm gonna write you letters and I'm gonna let you know either way if it's true or if it's false." So true to his promise, Oliver sent David letters throughout the spring of 1829. And in those letters, he shared first-hand details about translating these gold plates, and he gave his testimony of a revelation that was given to him through Joseph Smith, which would be Section 6. And we just read that a few weeks ago, which is so cool. Alright, now later in that spring, David received his third letter from Oliver Cowdery. And in that letter, he learned that frequent interruptions were slowing the translation of the work in Pennsylvania.
0:09:40.0 SS: So Joseph and Oliver wrote to David and said, "Is there any way that you have room in your family home? Do you think your parents would let us come and stay there so we can continue the translation of these plates?" And David received this letter and he said he felt this sense of urgency like, "Yeah," and he talked to his parents and they said, "Yes, they can stay with us." But now, here's the cool part of the story, so I've asked Sharon to share this story with us. Sharon, tell us a little bit about what had to be done before David could even go help Joseph.
0:10:06.7 SS: Well, he had to plow his field to get the wheat taken care of, and so he went to the field and he found that he had two heavy days work before him. He fastened his horses, harrowed the field, dividing the field. And then at noon, I stopped and he realized that he had... He's surprised he'd covered almost half of it. So after dinner, he went on as before and by evening he'd finished the work. But his father saw that and said, "Oh my gosh, this is wonderful. You've done a good job and there must be an overruling hand in this." And he said, "I think you better go down to Pennsylvania as soon as your plaster of paris is sown." And I thought, "Why would you put plaster of paris in a wheat field?" So I looked up plaster of paris and I asked Google and I ask Alexa. They said, "It was used in agriculture years ago because it was rich in nitrogen."
0:10:56.4 SS: So the next morning, David went out to sow the plaster, but he discovered that it was gone, the plaster of paris was gone. And he said, and I quote, "I am astonished at that" replied his sister, "for the children, came to me in the afternoon or fore noon and begged of me to go out and see the men sow plaster in the field, saying that they never saw anybody sow plaster so fast in their lives. I accordingly went and saw three men at work in the field, as the children had said. But supposing that you had hired some help, David on account of your hurry, I went immediately into the house and gave the subject no further attention." David made considerable inquiry in regard to the matter, both among his relatives and neighbors, but was not able to learn who had done it. So apparently there were three strange men helping with the work of the Kingdom by sowing plaster of paris in his field. That's mazing. That's a touching little story.
0:11:58.2 TH: I love that story. We shared that last year because it's one of the only Church history stories recorded that we attribute to the three Nephites. So I love telling that story to my students, I'm like, "Oh, this could have been them." So thank you, Sharon, for sharing that story. So David was free to go. He hurried up and he went and he got himself a two-horse wagon, and he drove 100 miles away to go get Joseph, Emma and Oliver Cowdery and he helped move them to his parents home. So talking about this story, I'm just curious, in your own words, like, what are you thinking? What are some of the things that this teaches us about God and His work?
0:12:34.3 SS: The Lord will fulfill his purposes and his predictions no matter what, and He helps in funny little ways, plaster of paris? Hello. I mean, how would you think that the Lord would be involved in plaster of paris? Just makes no sense at all, but when you think about it, and the work had to get done and they had to move. It had to be done, so the Lord provided a way.
0:12:57.7 SK: I was actually just thinking about David Whitmer in the intro there it said how they became deeply concerned of the matter of the individual duty. And I thought about how David just had a conversation with Oliver Cowdery, "I didn't know this man, didn't know Joseph Smith." Well, none of the family did, and he must have felt something inside of him still, the words must have pierced his heart or something, and I think that takes a lot of faith to act on that. And I was really surprised to hear that he became distant from the church, because from what I'm reading, I see such a powerful disciple of Christ and how he was used as an instrument in the Lord's work, and I thought about my own life, and in the moments in which maybe I'd meet people, people have come into my life, or have answered prayers and yeah, just made me think about how the Lord uses us.
0:13:52.3 TH: Thank you, Shilo, for bringing that up. In fact, we are absolutely gonna touch on all of that throughout this episode today, and I'm gonna bring it back to this discussion, Shilo 'cause it's just spot on. And when you talked about how he was such a wonderful witness, and Sharon, when you read the section heading about three witnesses, it's worth going to. At the very beginning of the copy of your Book of Mormon, go to the witness page because here's what's so cool. Because of David Whitmer, because the Whitmers opened their home, we will get out of that, six of the eight witnesses will come from the Whitmer home or the Whitmer relation. So I just want you to go where it says the testimony of eight witnesses, and we have right here, Christian Whitmer, Jacob Whitmer, Peter Whitmer, John Whitmer, Hyrum Page. It's worth noting that Hyrum Page was actually the brother-in-law of the Whitmer family. He married a sister, Peter and Mary's daughter. So all of those witnesses came from the Whitmer family because they were willing to open up their doors. They became witnesses to the Book of Mormon, I just think that's so incredible. And in the next segment, we're going to read what the Lord first had to say to David about his respective duty and his Call to Labor.
0:15:08.0 TH: So I'm curious, what did life look like for both of you in your 20s, you remember what it was like when you were 24 years old? I had just finished serving a mission, and the only thing I cared about was getting married, that's all.
0:15:21.5 SK: How did that work out?
0:15:22.8 TH: It didn't. Thanks for bringing it up, Shilo.
0:15:27.0 SS: Apparently, it did work out.
0:15:27.1 TH: It did much later in life, but the... With all the efforts I put in at age 24. I wish I had known yeah, and trying to grow my hair out 'cause it was shaved up the back with clippers short.
0:15:39.0 SK: Oh, wow.
0:15:39.6 TH: It was short, short, short. And so when I got home, I'm like, "I'm gonna grow this out," and it took me a while.
0:15:45.1 SS: That was your concern when you were 20, it was growing your hair out?
0:15:47.0 TH: Okay, Sharon, I was trivial. I was trite. [laughter] What was it like for you guys, when you were 24?
0:15:53.8 SS: I was just leaving on a mission, so I had walked into the bishop's office with a dear friend. I'm a convert to the church, and I said, "Do sisters go on missions and what do you have to do and what's it like and da, da, da, da? And a month later, I was called and so was my friend, and we were called to the same mission. So when I was 24, I was leaving on my mission.
0:16:11.3 SK: Where did you go, Sharon?
0:16:12.7 SS: I went to Peru. Peru, South America. Yeah.
0:16:16.4 TH: Well, and this is interesting, 'cause back in the day when you served a mission, several sister missionaries had to take a really unique item, which is unheard of today. And your friend Addie, what did Addie have to take on her mission that's so crazy?
0:16:26.1 SS: She had to take a pressure cooker.
0:16:30.3 TH: That's so crazy to me.
0:16:32.0 SS: Think of your scriptures and a marvelous work and wonder, and who thinks of taking a pressure cooker on your mission?
0:16:36.2 TH: Some skirts and a pressure cooker, I know. Oh 1950s, we love you.
0:16:41.8 SS: Yeah. What a world.
0:16:42.1 TH: What a world. What about you, Shilo?
0:16:45.0 SK: When I was 23, that was actually one of my favorite years, that's when I joined the church. And I think at that age, I was finishing up at university doing a journalism degree, and I was asking one of those big questions, "What does my future look like?" And I felt like that was the year I really discovered who I was, I came into the church, and I felt that sense of belonging and got the answers to the questions that I was looking for.
0:17:09.9 TH: Okay, this is so cool. So Shilo and Sharon, I'm gonna have to say that you both have something in common with David Whitmer. Like you, he was trying to figure out what his role was at age 24. He wanted to know, "Okay, what is my duty? What is it that I'm supposed to do?" And so through the Urim and Thummim Joseph Smith gets this revelation specific for David Whitmer, which is Section 14 verses 1 through 11. So we're not gonna study 1 through 6, because we have 1 through 6 is sort of repeated in Section 6, Section 11, and we've studied it already. We're just gonna cut to verse 7. Shilo, will you please read verse 7 for us.
0:17:49.2 SK: And if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.
0:17:58.1 TH: Thank you. Okay, here's what I want us to do with this. There's an if and then statement there, and you know I love these in scripture, so circle the word if. This is an important if, especially to David Whitmer. If you keep my commandments and endure to the end, then you shall have eternal life, which is the greatest of all the gifts of God. And here's what I want us to know, 'cause I thought this was really cool going back to our church history story. So Shilo, I asked you to share this story about the significance of that word, if. So Shilo is gonna share a church history story with us.
0:18:28.0 SK: So Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris and David Whitmer were praying to see the vision of the plates and then Angel Moroni appeared onto the three witnesses along with the plates, which is incredible. So Angel Moroni turned up the leaves one by one showing the engravings and then Angel Moroni then told David, "David, blessed is the Lord and He that keepeth his commandments." And then afterwards, the witnesses heard a voice from out of the bright light saying, "These plates have been revealed by the power of God, and they've been translated by the power of God."
0:19:03.4 TH: So, Shilo, thank you for sharing that story with us. The reason why I wanted us to hear this story is because here's this cool moment. Now, David Whitmer is with the two other witnesses, and they're getting to see the plates. But this verse 7 comes first, it's almost like a foreshadowing where the Lord is warning David, "Hey, listen, if you keep the commandments and endure to the end, you're gonna have eternal life, you just will." And then Moroni, in this moment where they're witnesses, Moroni's reminding David of that moment, of that blessing that Joseph received. And I thought it was unique, because of the other three witnesses, none of them are told, "If you keep the commandments. " I went and read all the revelations given to them, and they're all encouraged to keep the commandments, David Whitmer is the only one that gets an, "If you keep my commandments. " And then like you brought up earlier, Shilo, the sad part about this is that David Whitmer will be the only one of the three witnesses that is not re-baptized after excommunication. And so I want us to help draw a parallel to our own lives, like, "What is this trying to teach us?"
0:20:04.5 SK: As I'm reading this and I'm thinking about this, I have so much love for David. Because I don't know what he was going through in his personal life or his personal struggles or trials. I think it's a huge responsibility that he was given, to bring forth the purpose of God and the Book Mormon. In my own life, I feel a personal responsibility, and I'm not doing even half of the work that he's doing in bringing forth the Book of Mormon. I feel like I have a big purpose in life, and I feel like for me it's hard. And I feel overwhelming... Often overwhelming responsibility and sometimes burdened and sometimes weighed down, anxiety, all those things that come with this. So for David, I feel a lot of love for him and empathy, because he obviously had so much faith to act on a conversation from Oliver Cowdery and to invite Joseph Smith onto their home. And he's obviously had these very spiritual experiences. And to me, as I think of this and I read about how I feel, that it sort of humanizes him and all the other servants of the Lord in the Scriptures, that despite the miracles that they've seen and despite their faith, they too go through hard times like all of us, and the despite being a witness of Angel Moroni, he still struggled with his faith, and many of us do.
0:21:33.0 TH: Wow, thank you, Shilo. Thank you for pointing that out and for your thoughts on David.
0:21:38.9 SS: The fact that he endured to the end in his testimony of the Book of Mormon endears me to him, I think like Shilo said. So I hope that all is well with him now, because [chuckle] he gave the majority of his life to the Gospel and to the savior until... And then unfortunately got carried away and disenfranchised. So I'm hoping that all is well with him now.
0:22:06.5 TH: When we talk about this idea of what it means to endure, I looked up... I really appreciate that on the church website, thechurchofjesuschrist.org, you can look up words. And I did, I looked up endure, and it says, "To remain firm in a commitment, to be true to the commandments of God despite temptation, opposition and adversity." And there's a great talk about enduring to the end by Elder Claudio D. Zivic. In 2018, he shared a personal experience he had had with President Thomas S. Monson. And they were at this church history museum, and President Monson walked up, and he shook Elder Claudio Zivic's hand and his wife's hand, and the only thing he said to them was, "Endure, and you shall triumph," and then walked away. [chuckle]
0:22:46.3 SS: Oh my gosh!
0:22:46.3 TH: And Claudio shares this story like, "Of all the things a prophet could have said to me, the only advice he had was, 'Endure, and you shall triumph.'" I wanna know what's one thing you have found that works when it comes to enduring to the end?
0:23:00.9 SS: For me, it's prayer. My patriarchal blessing tells me that the veil is very thin between me and my Heavenly Father. And I am aware of that thinness on a daily basis. And so prayer is my base, my bottomline, my wall, my sense of self. So if I'm thinking outside the parameters of what I know to be the truths of the Gospel, you've been given a promise that the veil is thin, and the Lord will hear you and answer you.
0:23:32.7 TH: Thank you, Sharon.
0:23:34.9 SK: For me, it's definitely personal revelation and everything that encompasses. And it's what brought me to the Gospel, it's what keeps me here. And so I've been asking myself is, "What is it that I want? What is it that I truly, truly desire?" And this is emotional, I've definitely been struggling and trying to find my place of belonging in the Gospel. I feel like it's really truly come to surface in the last month, and I began to feel conflicting feelings of doubt, "Why do I continue to stay in this Gospel when I often feel like I don't belong?" That's a question that I have asked myself is, "What is it that I desire? What's my individual duty?" And I definitely feel that it's a very personal revelation that I've been able to be here to stay, it's a personal revelation that I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior. But it's also a very personal revelation that I've been able to come to understand my purpose and why I'm here and how I could be used as an instrument in Heavenly Father's work, how I can be used to help Maori people here, indigenous people here in New Zealand. That's why I stay.
0:24:49.1 TH: Thank you, Shilo.
0:24:50.0 SS: Shilo, it sounds as if you were asking the same questions that David and John and Peter and Oliver ask. They ask, "What is our pur... What is our duty?" So you're in the same boat they were, I'm sure Heavenly Father has answered you daily about what your request.
0:25:06.5 SK: Yes.
0:25:07.2 SS: By keeping you one step ahead of the other, just going and being faithful and believing in the Savior. So honestly, I think you're doing a better job than they did.
0:25:19.0 SK: Thank you, Sharon.
0:25:20.2 TH: I agree. And all I kept thinking was the whole thing we're talking, I'm like, "You belong, you belong. We need you. God needs you, for sure."
0:25:30.0 SK: Thank you.
0:25:30.6 TH: You are right where you belong, so thank you, thank you, both of you for sharing what helps you to endure to the end, I appreciate that.
0:25:37.4 SS: And you?
0:25:38.9 TH: Oh gosh, for me, I don't know why I'm so emotional either. I think the thing that helps me endure to the end is I just believe. I just have to trust. I had an experience this week where I really did have to lean on the scriptures, and the thought came to me, did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? And I have such a testimony of scripture, so I think for me, it's reading my scriptures every day. And sometimes that looks like a verse, like I've said a verse at a stop light, 'cause I'm so busy in life is chaos with kids and sometimes that's studying the scriptures, and sometimes I get to really dig in. And so I think for me, it's definitely studying the scriptures and relying on the words and just my belief, like I just believe. And that's how it's always been for me. 'Cause there have been times when I wanted to leave. You bet, sure, being single, that was hard. There are times when I'm like, I'm just not, forget it. [chuckle]
0:26:33.5 SS: Tell me about it. [laughter] Tell me about it...
0:26:38.0 TH: Seriously Sharon, you get it...
0:26:38.8 SS: Tell Shilo about... Yeah, tell Shilo, tell me about it, about what being single is like.
0:26:42.5 TH: Sharon, you get it, you just wanna say, "Forget about it, I'm done." [chuckle]
0:26:46.1 SS: Endure to the end.
0:26:49.0 TH: Yes. Then the words like, "Get up, you big baby," you're okay, I'm fine. Wipe your tears and you take a step forward, like you said, Sharon, so...
0:26:57.0 SS: Right.
0:26:57.3 TH: That was a great discussion. Thank you ladies.
0:27:00.7 SS: Thank you.
0:27:00.9 TH: So in the next segment, we're gonna discover what else the Lord had to say to David Whitmer about his duty.
0:27:15.9 TH: Alright, we're just gonna jump right back into Section 14, and we're gonna go right to verse 8. I'm gonna read verse 8, and as I read verse 8, I want you guys to highlight all the action words that you can see in this verse. This is fun, 'cause I want us to talk about it for a minute, so here we go. "And it shall come to pass that if you shall ask the Father in my name in faith, believing, you shall receive the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance that you may stand as a witness of the things of which you shall both hear and see. And also that you may declare repentance unto this generation." Alright, what words did you mark?
0:27:50.0 SS: Ask.
0:27:50.2 SK: Believe.
0:27:50.7 TH: Yeah.
0:27:51.0 SS: Believe, believing.
0:27:53.2 TH: Yep.
0:27:55.2 SS: Receive the Holy Ghost, giveth utterance, hear and see...
0:28:00.3 SK: Witness.
0:28:00.9 TH: Witness, hear, see, very good.
0:28:03.5 SS: Declare.
0:28:04.4 TH: Declare, yep. Awesome.
0:28:06.6 SK: What does it mean to give utterance?
0:28:09.2 TH: That's a great question. Sharon, what does that mean?
0:28:12.4 SS: To give utterance means to speak to you, the Holy Ghost will speak to you that you may stand, that he will tell you that you will stand as a witness.
0:28:21.4 TH: Yeah, and so here we have this thing, like we have... First you have to have faith. Believing, he'll receive.
0:28:27.8 SS: First you have to ask.
0:28:29.0 TH: Yeah. Oh yeah, first he has to ask.
0:28:30.8 SS: Yeah.
0:28:31.1 TH: Perfect. Ask first then in faith, believing, then he comes, he gets to hear and see and then declare. It just amazes me like the Lord didn't say, Well, first you're gonna declare, but before you declare, you have to... He's just so good in His wording.
0:28:45.9 SK: Well I just wanted to say that as I was reading that, I thought about myself and those steps. So ask, faith, believe and receive, and Holy Ghost speaks to us. I feel like I've had that, and I feel like we've all had that. What really stuck out to me it was the declare repentance unto this generation, and I feel like that is also part of my purpose and maybe all of our purposes to clear repentance. When I think of that, sometimes it sounds scary, like I think of like a man...
0:29:18.1 SS: Yeah.
0:29:18.5 SK: Jumping up with the Bible in a public space and yelling. But for me, when I think about declaring repentance, it means the divinity and the power of Christ and the ability to help change our lives, because repentance is change. And so to bring about that change into your life, to bring about relief and to bring about love, and to bring peace. And so that really, really resonated with me and that's something that I want to do in my life is to help people understand the change in which Jesus Christ can bring.
0:29:53.8 TH: Oh Shilo, you just beautifully taught us what it means to declare repentance to this generation and how to do it without sounding like a jerk. I mean that was perfect, thank you so much. So let's read verse 9 in conjunction with what Shilo just shared, because it incredibly and powerfully supports our thoughts in declaring repentance. And so Sharon, will you read verse 9 for us?
0:30:20.6 SS: Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, who created the heavens and the earth. A light which cannot be hid in darkness.
0:30:33.3 TH: That's what it is right there. It's what you said, Shilo, declaring to others who he is.
0:30:40.3 SS: It's a personal testimony, He's testifying. He's witnessing that he is the Son of the Living God. He's witnessing that He created the heavens and the earth, and then telling us, I'm in it for the long haul.
0:30:53.6 TH: Maybe that's what it is, maybe declaring repentance is just by being a witness that Jesus Christ really is the son of the living God, and declaring to people that He created the heavens and the earth, and that He is the light which cannot be hid in darkness. Maybe that's all we have to do, is bring people to Christ and then they will by nature repent.
0:31:15.1 SS: It's a start, it's a good concept, a good idea, and I think it works. Thank you.
0:31:21.0 TH: Well. And then it goes to verse 11, because I love this word. Verse 11 says, "Behold thou art David and thou art called to assist." Circle that word. I think we're all called to assist. In fact, I'm curious to know what are some of the ways that you personally have been called to assist in the work. What are some callings you've had where you've been asked to assist?
0:31:41.5 SS: I was a temple worker, so that's all you do is assist the whole time. You assist throughout the whole temple itself and in all the ordinances and all that transpires. And to me, it was assisting the Lord, it wasn't assisting the temple president or the matron or my coordinator. It was assisting the Lord and assisting his daughters. I became an assistant to the Savior in helping those sisters.
0:32:08.1 TH: That's a great example of assisting.
0:32:10.3 SK: Yeah. In terms of calling, I've definitely had different callings in the church. My first calling was in primary, which I was like, "What is going on?" Because I was just like," I felt like a nun. But it was amazing, and I've had different callings, but when I think about assist, it doesn't just mean in callings in the church. So I think about my career and I think about the gifts and talents that I've been given, and one of the biggest gifts that I've definitely been given is writing. And my job is I work as a journalist in current affairs. It's incredible because I literally feel Heavenly Father helping me to write... Helping me first in the interview with the person to know what to say, to know what to ask. And then afterwards, when I'm writing the script, I actually literally feel Him telling me which parts to put in, which parts to leave out. And then afterwards, when the story comes out and I see the impact that it has. A couple of big stories that, can I share, that I did was how we... Sorry, what's it called when you save all the cans up, and with the food? A food storage.
0:33:20.3 SS: Oh, food storage.
0:33:21.0 SK: Food storage. So in Utah, food storage is probably normal, 'cause I heard in Utah, you have that special room, so you put the food storage, is that right?
0:33:28.4 SS: Sure. Sure.
0:33:28.8 SK: So in New Zealand, that's not a normal thing. And at the time, COVID was happening and there was big lines outside of supermarkets, and then I had this feeling, "Hey, I should do a story on a LDS family that has food storage and then we can show the country how we live, how members do it." And it was huge, people were inquiring about the church after that, or asking, "How do we do this food storage? How do we do it?" And this was a way that I was able to assist. But also, I just wanna say that there was a lot of pushback from my producer and editor who didn't think that it was a good story. But did come out it was hugely popular, one of the biggest stories that we did because it was such an amazing thing that New Zealanders don't really know about, but they're able to learn. So that's an... And there are many other examples, but I feel that that's the way that we're able to assist, not just in our church callings, but also with the general... We're all of God's children.
0:34:28.4 TH: You are totally right. We can assist in so many different ways. In fact, we can assist in all areas of our life, in the work that we do, in our relationships with others. Thank you for pointing that out. Well, and it's cool, 'cause in this verse, it tells us the blessings of assisting in the work. So go back in verse 11, 'cause it will say, "Which thing if ye do and are faithful, ye shall be blessed both spiritually and temporally, and great shall be your reward." What does that mean? Does it mean that we're going to be really rich and holy? What blessings are we talking about here, Sharon?
0:35:02.1 SS: I think that we'll never go without. We'll have sufficient for our needs. We'll be able to move forward. We won't be rich and famous, but we won't be downtrodden either. We can go forward. Temporally means, I think, we'll have sufficient for our needs, and spiritually we will have a pathway to Him.
0:35:21.1 SK: And I think to be blessed spiritually as well, I think about the greatest happiness I've experienced is knowing that I'm doing what Heavenly Father wants me to do. That's why I feel like missions can be such a joyful time because even though it's hard, you know that that's where Heavenly Father wants you to be and you know that you're doing his work. I remember the night I came back from one of my friend's baptism, that I helped... That I met her and then I introduced her to the gospel and then just praying to Heavenly Father and feeling so happy. I felt like he was giving me this huge, giant hug, like he was so proud of me and like so happy. Like a father just saying, "Thank you." And just the most immense joy ever, the spiritual happiness. You just can't find it anywhere else, no matter how much you search for it. It's the greatest joy.
0:36:13.5 TH: It is, it's the greatest joy. Thank you both of you for your responses and for sharing your experiences. That was awesome. I really like what you shared. So now in the next segment then, we are going to see what the Lord had to say about the respective duty of David's brothers. We're gonna talk about John and Peter.
0:36:44.9 TH: Okay, I'm gonna show you guys a picture, and for those of you who are listening, if you can go to the show notes and look at this picture. But Sharon and Shilo, I want you to tell me what you guys see.
0:36:54.2 SS: Three pyramids.
0:36:56.0 TH: Very good. And how would you describe them? Are they pretty similar?
0:37:01.3 SK: Yeah, they all look the same, except the middle one. It's a little bit taller.
0:37:05.5 TH: Perfect, it's exactly right, they do. They all look the same. When you go to... These are the great pyramids in Egypt, and when you look at these, unless you are an educated scholar and have had the opportunity to go inside of these pyramids, you're just gonna say, "A pyramid is a pyramid, and they all look the same." But actually, they're very different. When you go inside of them, that's gonna tell you a whole other story based on what's inside of each pyramid. And so it's really interesting 'cause some have foods, some have jewels, one has a different level, and it made me think of Sections 15 and 16. So here's what we need to know about Peter and John. They both wanted to engage in the work. They wanted to know what their duty was, and so Joseph Smith gives each one separate blessings. And he gives the same blessings, almost word for word, except for in Section 16, verse 5, you see the word "unto" at the end of verse 5. That's the only difference. We're gonna label Section 15 and Section 16. The title for 15 is Call to Labor, John Whitmer, and the title for 16 is Call to Labor, Peter Whitmer.
0:38:08.5 TH: And what's interesting about these verses is you look at them and you think, "Oh well. Alright, they get the same blessing, that's not that special." Or, "I'll look at these two pyramids, they're the exact same kinds. They're not that special." When in fact, when you go inside they are. Because John and Peter are two different people, and they both needed this message from the Lord, and it's beautiful because they're both blessed. Let's look at verse 5, and you can look at verse 5 in either section. It's the same wording. And Shilo, will you read verse 5 for us, please?
0:38:38.6 SK: "Behold, blessed are you for this thing, and for speaking my words which I have given you according to my commandments."
0:38:46.8 TH: And the blessings will be different. That's what I love about the Lord, is that even though these word-for-word blessings are the same, he blesses us individually in our own needs. And I'm just curious, as both of you read these two sections, did you mark anything, or did anything stand out to you?
0:39:03.4 SS: Verse 3 did for me. It says, "I will tell you that which no man knoweth save me and thee alone." I wonder what else he told them that is not in the Scriptures. I'm wondering if there was something else that we don't have privy to, that plus what Shilo mentioned earlier, and that is to declare repentance unto this people. And that you may rest with them, meaning if you bring them into the fold, then you will be with them, you'll be a member of the fold, that you may rest with them in the Kingdom of my Father.
0:39:40.5 TH: Oh, thank you, Sharon, for pointing that out in verse 6. That was good. What about you, Shilo?
0:39:45.3 SK: I think that's beautiful what Sharon said, in talking about declaring repentance but also bringing souls unto me, bringing souls unto Heavenly Father. And that really is our purpose, isn't it? Is to bring his children back to him. And it's such an amazing, beautiful thing when you hear someone pray for the first time. You know what? I've had an experience with my dad. I live with my dad at the moment. He's not a member, and he jokes about the church a lot. But I began to sort of start praying with him, and I was always saying the prayer. And then I was going through a hard time and I said, "Dad, can you just say the prayer, please? It would really mean a lot if you just said it." And he said, "No, I don't know how to." I just said, "Look, you just need to talk to Heavenly Father." And he said, "Okay." And he said the prayer, and it was just the most beautiful, beautiful thing ever. And I felt the Spirit so strong, and it was the first time that my dad has spoken and acknowledged his Heavenly Father, and I just imagine the joy the Heavenly Father must have felt in hearing his son talk to him, and speak to him and acknowledge him.
0:40:58.9 TH: Oh Shilo, thank you for sharing that experience. One of the things I love about that story and what we've talked about with these two sections is how it's so different for all of us depending on our age, because there was quite an age difference between these two. John Whitmer was 26 years old when he got this revelation, and Peter Whitmer was 19 years old. And I think here's Shilo, you're 30 and how old's your dad?
0:41:25.3 SK: My dad is 61.
0:41:28.3 TH: And how different it looks for both of you. And here's your father learning to pray and accept the Lord in his life, and the two of you could get a blessing just like this, the exact same word for word, but it would mean completely different things to each one of you given the different places you were in your life. And I just love that you shared that story about your beautiful father for the first time praying at age 61, being taught to pray by his beautiful daughter in her 30s. So thank you, thank you for showing us this, the power in these two verses. And blessed are you, I think verse 5. Blessed are you for this thing, Shilo, for teaching your dad how to pray. So thank you for sharing that story with us.
0:42:04.8 SS: Amen, Shiloh. Amen to you.
0:42:07.0 TH: Amen.
0:42:07.4 SS: You're a good soul.
0:42:08.9 TH: And you're a witness.
0:42:10.7 SS: Yes.
0:42:11.0 TH: You're a witness. So speaking of that witness though. Let's go into these witnesses, because after they get these blessings, let's go to Doctrine and Covenants, Section 17. This is it. The title for Section 17 is Three Witnesses of the Book of Mormon. Now, here's what you need to know. So the completion of the translation was approaching. Joseph and Oliver Cowdery are almost done. They've been living in the Whitmer home. It's June of 1829, and while they're translating, it's so interesting, and I'm gonna put these references in our show notes, but in Moroni, in Ether chapter 5, verse 2, in 2 Nephi in several different places, Joseph discovers that there should be three special witnesses to the Book of Mormon. So they read that over and over again as they're translating, and now they go to the Lord and they're like, "Okay, we gotta have three witnesses, so we're gonna title Section 17, Three Witnesses of the Book of Mormon." Now, this is interesting because Martin Harris enters the scene now. He had come from Palmyra to Fayette just to see how the work was going.
0:43:09.9 TH: So all three men happened to be there at the exact same time when Joseph inquired about this witnessing. And there were several foreshadowing moments in the revelations given to Martin, Oliver and David, and I'll have those in the show notes also 'cause we've already covered it. But in all three of the blessings that the three of those men received, they were told they'd be witnesses. We're gonna read what they're going to be a witness of. So Shilo, will you read verse 1, and as you read it, we're going to mark and number all of the things they get to be a witness of. Go ahead, Shilo.
0:43:40.5 SK: "Behold, I say unto you that you must rely upon my word, which if you do with full purpose of hearts, you shall have a view of the plates and also of the breastplate, the Sword of Laban, the Urim and Thummim, which were given to the brother of Jared upon the Mount, when he talked with the Lord face-to-face and the miraculous directives which were given to Lehi while in the wilderness on the borders of the Red Sea."
0:44:09.0 TH: Thank you. So I marked five things. Did you guys mark them?
0:44:11.5 SS: Yep.
0:44:12.9 TH: I have plates, breastplate, Sword of Laban, Urim and Thummim, and the Liahona. So Shiloh, will you also read verse 2 and 3 for us?
0:44:22.9 SK: "And it is by your faith that you shall obtain a view of them, even by that faith which was had by the prophets of old. And after that you have obtained faith and have seen them with your eyes, you shall testify of them by the power of God."
0:44:39.1 TH: Thank you. So all of these men are here together and through their faith, they will be able to receive a witness. And I asked Sharon to share this church history story with us, and these are David Whitmer's words about his experience with being a witness, and we'll also have the story in our show notes so you can go and read it in its fullness.
0:45:00.1 SS: This is what David says, and he says, "And I heard the voice of the Lord as distinctly as I ever heard anything in my life, declaring that the records of the plates of the Book of Mormon were translated by the gift and power of God." Then he said when asked if he saw the angel at that time, Brother Whitmer replied, "Yes. He stood before us, our testimony as record of the Book of Mormon is strictly and absolutely true just as it is there written."
0:45:32.3 TH: So thank you, Sharon, for sharing that story. Now let's go into verse 4 and read this, and then I'm gonna have Sharon share another part of that story, 'cause this is so interesting. In verse 4 it says, "And this shall you do that my servant Joseph Smith Jr, may not be destroyed, but I may bring about my righteous purposes unto the children of men in this work." Okay, how wonderful is this? So Joseph is not gonna be destroyed because of the witness that these men were privy to. So Sharon, will you please share with us Joseph's own words that relate to verse 4?
0:46:02.9 SS: He went to his home after they had seen this. His mother and his father were there and he exclaimed, "Father, mother, you do not know how happy I am. The Lord has now caused the plates to be shown to three more besides myself. They have seen an angel who has testified to them, and they will have to bear witness to the truth of what I have said, for now they know for themselves that I do not go about to deceive the people, and I feel as if I was relieved of a burden which is almost too heavy for me to bear and it rejoices my soul, and I am not any longer to be entirely alone in the world." My gosh. My heart goes out to him.
0:46:47.1 TH: Will you tell us why, Sharon?
0:46:49.2 SS: To have that relief, that burden lifted, that at least three other people think he's not looney tunes. I mean, if you think about Urim and Thummim and you think about breast plates, that's science fiction. You know if you were reading it in a regular world, somebody could make a really good sci-fi movie out of all of those things. But it was true and they saw it, and they bear witness of it, and they never denied it. No matter what happened to them in their lives, they never denied witnessing those events.
0:47:20.1 TH: Never.
0:47:21.1 SK: Just going along with that, the relief that Joseph Smith felt I feel like it's such a relieving feeling of comfort when someone just says, "Me too" or "I know" or "I've also been a witness of that." I love that.
0:47:35.5 TH: Oh my gosh, Shilo, again you're so right. There is a certain bond between people who share a common experience or trauma, and here we have four men who will pretty much do both. In fact, going off of what we've just discussed, I love how verse 5 says, "And ye shall testify that you have seen them." And that's exactly what they did. The three witnesses testified. The eight witnesses testified. And so we have 11 great witnesses, but we have to just take a break right here because I wanna talk about another witness who some historians refer to as "the 12th witness," and I'm so excited. We're gonna do that in the next segment.
0:48:20.5 TH: Okay, ladies, I'm going to show you another picture, and will you please describe to the listeners what you are seeing.
0:48:26.8 SK: It's a rope or string.
0:48:29.1 SS: A string or a lanyard.
0:48:31.4 TH: Yeah, perfect. Little piece of twine. Little piece of string. Now, this is what's so cool about this little piece of string is that it may look ordinary, but the history behind it makes it extraordinary. So I think you guys are gonna love this church's real story. Alright, get comfy. The first thing we have to know is it came from a woman by the name of Mary Musselman Whitmer. Now, Mary Whitmer was the mom of all these boys. She was born in Germany on August 27, 1778 and she immigrated from Germany to the United States, and she married Peter Whitmer when she got here. And he was a Pennsylvania farmer, but he also was of German descent, and together they're going to have eight children. They're gonna move to New York in the 19th century and purchased a farm in Fayette, and this is the farm house where Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery will finish translating the Book of Mormon. This is the house where the first meeting will happen and we'll study that in a couple of more weeks. I just love everything about this house. Now, there's 13 people living in this Whitmer home in June of 1829. And while doing the hard work of hospitality that's required in every era before the washing machines were built and all the wonderful technologies of our time, Mary Whitmer felt completely burdened by how much work she had to do.
0:49:39.5 TH: So she actually hired a hand. Her name was Sarah Conrad, and this sweet girl helped in the kitchen with cooking and cleaning, and I think what's so interesting is in our church history, it says that Sarah also gained a testimony during the translation process, because Sarah said she noticed a light shining from her employer and the change in the men's countenances, and she knew it was "connected with a holy sacred work," and she believed and later joined the church. So I thought that was cool. So we have this cute girl named Sarah Conrad that's helping out. Now Mary Whitmer, because she was so overwhelmed I want to share, and I'm not even gonna share this story. I ask Shilo. Shilo, will you share this story? And these are from the words of her grandson, John C. Whitmer about an experience that Mary Whitmer had and why she's called the 12th witness.
0:50:25.7 SK: So Mary was feeling overwhelmed, and one night after a long day of taking care of everyone, she finally got some quiet time. She went to the barn to milk the cows, and she met a stranger there, and he was carrying something on his back. It looked like a knapsack and at first she was a little bit afraid of him because he was a stranger, but then he spoke to her in a kind, friendly tone and he began to explain to her the nature of the work, of the translation and what was going on in the house. He then untied his knapsack and showed her a bundle of plates, which in size and appearance corresponded with the description given by the witnesses of the Book of Mormon. He turned the leaves of the book of plates over leaf after leaf and I also showed her the engravings upon them, after which he told to be patient and faithful and bearing her burdens a little longer, promising that if she would do so, she should be blessed and her reward would be sure if she proved faithful to the end.
0:51:29.7 SK: And so the personage then suddenly vanished, and from that moment, Mary was able to perform her household duties with ease, and she didn't murmur any longer.
0:51:43.1 TH: Thank you. So Mary Musselman Whitmer, some historians call her the 12th witness, I would put her name somewhere on our page with Section 17 as well as back at the witnesses page of the front of your Book of Mormon, I have her name written underneath the eight witnesses, I wrote Mary Musselman Whitmer. So I just think it's so cool that now, she was the only female to actually see the plates, but there were several other women who were actual witnesses of the translation process, and I just want to note them. We have Emma, she was a scribe, she touched them, but she never got to actually see the plates, but she said she did feel them and know of their existence. We have Lucy Harris, Martin Harris's wife, she saw the 116 pages. She actually, I thought this was cool in our church history, she had a dream where she recalled that a personage appeared to her and chastised her for interfering in the work, and then the angel showed her the plates in this dream, and after the dream she insisted on giving $28 to Joseph Smith of her own personal money that had been given to her by her mom, to help Joseph with the work, I thought that was pretty cool. And then we have Lucy Max Smith, and after Joseph had obtained the plates, Lucy and her family members, they saw the outline of the plates through the cloth, but they never actually handled them or saw them, but she was till her dying day, a witness of what she saw.
0:52:56.5 TH: Okay, so now let's talk about the string. So these pieces of string are what sewed together the original manuscript of The Book of Mormon, and you can see these pieces of string in our show notes, we'll put this picture up. And it is believed that Mary could have made these pieces of string, it can either be confirmed or denied that she made the string, but let's be honest, you can't really go to the Home Depot in the 1820s and get yourself some string. So a lot of people and some scholars, do believe she actually made the string and then gave it to them to use.
0:53:25.8 TH: So I just think it's so cool because when we go back to how did we assist in the work, yes, Mary absolutely fed people, kept a clean house, and then just by something so simple and small, helped in the work, it bound the original manuscript of The Book of Mormon together. So I just think that even the smallest thing, the smallest person, the smallest testimony can bring about great things, and that's a great example of Mary Musselman Whitmer.
0:53:48.5 SS: Great story. Thank you, Tammy.
0:53:50.0 SK: Something that I thought about is why did the Lord allow for Angel Moroni to give Mary this witness, because she was obviously a very faithful woman already, and so I was thinking about that and I was thinking, it must have been very overwhelming, like you were saying, having eight people living in the house, having to do all the cooking and cleaning or... I don't know what was going on, but was she at her wits end, was she on the verge of breaking, was she praying for a miracle? Was it just so noisy in the house that she didn't get that quiet time, that sacred time with the Lord, that she wasn't able to hear Him and it was at those times where she gets to go out and milk the cows, that she gets to finally get peace and finally get to hear the Lord. And I think that's so beautiful because Heavenly Father was obviously so mindful of her heart and could probably recognize, and just like me, I said for me too, where I'm on the verge of giving up, that I just can't do this anymore.
0:54:47.5 SK: Yeah, I believe and I have faith and there's a big purpose, but I feel like I'm breaking. And so for Heavenly Father to allow her to see the plates, for that to bring peace to her, but also to give her the grace that she needs to continue doing the work that is so important. And maybe she didn't feel like she was contributing a lot, but I feel like for that experience, she was reminded that her place and belonging, but also her contribution to the greater purpose of the work is vital, I wouldn't have been able to do it without her.
0:55:22.2 TH: Gosh, Shilo, as you were saying those words, something just pricked me right in my heart, and it was this idea of when you said, "I wonder if she didn't feel like her contribution was enough." And I thought, I wonder how many of us feel that same way, or have felt that way, thinking that maybe a bigger calling would be more, that we could contribute more in some way, and something so beautiful about her story is that the simplicity of her contribution or that her contribution of caretaking was enormous, that was huge. And I think sometimes that goes under valued, I don't know, I just love that you shared that, thank you. That really has my mind spinning. And you cited, Shilo, that she didn't complain or murmur any longer, so it must have been something about it that she was like... She must have been a little frustrated.
0:56:09.9 SK: Can I just add something to that, as well?
0:56:11.3 TH: Please.
0:56:12.2 SK: Just what we were talking about before...
0:56:13.9 TH: Yes.
0:56:14.1 SK: I also know that the Lord will come and meet you where you are, and so Mary was out milking the cows and I don't know, that doesn't seem like a sacred experience, a sacred place for me, but that's where the Lord would meet us. And especially mothers, I know that as a mother, sometimes... I'm not a mother, but as a mother, sometimes we can lose ourselves in the duties that come with being a mom, but I know the Lord will come and meet you, whether it be, you finally get some time away and you can... I don't know, washing the dishes, or you get to go outside and milk the cows or wherever you are, whatever you're doing, the Lord will come and meet you, and come and talk to you and remind you of how much you are needed, and what Angel Moroni taught her which I think is such a beautiful thing, is to be patient and faithful in bearing her burden a little longer, and I just think those are such resounding words that I need to hear in myself, that if I'm patient and faithful, and if I bear the burden that I'm going through a little bit longer, that the blessings and the rewards will come.
0:57:19.4 SS: Absolute great point. Gosh, that's a great insight.
0:57:23.6 TH: Yeah, the idea that He'll meet you where you are. He met her in her doing. Sometimes I think only the Lord can meet me when I'm in the temple or when it's quiet or at church, but yeah, sometimes he's gonna meet me while I'm driving car pool, sometimes he's gonna meet me while I'm washing my dishes. Wow, I love that Shilo.
0:57:42.2 SS: That's great.
0:57:42.2 TH: And he has. I think there's been times when I've definitely received revelation in the doing, so, thanks for pointing that out.
0:57:48.0 TH: Great discussion, great discussion on witnesses and the power of Mary Musselman as a witness. Oh my gosh, I've loved this discussion, so we're gonna continue the discussion of being a witness, and we're gonna talk about other witnesses today.
0:58:15.0 TH: So I have a question for you, ladies. Here we go. To start out the last segment, I wanna know who would you consider as other witnesses? Who are other witnesses of Jesus Christ?
0:58:25.2 SS: Well, everyone who has been baptized and has accepted the Savior and has taken his name upon them. We're all witnesses if we are baptized.
0:58:35.9 TH: Yes.
0:58:36.1 SK: I agree with Sharon, but also the Prophet and the Apostles are the standard answer. But yeah, the Prophet to me is the strongest witness, and that I can look to him as a way to steer me back to where I need to be.
0:58:51.3 TH: Yes.
0:58:51.8 SS: Absolutely.
0:58:53.1 TH: Going back to Section 17, we had already read these verses, but I think we need to point out again in verse 2, where it says, "It is by your faith." It was by their faith that they could receive a witness, it was by their faith that they will become a witness, that they will testify. And I wanna know what you think about how our faith and being a witness is connected?
0:59:12.6 SS: Well, I think of a court of law, and when you're in a court of law and you are being a witness, you can be held in contempt of court for lying or not telling the truth. And I wonder if as members of the church, we are ever in contempt of God. I don't think he would ever use that word, I don't think it's in his vocabulary. But are we disdaining or despising or disrespectful when we do not continue to be the witness that we said we are? And so for me, I think the secular punishment of being in contempt of court, you go to jail, you go to prison if you don't tell the truth. Well, these witnesses have taken upon themselves the onus, the responsibility, the task of saying, "We are witnesses." And they bore strong testimonies in those chapters, in those verses, and they never denied it, never. So they will not be held in contempt.
1:00:16.4 SS: That insight into what they have taken upon themselves, those three men, led me to, "Am I really being a witness when I say amen to those sacrament prayers?" Am I a witness? Do I act like one? Do I testify? Do I say, "I know the Gospel's true." That's a testimony. That's testifying of, it's being a witness of. I no longer take that lightly when I say amen, because I am a witness, and I hope it shows. I hope it shows in my countenance. I hope it shows in my activity. I hope I'm a doer of the word, not just a speaker or a reader of the word, that being a witness means I stand by myself. I stand by what I say. And that has given me new insights into my responsibility of always turning to the Savior that I will witness that which he would have me witness.
1:01:13.8 TH: That was a powerful witness. What about you, Shilo?
1:01:17.9 SK: Being in Utah, and I'm sure there's a lot of numbers in Utah, I don't know if members in Utah realize the light that you have as witnesses of Christ. I can say that safely, because in New Zealand, there's not a lot of members. And so, for example, when I just turned on the Zoom, it was like, "Wow, the light is so strong." And I can feel it even through the technology. The light and the witness that you three have of Jesus Christ is so strong, which is why I love this podcast, and I love listening to it because I can feel it. And that witness is what brought me into the Gospel through the other members because of the light. And so I love Sharon's question then, 'cause it's made me think about me being a witness. And I thought about David again, and that he was a witness, but despite him being a witness, he still struggled a lot with his faith. And I think that is realistic for all of us. I feel like myself and all of us have been a witness to God's miracles, but it doesn't mean that 100% of the time, we're just being happy chappy, and everything is la, la, la and great, because it's not.
1:02:29.4 SK: We have trials, and I thought of myself, I've been so blessed to be a witness of spiritual visitations by my ancestors. I hope that's okay to say on here. I've seen my ancestors and I've felt them. It doesn't mean that it takes away the trials and challenges that I go through, the feelings of doubt, of conflict, of not feeling like I'm good enough, not being able to live up to whatever I'm... My purpose on earth. And being a witness, it doesn't carry your testimony, but I definitely... It's made me think about myself and how I can be a witness.
1:03:04.1 TH: Absolutely. It's a great question for all of us to think about, like what is our witness and how are we witnesses? I love this quote by Elder Boyd K. Packer. He said this in a question and answer video with Elder Rasband, and I'll put the link in the show notes if you wanna go watch it. But this was a great thing that he said about being a witness. Sharon, can you read this quote for us?
1:03:26.2 SS: All the members of the church are, by covenant, witnesses of Christ, noting that at baptism, we promise to always remember him." President Packer said, "Everything we do, we do in his name. Every prayer that is offered at the table or the four-year-old who prays concludes the prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. Every sister teaching a Sunday school or primary class ends her teaching in that name, and that is his name." As the Scriptures say, "For by this name shall ye be called at the last day, even the name of Christ." So the name is the key word. When we do those small and simple things, we are a witness of Him.
1:04:08.1 TH: Thank you.
1:04:08.7 SS: Amen, Brother Packer.
1:04:10.7 TH: I just love that, even the four-year-old who concludes the dinner prayer. That dinner prayer is a witness of Jesus Christ. I've never considered that before. I'm teaching that to my children tout suite after this episode. But just how often we are witnesses in more ways than we even recognize, which is so incredible about this. And what I think is unique about being a witness is the blessings that come from being a witness. So in Doctrine and Covenants, Section 17, verse 8, he says right here what the blessings are for being a witness. Let's look at these blessings, and after we're done reading this verse, I want you to tell me what blessings stand out to you. Shilo, will you read verse 8 for us, please?
1:04:50.3 SK: "And if you do these last commandments of mine, which I have given you, the gates of hell shall not prevail against you for my grace is sufficient for you, and you shall be lifted up at the last day."
1:05:02.6 TH: Talk about those blessings.
1:05:04.6 SS: Faith to me, having faith is a blessing, it's a gift. And in chapter 17 in verses 2, 3, 5 and 7 talk about faith and the power of faith and the word grace, which is the power of God. So there's a great Danish philosopher, Søren Kierkegaard, in the 1800s, and he's famous for saying, "If you're going to talk about religion, what you need to do is take a leap of faith from the secular world, and take a leap of faith into the religious world." What he really said was, "You need to take a leap into faith." And so for me, taking a leap into faith means I'm willing to get out of the secular box, think out of the box, into the spiritual box, and that is taking your leap into faith. The fact that those verses, those two, three, five, seven verses, talk about faith and the power of faith is significant to me, because that's what they needed and what I need to be a witness.
1:06:08.9 TH: Yes. Sorry, I was writing in the Scriptures, "Leap into faith." That is awesome.
1:06:14.0 SK: I love that. I think the one thing that stood out to me is, along with the faith that Sharon was saying, is grace as well and that enabling power of Jesus Christ that helps me every day. I just thought about a funny moment when I was playing General Conference and my dad came over and he watched a little bit and the Prophet came up, and I was like, "Dad, guess how old he is?" And my dad's like, "In his 70s." And I was like, "No. He's 90-something." And my dad was like, "Oh, I can't believe it. No, he's not." And my dad literally wouldn't believe me, and I'm like... And I had to Google it. I said, "Dad, he is." And he's like, "How does he do it?" And I'm like, "Oh, it's the power of Jesus Christ." I was like, "This is his duty that he's the leader and he does so much." And when I think about grace, I think about the prophet, Elder Nelson, and all the duties that he's been able to perform. I even just read one of his talks in the Liahona about personal revelation, and that has to be the power of God and the grace of Jesus Christ.
1:07:21.6 SK: There are things that you just can't explain in life, and that's one of them. And I can look back at my life and my time as a member of the church, it's been eight years now, and I can honestly say that it's through the divine... Divinity and power of Jesus Christ and his grace that's allowed me to open the doors that I never could have opened myself or to be able to overcome challenges or trials that I've gone through. All because of that grace, and I think that is such an incredible, incredible blessing.
1:07:51.9 SS: Oh, Shilo, thank you. And thank you, Sharon. I'm so thankful that you brought up that idea that his grace is sufficient. I think we have seen that through all the people we've talked about today. He meets you where you are. His grace is sufficient to help you overcome anything that you're struggling with. His grace is sufficient enough to have your field completely ploughed so that you can go the next day and grab three people that need a safe place to translate. I just... Story after story, these beautiful examples of his grace, all because these people chose to be witnesses. And I think if we look at our lives by our witness, how much grace we have received and the idea that the gates of hell will not prevail against us and that we will be lifted up at the last day. So many good things come from being his witness. And we can't end this without noting in verse 6, is Christ's witness, Christ's testimony of the truthfulness. This is his witness, and I love this verse. Sharon, will you read this? 'Cause I love that you love this verse.
1:08:48.9 SS: "And he has translated the book, even that part which I have commanded him, and as your Lord and your God liveth, it is true."
1:09:00.7 TH: Tell us about that verse, Sharon.
1:09:01.1 SS: Oh my gosh. He is bearing his witness of the Book of Mormon. It doesn't get any better than that. When the Savior bears witness to the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, I'm a believer.
1:09:14.4 TH: Yep. In fact, you can put right above that verse, the Lord's witness of the Book of Mormon, the Lord's testimony right there. It is true, absolutely. And it's so simple, I love how it's just, "As your Lord God liveth it is true." Your witness can be so simple, a couple of words. One of the things I found as I was doing this lesson in the church history, I really appreciated that Peter Whitmer Sr., he was very steadfast, and his response when people would verbally accost him, he would always repeat to them in German, "Jesus Christ yesterday, today and forever." And then he'd walk away. And I thought, "You know what? I want that to be my six-word witness for the rest of my life." I'm not good at debating, I hate conflict of any kind, so I think from now on, I'm just gonna say, "Jesus Christ, yesterday, today and forever." That's all I can say. That is my witness.
1:10:07.2 SS: Forever. That's great. That's wonderful.
1:10:08.2 TH: I love Peter Whitmer Sr's witness, and I love Jesus Christ's witness. And I love the two of you, and the witness that you are to me that his work is true and that it is rolling forth. It absolutely is, and it's filling the earth. And so my last question is to you this, in six words or a few more, what is your witness?
1:10:33.7 SS: Well, that Jesus is the Christ. That's my witness. And Shilo has said it so beautifully. She has brought him into her comments.
1:10:42.3 TH: Every time.
1:10:42.7 SS: And that his strength and mine, that he is the Christ and the Savior of the world, and thank you, Shilo. You have been very influential in my life this hour. Thank you.
1:10:55.8 SK: Oh, thank you, Sharon.
1:10:57.3 TH: I'll amen that.
1:11:00.4 SK: I have to say the same, witness and say me too. Jesus Christ is the Savior, I love him so much. And I hope that everyone who is listening can feel the love that we have for him and that strengthened your faith in the Savior...
1:11:16.2 TH: Oh thank you. As you said that, I thought in my mind the spirit is so strong, testifying that what you're saying is true, both of you, that we love him, we just do. I'm writing that in my scriptures, I don't wanna forget this moment. We do, we love him. So thank you, thank you both of you for sharing that and for this day. That's the end of our episode. Wow, that was so much fun.
1:11:37.5 SS: Thank you Tammy.
1:11:38.7 SK: Yeah, thank you Tammy. Thank you Sharon.
1:11:41.2 TH: So take a moment now to gather your thoughts and let's share what was your take away from today, something that you learned.
1:11:47.7 SS: Two things for me, the importance of faith and of leaping into faith and the importance of witnessing, witnessing the Savior. Those are the two things, the power of faith and the witnessing that Jesus is the Christ.
1:12:04.2 SK: And for me, it's also being a witness as well and the question that's in my mind is, so how can I be a witness so that others are able to see His miracles as well and how can I live my life in a way that others are able to witness Jesus Christ?
1:12:24.4 TH: Thank you both of you for your takeaways, that's brilliant. My take away... Gosh there were so many today, I think seeing Mary Musselman Whitmer in a different light like yeah, she was the 12th witness but I'd never really taken the time to apply it to my own life which is that God will meet me where I am and He's very aware of me and of my needs and as a result, He will provide a way for me to be a witness. And so I'm still processing that whole segment, 'cause that was really powerful, so I love that.
1:12:53.6 SK: Awe.
1:12:54.0 TH: Oh thank you.
1:12:55.1 SS: Thank you, Tammy.
1:12:56.1 TH: I love both of you so much.
1:13:03.2 SK: I love you both.
1:13:03.1 SS: Yeah, I love you both so much.
1:13:03.2 TH: So for those of you here listening, we would love to hear what your big takeaway was from this episode. Now if you have not already joined our discussion group on Facebook and if you're not following us on Instagram, please do because it's so much fun to see what people have to say throughout the week and people ask questions and they share posts. Again, it's just this incredible community of faith where we help each other and we answer each other's questions and we support each other. It's been so neat to see this grow. And at the end of each week, usually on Sundays, we'll post a call for your big take away. So comment on the post that relates to this lesson and let me know what you've learned. And I read every single one of those 'cause it's my favorite part of Sunday now and I love hearing what you guys are learning.
1:13:38.4 TH: 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 even a bad idea to go there because we'll have all of the references that we used in today's episode as well as the pictures that I showed, links to all of the things I talked about and a complete transcript of this whole discussion. So go check it out. The Sunday on Monday Group is a Desert Bookshop Plus original. And it's brought to you by LDS Living. It's written and hosted by me, Tammy Uzelac Hall and today our incredible study your participants were Shilo Kino and Sharon Staples. And you can find more information about these ladies at ldsliving.com/sundayonmonday.
1:14:16.4 TH: Our podcast is produced by Katie Lambert and me, Tammy Uzelac Hall. It is recorded and mixed by Mix at 6 Studios and our executive producer's, Erin Holstrom. Thanks for being here, we'll see you next week and please remember that you are God's favorite.
1:14:35.7 TH: 'Cause in my mind I'm thinking she would have been well within her right to say, "That's it, we're done. Everybody out. I can't do this one day longer," there's 13 people in her home. I barely lasted a few days with my kids doing home school right now because of COVID. If I have to make one more meal, I'm gonna lose it. I feel like I make breakfast, then I clean it up, I do something, then it's time for lunch, I clean that up. And so I can't wait to meet her. I hope I get to. I'm gonna hug her and say thank you because yeah, you're right, she could have just been like, "Forget it. "