9: “He Taught Them as One Having Authority” (Matthew 6-7)
Did you know when Janice Kapp Perry wrote “A Child’s Prayer” she was waiting for an answer to prayer herself? She wanted to know if Heavenly Father was there and if He was listening. And do you remember the answer that question? In the second verse Perry writes, “He hears your prayer / He loves the children.” Those simple yet beautiful words remind us of Matthew, chapters 6–7, when Jesus concludes the Sermon on the Mount. In His message, He shares instruction on prayer and gives the same reassurance that we receive in that Primary song—that He knows and loves each one of us.
Glue-Ins (free prinatables for your scriptures)
Matthew 6 Section Heading (Sermon on the Mount continued)
The only thing that I can figure out is that every single person in their life has days when they want to sing, ‘Heavenly Father, are you really there?’ I also felt like it was very important to answer the question in the song and say, ‘Pray. He is there. Speak. He is listening. You are His child. His love now surrounds you.’ (Janice Kapp Perry)
Vain Repetitions = Speaking without thinking (Greek)
From Talmage’s Jesus the Christ:
God without our prayers would be God; but we without prayer cannot be admitted to the kingdom of God…Prayer is made up of heart throbs and the righteous yearnings of the soul. (James E. Talmage, “Jesus the Christ”, Chapter 17)
As soon as we learn the true relationship in which we stand toward God (namely, God is our Father, and we are His children), then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part (Matt. 7:7–11). Many of the so-called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting this relationship. Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them. (Definition of Prayer from the Bible Dictionary)
Matthew 6:9-13 (The Lord’s Prayer)
Amen = aman - to trust or believe in (Hebrew)
Words of the Prophets:
When you pray with real conviction, “Please let me know Thy will” and “May Thy will be done,” you are in the strongest position to receive the maximum help from your loving Father. (Richard G. Scott, “Trust in the Lord”, October 1995 General Conference)
Matthew 6:28-30 (Consider the lilies)
Matthew 7:9-11 (Give good gifts)
Words of the Prophets:
Petitioning in prayer has taught me that the vault of heaven, with all its blessings, is to be opened only by a combination lock: one tumbler falls when there is faith, a second when there is personal righteousness, and the third and final tumbler falls only when what is sought is (in God's judgment, not ours) "right" for us. Sometimes we pound on the vault door for something we want very much, in faith, in reasonable righteousness, and wonder why the door does not open. We would be very spoiled children if that vault door opened any more easily than it does now. I can tell, looking back, that God truly loves me by the petitions that, in his perfect wisdom and love, he has refused to grant me. Our rejected petitions tell us not only much about ourselves, but also much about our flawless Father. (Neal A. Maxwell, “Insights from My Life”, BYU Speeches October 26, 1976)
Wise man built his house upon a rock = THE rock (Greek)
Words of the Prophets:
Some of us may think, “The gospel is good, so we need to put it in our lives, maybe once a week.” Just going to church once a week is not enough to build upon the rock. Our entire lives should be filled with the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel is not part of our life, but our life is actually part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Think about it. Is that not true? Our mortal life is only part of the whole plan of salvation and exaltation.
God is our Heavenly Father. He loves all of us. He knows our potential way better than we know ourselves. He knows not only the details of our lives. God knows the details of the details of the details of our lives. (Chi Hong Wong, “They Cannot Prevail; We Cannot Fall”, April 2021 General Conference)
Several years ago an LDS Living article named Janice Kapp Perry's song, "A Child's Prayer" as #1 In the 100 greatest LDS songs of all time. Did you know that Janice Kapp Perry wrote "A Child's Prayer" while awaiting an answer to a prayer? She said she wanted to know if Heavenly Father was there and that He was listening. Now I think every single one of us can relate to that question and how the song starts, "Heavenly Father, are you really there? And do you hear an answer every child's prayer?" And today's discussion of Matthew chapter 6-7 answers that question in that song, and we'll have us singing it all week long.
Welcome to the Sunday on Monday Study Group, Deseret Bookshelf Plus original brought to you by LDS Living, where we take the Come, Follow Me lesson for the week and we really dig into the scriptures. I'm your host, Tammy Uzelac Hall. Now if you're new to our study group, we want to make sure you know how to use this podcast, so please follow the link in our description. It's going to explain how you can best use this podcast to enhance your Come, Follow Me study just like my friend Lisa Golding Smith and her whole family - her husband Daniel and their Darling children: Austin, Chandi, Jacob, Connor, Alex, Stephanie, Abby, and Mark. Hello Golding family.
All right. Now another awesome thing about our study group is each week we're joined by two of my friends, and I cannot wait to introduce you to who we have, two old timers, they've been on before. And they're back for a reunion tour. We have Bonnie ElHalta and Amy Whitmore.
Oh, happy to be with you ladies. It's a good day.
Okay, we've known each other for over 25 years. Bonnie, Amy, how do you guys know each other?
You tell it Bon.
Ame just came off her mission and she was just the spry happy thing. And we worked for a company called Zuka Juice here in Utah.
Bonnie was "Mama Zuka".
And yeah, we started a great friendship from whoa, way back back in the day.
And for people who don't know Zuka -
it went to Jamba.
merged with Jamba, and then moved to San Francisco and did a little stint there. And so Amy and I go back, go way back in the workdays.
Yes, we do. And now she is one of my greatest life-treasured friends. The wisest girl I know. In fact, whenever I like, pure wisdom? I can always count on Bonnie. And what's funny is my sisters and my mom still will be like, Oh, what was Bonnie say? We could turn to the scriptures.
I would agree with you. I think wisdom and Bonnie go hand in hand. And I have loved getting to know Bonnie. I met Bonnie through Amy and Amy was my roommate. We lived together and we did a, we did a stint there in the Singles ward for a while. You know, we tried to date the world so that we could get married.
And, talk about my favorite moment with you?
When I, when I, when you were my producer, or whatever, and I was Huntington Idol.
Oh, you, sure. We were on our way to Moab for a Singles ward trip. And we decided to just stop there in a Hunti... Eureka, Utah, wasn't it?
Huntington. Huntington, Utah.
We took a wrong turn.
Well, they were having a fair and I wanted a Navajo Taco. That's my favorite food. And you stopped, and the next thing you know they're doing "Huntington Idol".
And I had to get up. She sung that
We walked away - $250!
Amy won "Huntington Idol"!
Of course she did.
That is absolutely one of my favorite all-time memories of
Amy could win any contest for comedy, singing. Oh, yeah.
Shout out to all my Huntington fans. Hi.
I love this. Oh, my gosh.
And then, interestingly enough, too, is Amy and I both married widowers. So, we we just have so much to talk about all the time. All right. Well, if you want to know more about my guests, you can read their bios and find their pictures in our show notes which are found at LDS living.com/sunday on Monday. So go check it out. Alright, everybody. Grab your scriptures, something to mark your Scriptures with, a journal, and we are going to dig in and it is going to be a fun discussion. Okay, you two. So what do you think about the "Child's Prayer" being #1? Why do you think people chose that song?
HI think that just speaks to everybody. I think that everyone asks that question. I am not going to make it through this segment without some tears, for sure. But we all yearn to know. Is He really there? And does He know me and does He answer? And it's tender when the Primary kids sing it and then the adult sing with them. It's a culmination of what we believe as members of the church that there is an eternal family. We have a Father in Heaven who is mindful of us. And it's spirit talking to spirit with that song. That's, that's it. There's not many songs that, that wrap up all that we believe.
I like the way you put that, Bonnie. What about you, Ame?
It's as relevant at my age as it is when I sang it in Sacrament Meeting when it first came out when I was 11, with my little sister, Lisa. That, that desire, that plea, are You really there? Like, I know I'm 49 and I know you've been there before. But are You still really there? Were You ever really there? It's powerful.
Absolutely. Thank you to both of you. Let's read this quote. This is by Janice Kapp Perry. And this is why she thinks her song is #1. Amy, will you read this quote for us.
"The only thing I can figure out is that every single person in their life has days when they want to sing "Heavenly Father, are You really there?" Where He said, - I also felt like it was very important to answer the question in the song and say - Pray, He is there. Speak He is listening. You are His child. His love now surrounds you."
I'm already emotional. Bonnie, you were right.
Yeah, it's gonna be a doozy.
It's gonna be a doozy today. Let's turn to Matthew chapter 6 so we can find out why we're talking about this song and about prayer. We're gonna go to Matthew chapter 6, and we just want to look at the section heading and that's it. In Matthew chapter 6, we're continuing our study of Sermon on the Mount from last week. Many of the Savior's teachings are about prayer and our relationship to Heavenly Father. Section heading, Bonnie, read it for us.
"Jesus continues the Sermon on the Mount. He teaches the disciples the Lord's Prayer----They are commanded to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness."
Thank you. So I thought it'd be really fun for the outline of today's discussion to use some of the lines from her song. And so we are going to answer some these questions. We're going to start with "Pray, he is there; Speak, he is listening." Then we're going to go into "Heavenly Father, are you really there? And do you hear and answer every prayer?" Then we're going to talk about "You are his child." And then we're going to end with, "His love now surrounds you." And I gotta be honest, in an answer to my own prayer, Amy and Bonnie are here to help me teach this because these two women know. And they understand prayer in a way that I've never, I mean, it just, I knew they were supposed to be the guests. They weren't scheduled to be the guests and I knew when it was about prayer, It was Amy and Bonnie. And so we'll begin our study of these truths in the next segment.
Segment 2 7:31
Okay, so Amy loves to pray. This is what I learned about Amy when we lived together. And we prayed almost every single time we got into the car. Amy, I want you to tell me, why did you do this? And how did it start? Because you still do it today.
I still do it and still embarrassing my children doing it. But I had - and I think I've talked about him before - Bishop Woodbury. Prior to going on my mission, he taught me about prayer. And he said, "I want you to learn what it means to pray always." He's like, "I want you to pray right when you wake up. I want your knees to hit the ground." Not so good at that these days, but I was good. But he's like, "And then you get in the shower, you turn on the water, that's your cue, you pray. You're just having this dialogue with your Heavenly Father. And then when you get in the car and your hands touch the steering wheel, time to begin the dialogue again with your Heavenly Father."
So I learned that little idea and I was trying really hard to follow it. And we, I was living in Connecticut at the time. And the roads are kind of windy, it was winter. And I was driving along and a song that I love came on the radio. I still remember, it was "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and I was like, Oh, I like this song. I'm going to pray right after, because it was on the radio, you couldn't rewind it. So I was driving and like as soon as I said it, and I do not believe this was a punishment, but it was an eye opener. I spun out on black ice and like whipped around and stopped right in front of a tree and I was like, Okay, I'll pray. I'll pray every time. And since that time, never not prayed when I got in the car.
True story. I'm a witness.
So, you know, I've I've gotten in an accident before even while I was praying one time, so it doesn't mean I'm always gonna have perfect safety and everything's gonna go great. But I always have a sense of peace when I start my drive with prayer. And now as a mom, I'm taking my kids to school. First thing we do when we get in the car Hope will reach over and grab my hand and be like "Let's pray". It sets our tone for the morning. So
Great tone. Thank you for sharing that. So let's go to Matthew chapter 6. We're going to read verses 5-6 and we're going to begin our Savior's instruction on prayer. Bonnie, will you read verses 5 and 6 for us please?
Absolutely. Matthew 6:5 & 6. "And when thou prayest, thou shalt out not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say uno you, they have their reward.
6 "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father, which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."
Thank you. Okay, first off, just tell me what's the instruction on what not to do when we pray?
Don't be public about it. And not be as the hypocrites, right? So we see in the world today that there are cultures and religions that are very vocal about being outward, and 'I am praying now', or at certain time of years pray at prayer time or certain holidays, which is great because they they bring that to the forefront. But we'll get into that vain repetition of the emptiness, right, instead of really having a communication with somebody. And that's what the instruction is. It's not, 'I'm quoting something', it's you're having a conversation. And is that done out in the street? Or is that done one on one? And this is a one on one communication?
Yeah, like, what's your intention? Is it just to actually get through the prayer and do it or is it to really commune, communicate with the Lord?
I was on a business trip last week, in fact. I was in San Diego and I was waiting for my Uber to come and I just kind of turned around and there was a man with his prayer rug out, you know, prostrate. That how you say it, prostrate ? on the ground, praying. And I kind of had that thought, like, is he, is he praying so people will see him? And I just was kind of flushed with the feeling, No, this is a devout man who is doing,? who is, it felt as though he was communing with God, the look on his face. And as the cars were moving up, he picked up his prayer rug, moved his car forward, put it back down and assumed that position, I was like, wow. I couldn't help but think his prayers were a lot more in tune than mine. Because I tend to start my prayers real strong and about seven seconds later, Did I turn off the fireplace? What am I gonna wear tomorrow? I, do have clean on, like, I mean, it's all over the place. But I could see he was really focused. I didn't feel like he was praying for people to see him. And it was pretty humbling for me to see.
Well, Amy, I'm grateful that you shared that story, because he was praying in a very unusual place. Like, you wouldn't expect to just be right there out in the open for everyone to see. And I thought that was interesting here in Matthew 6:6 it tells us all the places that we can pray, right? And you know, Amy, you pray in your car. I have prayed in my closet, I've shared that story. And I was just curious to know, where else have you guys prayed? Like, do you have a unique story about a place where you have prayed that was different?
I do you. Do you want me to
So, I have, we've talked about this before, but I was living in the Middle East last year and two places that I've never thought I would have to pray. One was on the floor of the dining hall at the military base that I was living on. And we had, the sirens came in for incoming, so that means there's rockets coming in. And so when the rockets come in, you immediately are supposed to hit the ground and lay flat on the ground. But quite honestly, I wasn't going to lay on ground in the dining hall. So I kind of knelt down and kind of had on my hands and knees and, and I was in a dress. It was a Sunday morning and I was gonna go to church out there on the base. And this gentleman looked over to me and said, "Looks like you're praying." I said, "Honestly, that would be what I'm doing." And explained to him that Yes, that's something that I felt like I needed to do at that moment. And it's on the dining hall in the middle of a military base in Iraq was an interesting place to ask Heavenly Father, Are we going to be okay today? The second time that was really weird was also in the bunker as we were being rocketed and we were being rocketed quite often one night. So it was all night we were staying in a bunker, and I was in charge of all my team and they were upset and afraid. And I felt very strongly that I would offer a prayer and have this peace and calm come over us. And it did immediately. So those are my two; I don't want to ever have to pray in those places again.
Great, great examples of how you can pray anywhere.
Anywhere, on the dining room hall floor, right? Like
It's not someplace, and it wasn't in secret and everyone saw, but It was immediately what came to mind and what needed to happen and, and I would do it again, for sure.
Cool story. What about you, Ame? Any unusual place you've prayed?
You know I've prayed everywhere: in a box. Bonnie, do you remember right when I first was getting to know you we got some kind of a box at a concert. It was the first concert I went to after my mission. Do you remember? I won't say the name but her name rhymes with Kashmiris McLachian.
Yeah, okay. Yeah.
Was that who it was?
Yeah it was.
And she was saying some words, I mean, I was off the mish like two weeks. And she, she was saying some words and some things that I was like, I remember praying at that concert.
Thank goodness, for her.
But I felt like I wasn't, I don't know. I remember praying at that concert. I've prayed in really weird places. Like, my daughter Hope was in a play and she was so nervous. She thought she was gonna throw up. She was the star of the show, it was her first thing. And I'm like, Honey, do want to pray? She's like, Right here? I'm like, You bet. Come here, give me a hug. And so we just had, we just prayed right there. No one had any idea what we were doing. But those are kind of sacred moments in prayer.
Yeah, absolutely. I'm going to recommend we put a cross reference next to verse 6. The cross reference is Alma 33:4-11. . And this was so cool to read. Alma, chapter 33:4-11. This is Alma the younger quoting Zenos, the prophet. And Zenos actually teaches all the places that we are heard. And if you just want to go there and scan your eyes down verses 4-11, I thought this was so striking to me. So look at verse 4. He says at the very beginning, "When I was in the wilderness". And we have talked about that word a lot on our podcast, that the word 'wilderness' can mean 'a place where we are struggling'. Like we all are in the wilderness, kind of looking for help and asking the Lord's help. Like it's, like in a kind of a spiritual, emotional place. Verse 5 we have, he says, "I prayed in my field." Verse 6: "I turned in my house." Verse 7: "In my closet." I mean, he just goes over all these different places where we can pray. And I think it's beautiful because he's basically saying, it doesn't matter where we are, we can pray, the Lord will hear us.
And then we're given one condition of our prayer. Go back to Matthew chapter 6. So Bonnie you've already brought up this word. So I just want you to read verse 7 for us, and we're going to mark something in this verse.
Perfect. So in Matthew 6:7 it says, "But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking." sorry, for their much speaking.
Thank you. So here's a condition. You can pray anywhere you want, but make sure you don't do this. Let's underline that in verse 7. What are we encouraged not to use?
Okay. Tell me about that, Bonnie.
I learned, I know. Oftentimes we think that means repetitiveness and, but it actually is emptiness, right? It is uselessness, praying for things that don't matter is kind of how I take it. You know, and I thought, that scripture, I've heard my whole life. And so I often thought it was, I want to get married, I want to get married. I want to get married. He's, he's heard that prayer, has He not heard that prayer? Oh, I'm gonna keep saying it. And then I felt this: Oh, I shouldn't say that every time I say a prayer because I'm, it's being repetitious. But it really taught me, No, that's the desire of my heart. And it's not an empty wish, it's not something that's not worthy. It is my desire, and I can ask that over and over again. That's not being that vain repetition that I always thought it was.
You bet you can ask for that.
Still ask well,
You keep asking sister, we will ask with you. Let's highlight 'vain repetitions' in verse 7. And next to it put "Greek", because in Greek it means 'speaking without thinking'. Now that changed everything for me. Because, is Bonnie thinking when she's praying to get married?
You bet she is. So now when you read 'vain repetitions', is 'do not pray, do not speak without thinking', how does that change your idea of a vain repetition, Ame?
Well, they seem to still kind of go hand in hand, not the marriage one but like, "please bless the food that it'll nourish and strengthen our bodies". Like I'm pretty sure my kids don't even know what it is they're saying right there. It's just this thing we say every time because we would never say "nourish and strengthen our bodies" in real life. But we still say it in every prayer. It's funny because I've always said to my kids after we say the same kind of prayer, I'm like, Guys, can we change it up, for me? Because we, don't make Him hear the same thing again, please? So I think, I think it can be, you know, repetitiveness becomes or happens because sometimes we're not thinking. But I see the difference there and I really like that.
Well I like how you just connected it though. Repetitiveness can be speaking without thinking, you're just saying it to say. You're absolutely right.
Going through the motions. I do that.
Oh, gosh, that was good. Okay, so we're gonna read one more verse, then. Let's go to verse 8. And Ame, will you read that for us.
Sure. "Be not ye therefore like into them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him."
And so this begs the question, then, If God already knows what we're going to ask for, then why should we even pray? What would your answer be to that?
Well, I know, I know what the Bible Dictionary says. So I know like the technical answer. Do you want me to read that?
Yes, because I love this definition.
Okay. "As soon as we learn the true relationship to which we stand toward God, namely, God is our Father, and we are His children, then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part. Many of the so-called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting this relationship. Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others the blessing that God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking for them."
Wow. And I like in that definition, "understanding our relationship with our Father". I mean, everything you just read, we're going to talk about today. It's awesome. But again, just to secure our will with His, that's why we ask. He already knows, He has already heard our prayer. But when we ask for it, we're aligning ourselves with Him.
So in "Jesus the Christ", it, there's a whole paragraph about the Sermon on the Mount
and I love it.
But here it says "God without our prayers would be God; but we without prayer cannot be admitted into the kingdom of God." And that really struck me. It also goes on to say "Prayer is made up of heart throbs and the righteous yearnings of the soul," It's not about the words. It's not about what we say, words can be expressed. They can be desired, they can be inconsistent. But prayer is made up of heartthrobs and the righteous yearning of the soul. I love that. That is in "Jesus the Christ", page 222 in my little book, under Sermon on the Mount.
Okay. I'm so grateful, that I wrote that in my scriptures.
Isn't that beautiful, though?
So when we talk about vain repetitions and saying things, my desire like I mentioned in the, say I, something I say in my prayer all the time. It's not the words, it's what my heart desires. And that's the true prayer. That's why we ask, right? is that communion of heart to God? And I love the thought that God without our prayers is still God. That doesn't change that, but it changes us.
It changes us because us without prayer cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Wow. Beautiful. Bonnie, thank you for sharing that. Thank you both of you. What a fun discussion. Okay, so we've kind of introduced to prayer and we've learned a little bit of what not to do, so in the next segment, we're going to actually learn how to pray according to scripture.
Segment 3 24:08
Okay, you two. Do either of you remember on your missions doing the prayer lesson with the prayer chart? We had to
we thank thee.
Yes, it had the exact steps through prayer. This is one of my, okay, this is my all-time favorite prayer story from my mission. So we're with this guy, and he's an older gentleman. He's never prayed, ever, out loud. And so we flip the flip chart over, so for those of you who are listening, missionaries used to have flip charts that had pictures and graphs and diagrams. I don't know just stuff you needed on your mission. So it goes in order of the lesson. So you flip the page over and it has the steps in prayer. So I'm teaching it to this man and I said, Okay. We start with, Dear heavenly Father. And then it says, We thank thee, we ask thee, and then you end In the name of Jesus Christ. So he was so nervous. He's like, Can I use the flip chart? I'm like, of course. And I'm thinking, this is the greatest moment ever. This guy's gonna say the first outloud prayer of his whole entire life.
So my companion and I get on our knees with him and he's going to ask if the Book of Mormon is the word of God, this is his first prayer. And he begins his prayer. And he just starts and he just says, Dear Heavenly Father, we thank Thee, We ask Thee, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. And my companion looked up at me, and I was like, Amen! Best prayer I've ever heard. It was so heartfelt. And it took longer for him to pray, then I just said, I mean, he thougt through every single one of those
And read every word,
Ohhh, read every word.
We all had this experience because we all had that chart. And that's exactly what everyone did. Because it was so new to have that communication, and to even think that they could speak to God, because it's not a written prayer. I remember when I was in high school, I was asked to give the graduation prayer. And I said, Absolutely, I'll get the prayer and they go, Okay, you need to write that out and have that turned in. I'm like, What? Have to what? I go, I don't do that. And they go, you need to get it approved. And I was like, how do you write a prayer, right? So I wrote something down, turned it in. And then the day of graduation, of course I'd closed my eyes, bowed mt head. I mean, no one's gonna sit there and read it and tell me, you know, she forgot to say that. But it was just that whole thought that you, we are really communicating,and it's not, and it's a scary thing for people at first. And I'm sure every missionary at our urge had people that did that, because that flip chart said that. And so it was a great opportunity. And I'm sure you did have that too, Tammy. It was great opportunity. Now you fill that in.
This fillin' in
Yeah. That was the next time we met; we just embraced that prayer.
And the fillin' in the dots now is the beautiful essence of the communication. And doesn't have to be written and approved. And it's not something that is, you know, this prayer's for this thing, and this prayer's for that thing. But it is the opportunity to communicate. So yeah, but I'm sure that flip chart story is, people around listening to this,
Are gonna remember that story.
Yeah, in the middle of Kentucky, there was somebody did the same thing.
the most gracias.
So great, Amy, I love it. All right, well, let's go into Matthew chapter 6 because here is the Lord's sort of flip chart, I guess. He is going to teach us the steps of prayer. And we're gonna go through these, and as we do, we're gonna talk about them. And I want you to share any thoughts or feelings you have as we go line by line. And I'm just going to kind of share some things with you about what we're talking about here and what they mean. And then I'd love you to jump in with anything you're thinking or feeling.
Okay, so let's start. We are going to go to Matthew 6:9. When it starts with "After this manner", I think it's important to look down at footnote a. 9a says, "It is in this way that you ought to pray", but it doesn't mean you have to. It's "after this manner" is a suggestion of one way you can pray but it's not strict. Because some people will say, why don't we follow the Lord's Prayer? In our culture? Why don't we start out our prayer like this? So we need to understand it's just a suggestion. "After this manner, therefore pray ye:".
Let's highlight this. "Our Father which art in heaven". The fact that it starts out with "Father", first and foremost right out of the gate teaches us our relationship with Him. And I like how Bonnie you taught us that God is, without our prayers, God is still God. But when we pray to Him, He becomes our Father. We're petitioning Him and asking Him for something. So that's something so beautiful about the word Father there.
So Tammy, I used this scripture a lot. and we talked about our mission. But this was, the Lord's Prayer is very well known throughout Christianity, right. And there's beautiful songs about it, people can quote it. But what I used it for as a tool was the first time really to have that conversation. This is the Savior on the Mount saying that you need to talk to the Father. That's two people. So he's teaching the divinity of Himself and the Father.
Oh, I like that, Bonnie.
This is very distinct that two personages, the Father and the Son. And the son is saying, This is how we ought to talk to dad. And it was very confusing sometimes that, you know, that's a new concept to some. But there's quite a few in Christianity that love the New Testament. And this is where we're learning that we're talking to our Father.
So good. That is good. I don't, I've never thought about that.
Me neither. So perfect.
The Savior is, right?, He's on the mount. And his disciples - and I love that they talk about that He talked as one with authority and not as the Scribes and Pharisees - because He was teaching by the Spirit. He wasn't reading the chart.
He was teaching by the spirit up on the mountain and speaking freely with the spirit and teaching these things.
Well then He goes into "Hallowed be thy name". And that word 'hallowed' is 'sanctified'. So not only is He Father, but then He's also, the Savior's putting Him in the position or place of authority He belongs, above us,
higher than Him.
Yeah, higher than Him. Excellent, so good. Then we have 10: "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven." Why'd you do that, Ame?
Because that's the hardest part of prayer.
Because it's, it's only by age that I've come to say, "Thy will be done" and realize that that is the best way to pray. Like, I, I truly would never want something that wasn't the best for me anymore. I used to. I mean, if my prayers came true, I'd be married to Ricky Schroder or Greg Garretson. I would be the president of a hotel chain, I would have all these things. And, and so I've learned to become really grateful for my prayers not being answered the exact way I want them when they were. Because I truly have learned that everything has happened just when it should, just the way it should. That is, that has been a hard, a hard lesson to learn.
So hard. In fact, I have a quote. And I love that you brought this up. It's from Elder Scott. And it's the talk you told me to read when we were roommates,
my favorite talk,
And I know it's your favorite talk, "Ttrust in the Lord". And I was going through a difficult time and you said, Tam, you got to read this talk. And it became like my, it was my theme talk of all times. And so go ahead and read this. It is so good. Here's what Elder Scott has to say about "Thy will be done."
"When you pray with real conviction, 'please let me know thy will. And may Thy will be done', you are in the strongest position to receive the maximum help from your loving father."
I think that 'please let me know thy will' is where I've come to learn, right? I'm not so good on just, 'Okay, Your will. Please let me know.' I'm a little controlling, right? Right. Just can you, can you drop me a line? Let me know that that's the right thing. I've used that over and over. I'm going to pack up and move to San Francisco. Is that a good thing for me to do? Let me know. And sure enough, that conviction is there when we ask for that conviction.
How do you know? You've, because Bonnie, I liked that you just gave that example. Of any, of the 3 of us, you have moved the most. You have packed up and gone, tried new things. Yeah, if there's anybody who prays "Is this, is this thy ? How do you know if it is? Because there's a lot of people listening going, But how, how do you feel? What, what?
That's a good question. And, and I can answer it this way: 100% calm and no doubt. No doubt for me is the biggest clue. I'm a doubter. I'm like, not so much. And on specifically big moves that I've made? Yes, I've left my, Amy was, Amy was part of that. Should I move to San Francisco? And I asked my family,we all prayed that weekend. Each one of my siblings by Sunday night said, 'See you. I'll come visit you, have a nice time.' And it was no doubt. When I decided to move to the Middle East and go work with the USO, 100% pack my bags, I'm going. No doubt. I'm packing up to move to Boston. No doubt, pack it up and go.
Now all those situations, those three specifically, hardest transitions of my life. I've lost my job. I was in air raids. I mean, they weren't ideal situations, but I never doubted I was supposed to be there. Boston ended up to be one of the most amazing experiences of my life. And I hope all my Boston friends are listening because I love them with all my heart. And I was supposed to be there, no doubt.
As an observer, when I think back on those three moves, I see your why. Like, to think of the things that you went through. And all three of those places, the growth that happened, the people you touched, the lifes you changed. Like, no doubt about it. It's fascinating to see the hand of God in your life when you wanted His
And it was a follow. And it was, those three particular were hard. Let's be really clear. I ate popcorn for like six months. I was poor. And I love my popcorn. But it was, I could get through it because I knew the answer was: I had no doubt.
Isn't that interesting that His will doesn't always equate with easy?
Oh, no, no.
I think it's quite opposite.
His will is like, Okay, you're gonna have a lesson. I'm going to tell you, this is My will and gonna be good for you. You're not gonna like it, but it's gonna be really good for you. And I've learned that. I didn't like it. But it was good for me.
How different would it have been, Bon, if you hadn't gone through that process of like you said, you prayed with your family and your family prayed for you and you got that peace and that reassurance? How different would it have been if God had been like, 'Bonnie, go to Boston?' Because when times had got, when times would have gotten hard, I imagine you'd been like, what, here? Because you didn't come to that decision on your own.
And it makes a difference, right? And this, so as we're talking right now, I'm on a family text. And we have a situation in our family. And everyone's saying right now in text, 'Sincere prayers with you.' It's real. We're told to pray to our Heavenly Father for a specific way and reason. Then His kingdom will come and His will will be done, "on earth as it is in heaven." We can quote it: "give us this day our daily bread", right? It is real.
Let's turn to verse 13, then, Bonnie. This is a great way to end this discussion. The last thing we say in the prayer, 13a the footnote is awesome. It's not "lead us not into temptation", it says "And suffer us not to be led into temptation", "but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdon, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen." Right there. This changes everything for me when I say Amen. Because it does mean I agree, or I support, we do believe that. I confirm or support what's being said. But here's another way to look at that word. Amen comes from the Hebrew word AMAN, a m a n, and in the Strong's exhaustive concordance for Hebrew, AMAN can mean 'to trust or believe in.' And so now we say, "In the name of Jesus Christ,"
the which I believe in
I trust and believe in. Yeah,
That might be my takeaway today.
Why have I never heard that
I think for me, that's really when I learned that I started to say that in my prayers, I would say "In the name of Jesus Christ, who I trust and believe in, Amen." And I have to trust and believe that everything's gonna go right when I'm doing what's right. And even when I'm doing His will, it's not always going to be easy. Boy, I know that too. But to trust and believe in Him, Amen.
Take a look at the Sacrament Prayer then, when we say Amen. That we're willing and able, and we're going to remember them and trust in Him, Amen. That's, that's an aha, Tammy. Thank you. That's an Aha.
Well, you're welcome.
That we trust in him. That's why we're praying to begin with.
Right. And when people say, you know, when we say Amen at the end of a testimony, that's, yeah, I confirm or support that. That's the appropriate, confirm, support. But when we are pleading with the Lord and begging, and the three of us know what that is like, to be able to end with, 'And I trust you'.
Trust He can make it okay. That's all I got.
Like tomorrow, or "ASAP, amen." That's awesome. You guys, I love you. I love you. Okay, so we've just had this awesome discussion about how to pray. So the next questio is, does He hear and answer every child's prayer? So we're going to discuss that next.
Segment 4 39:52
Okay, I have one of my all-time favorite flowers, and they're kind of hard to come by. I want you guys - Amy and Bonnie - describe to the listeners what you're seeing, what kind of flower.
without saying the name?
Oh, you can see the name. Yeah.
I don't know what they're called. But they're really, really pretty.
Isn't that a poppy? It's a beautiful, delicate red poppy, isn't it?
It looks like a puppy. It's an Anemone.
It's actually called a Common Crown Anemone, a Red Common Crown Anemone.
It's red, it's beautiful.
Isn't that gorgeous with the black center?
It's a black center.
Okay, this is one of my favorite flowers. Now, the reason why I wanted to show this to you, go to Matthew chapter 6. We're going to read verses 28-30. And Amy, will you please read those verses for us?
Sure. "And why take a thought for arraignment? Consider the lilies of the field. How do they grow? They toil not, neither do they spin? And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore if God so clothed the grass of the fields, which, to this day is and on the morrow is cast into the oven? Shall he not much more clothe you? Oh, ye of little faith."
Okay, let's go through and translate this for a minute. The reason I showed you the picture, 28. So leading up to this point, there's a lot of great verses of scripture and discussion. Verse 21 "where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Verse 24, "No man can serve two masters". Classic scripture mastery scripture. Then He starts speaking to the disciples, and He's saying unto them, Look, don't worry about all the stuff you're worrying about. Like you're gonna go out and you're gonna preach My word. Don't worry about what you're gonna wear, don't worry about what you're going to eat, like everything's going to be taken care of for you. And He's like, let me just double down on that. Let me prove my point in verse 28. He says, "And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies".
Now highlight the word 'lilies', because actually, some scholars believe that the lily in this verse may have actually been the Red Crown Anenome. I have a picture for you of what the field looks like in Jerusalem. Those of you listening, go to the show notes; you can see a Red Crown Anenome field, it's beautiful. I love it.
So now look at this field and listen, it says - we go into the next verse that says- "...I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these", which Solomon was rich and fancy. And even in all of his glory he wasn't as beautiful as this flower. So this once wise king and all of his glory, he didn't even look like this. And what we're trying to understand is that the flush of colorful spring flowers scattered all over the hills and valleys and plains, it would produce in the eyes of the beholder just this genuine admiration of, for the elegant beauty of one of God's simple creations: us, and the flower. So if God cares for the smallest of works of His hands, this tiny little red Anemone, surely He's going to care for and provide for humankind, His crowning creation.
So you have the Crowning Anemone, and then the crowning creation. And then in verse 30, this is where it says, "If God will clothe the grass of the field", like, and it could be destroyed tomorrow because of the fire, "then shall He not much more clothe you, Oh, ye of little faith?" Like, just trust Me; like I care about you way more than this flower. And you know how much I care about the flower, look at it. So I want you to kind of be thinking about this as we go into Matthew 7:7-8. But before we go there, Bonnie, I feel like you have something to say.
I just love that song. I love "Consider the Lilies of the Field and how they grow and how they grow. Consider the birds of the sky, and how they fly and how they fly." And then it says, "He will feed those that trust Him and guide them with His eye." There was a movie that I loved years ago, and there was a verse in a sentence in the movie that said, "Do you ever think that God gets sad when we walk past the color purple and we don't notice it?" He intentionally put the lilies in the field, put the birds in the sky. And so doesn't He intentionally know His child? And does He get sad when we walk past and don't notice the things that He intentionally is trying to do? And trying to show us and to feed us and to clothe us? He is intentional, and He does notice.
And I just I love that, I love that song. "Consider the Lilies of the Field." And, and I think that as as we read this and we start to understand He is mindful of us, and we'll talk about it. And the answers aren't always You betcha. You get what you ask for,
But what I've learned over time, though, is I've understood the whys of maybe why not the answer, right? It's not the answer that I thought I wanted. But I understand why.
How do you know? Do you have an example?
Well, the the question came up, you know, is He mindful of what you're asking for? And do you know if He hears and answers your prayer? Well, no, He hasn't really answered the desire of my heart, but I understand differently. Now I'll give the example of I, all I ever wanted to be was a mom, Tam. Amy knows that. I thought I was gonna grow up and have 12 kids, live on the farm and call a spade a spade and I'm good. Don't have any children. But when I was about 40, I got the answer to that prayer and understood. And for my mom, that's gonna listen to this, she's told me for years. But I've been in Young Women's for 30 years. I work with kids, I teach kids. I've been to 32 Girls camps in my life.
And so I had to learn that me birthing children wasn't necessarily the answer. Me, fulfilling my divine role as a mother, and having that fulfillment of nurturing and being a mother was answered when I learned how to listen differently. And the Ask wasn't for 'I want to birth a child'. It was I wanted to be a mother. But it changed my perspective on how I listened to answers. And, and truly understand He is mindful of me, and I can nurture and fulfill that desire of my heart. It's just differently than I thought it was going to be. And once I understood that, I've enjoyed the journey so much better.
And it's not this, Oh, woe is me kind of thing, and how come not me? It was, I have a lot of kids. And I hope they're all listening to this podcast. I have kids all over the world. I love that. And I'm grateful for that. But that came from understanding the answer to prayers differently. And so He does hear and answer every child's prayer. That just might be different than you thought.
I was just thinking about a struggle one of my daughters has been having with prayer and as a mom I'm like, when I say my prayers I'm like, Hey, she's gonna need a big answer, not like the kind You give me. She's gonna need real direct, I know my girl. So it's gotta be real loud and in her face. Like, I'm literally, knowing what I know about prayer I should never be praying like this, but I want her to have these experiences so bad. So before school started - she really, she's only 10 years old - she really wanted to go to a different school. So she said, Mom, I'm gonna pray that I can get accepted to this other school. And I said, I, then I will pray with you, and I support you. If that's the direction you should go, I know that it will happen. Heavenly Father will open a way for it to happen. I believe that.
I also believe if it doesn't happen there's something else. She's like, Okay. Well, it didn't happen. And she was sobbing and, 'See, I told you He wasn't listening. He never listens to me.' And I was so sad. I thought, Why couldn't You just helped her? But I knew better. And I looked up at her. And I said, Grace, I can't wait for us to discover Your why. Like, won't that be amazing if that wasn't the right way? And this isn't just me trying to like, be comforting as a mom. Like I really meant it.
That's kind of my new way, these days when things don't happen the way my kids want them to, or I want them to. I think, Ooh, I can't wait to find out the why.
The why has come in that she has the best teacher of her life, who is the perfect fit for her, that she recognizes and knows that. And she has some incredible friends and experiences she wouldn't have had at the other school. So she has been able to find her her own why. And I think that has increased her, a little bit, her trust in Heavenly Father and His timing and His, His ability to answer her prayers.
What a great approach Ame. "I can't wait to figure out the why." I mean, I think everybody sits with that question when things aren't answered the way we want them to. What a great response. "Can't wait to figure out the why", Okay, well, all of this discussion, then, let's go into a scripture chain on prayer. Because this has led up perfectly and you guys didn't even know you're doing that. So we're gonna go to Matthew chapter 7. We're going to look at verses 7-8, and we're gonna put some scriptures next to it. So I'll start with these. I'll read them and then we'll each take turns, okay, Matthew chapter 5:7-8. Let me get my glasses because I can't, ocky, got cocky, didn't think I needed them, here we go.
7: "Ask, and it shall be given", Sorry, let me try again. "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
8: "For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh find it; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."
Okay, let's put this cross reference: Doctrine and Covenants 88:64-65. And we'll have Ame, will you read these two verses for us, 64 and 65.
64: "Whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name it shall be given unto you, that is expedient for you.
65: "And if you ask anything that is not expedient for you, it shall turn unto your condemnation."
All right, let's mark the word 'expedient'. That, another word for that is necessary. So Ame will you read those two verses again and replace 'xpedient' with 'necessary'?
"Whatsoever ye ask the Father in my name it shall be given unto you that is necessary for you.
Wow. "And if ye ask anything that is not necessary for you, it shall turn unto your condemnation."
I like that.
But the seeketh is the part right? I like you can ask but you have to seek. Seeking is different than asking. Asking is one thing. But like what Amy talked about, she sought after the why. So seeking to understand for me why I didn't have children was the answer to my prayer. Not the asking of that, it was the seeking of it that answered my prayer.
Seek and ye shall find
Ye shall find,
That's the difference, right? So we can ask and it might not be expedient or necessary, so we should seek for it, then.
Oh, I like
Seek what is necessary, right?
I just put 'find your why' next to seek and you shall find. Oh, Ame I like that you taught us that. And you connected those dots, Bonnie.
If it doesn't happen, then we can also know it wasn't necessary.
Right? Okay, so then that begs the question, Well, how do I know if I should even pray for it? How should I know if it's necessary? So here's your next scripture reference. Next to Doctrine and Covenants where we just read, put this one: Doctrine and Covenants 18:18. And Bonnie, will you read that for us.
You bet. Doctrine and Covenants 18:18, "Ask the Father in my name in faith, believing that you shall receive, and you shall have the Holy Ghost, which manifesteth all things which are expedient," or we learned 'necessary', "unto the children of men."
So what did we just learn about the whole faith and prayer process?
You shall have it by the Spirit, and it will manifest the truth of it to you.
Like you can really ask, Is this something I should even be praying for? Is this necessary for me? And then you'll know. And I think, you know, Bonnie with you is, is it even necessary for you to pray to get married? Yeah, I think it is. Yeah, we're gonna keep praying for that. But there was a time when I really believed I could pray to go on dates with certain people, because it worked for me one time. I remember one time, I specifically thought, I'm going to pray for this specific guy to ask me out. Like, I really want to go out with him.. So I did, I prayed by name that he would ask me out, and I'll be darned - he did. Two weeks later, I went on a date with him. And so I'm like, let's just keep this up, again. Like, Heavenly Father, I'd really like to go out with THIS guy. And it didn't get answered. And it went a long time.
And I remember teaching this lesson to my seminary students, and I thought, Maybe I should pray if it's even necessary. And I did. I'm like, Heavenly Father, should I even be preparing to go out with this guy? And very clear as day the answer was, Nope. I'm like, All right, well, but I thought I was gonna marry this guy. He was like the perfect match for me. Like, clearly we should be going out and Heavenly Father's like, No, you shouldn't. It's not necessary.
Not necessary. I love that, the not necessary is, is becoming quite the mantra in my head right now. Praying - is it necessary?
And prayer is work. Right? I have to remind my, my kids and sometimes myself, that God isn't taught magic. There's no wand, there's no secret spells involved. It's so much more than that.
Yeah, in fact, I love Amy, that you brought up the definition of prayer in the Bible Dictionary, because it states "prayer is a form of work." And I remember the first time I read that, I was like, Ah, you're right.
But I'm so tired already.
Exactly. It is a form of work. So true.
But again, to what Talmage said, that work is so that we can enter the kingdom of God.
Right. So again, God doesn't need us to pray because He'll continue to be God. We need to pray and to work for it so that we can return to Him.
Gosh, great discussion you two. Thank you so much on that. So next to Doctrine and Covenants 18:18, go ahead and just write Matthew 7:7-8. And there you go, there's your scripture chain connection. You can put more in, you could put the scriptures from Enos and all sorts of great things, but I like how succinct it is. Like, and look at, look at the discussion we had from just such a short little chain. So. Okay, but we're not done discussing that word. So in the next segment, we're going to take a closer look at the word 'expedient', and how Heavenly Father views that word.
Segment 5 55:38
All right, here we go. I asked you guys to come prepared with a story. And here is what the prompt was. Do you have a story when you asked your father for something and he got it for you? Mine is a 10 Speed. I wanted a 10 Speed so bad. And I remember one day my dad was like Let's go get you a 10 Speed. Thanks, dad. It was the greatest day ever. Like I had arrived because now I could finally ride my bike without hands.
Did you get it all the way to the 10th speed?
Course I did. I pushed everything to the max,
Yes, curved handle. So it was red! A red 10 Speed. (Bike) I had wanted one for so long, and I had
Your dad loved you.
And I'm sure my mother supported the decision. "Get, she deserves a 10 Speed." That's mine. What about you guys?
Well, when I wanted to get my first car, the Fox, the Volkswagen Fox. I I couldn't do it on my own. And so I begged and pleaded. And my dad said, "I'm not a bank." And then he gave me the money. So he is a bank. Love you, Dad. Yeah.
Oh, Bruce. He's the greatest.
He a regular - the moose.
Oh, yeah. I love Bruce. That's a good story.
So Fox, the Volkswagen. He helped me get the Fox.
Nice. Alright. What about you, Bonnie?
The thing that came to my mind was I really, I was on a trip with my father. We were actually in the Middle East. And I've gone several times with him. And we always went to visit family. I never got to go do the touristy things. And I begged him, Dad, I'm an adult. And I'm like, Dad, please. Can we just go into the old city? Can we just go down to there? Can we just go to there? And he's like, No, we gotta go with family, la-la-la. We got, and he did not want to do it. And I said, Dad, can we please? And he looked at me and he said, Honey, let's go. And that meant all, like, it meant all the world to me. I know it was, so it wasn't something that he necessarily gave me, it was something that I asked for. And he was kind of reluctant. And he said, Yes.
Why do you think he wasn't? Yeah.
Was it necessary? No. Was it expedient? No.
It was because I had such a strong desire. And when you asked that question for us to ponder that, that's the one that came to my mind because it was something I would ask of a father that was a strong desire. It wasn't just something, a tangible thing that I just wanted - I wanted a new watch or a beautiful bottle of perfume - because he was great to give me those things. This was a desire of my heart for a lot of different reasons. And, and he listened and then gave it to me. So that meant more to me than, he was great to give. I love perfume and he was always great to give us. But the time and understanding the desire and why, the whys with that. It was a beautiful, and we had a beautiful time. It was great.
Okay, this is such good stories. So Amy, let me ask you this. How would it be different if you hadn't gotten it? Like if you didn't get the car? And Bonnie? If your dad had been like, Forget about it, and you you didn't get to go down.
Disappointing, right? It's so disappointing. Heartbreaking.
Oh I like that - heartbreaking.
It's heartbreaking and and you asked the one guy who I love more than anything in the world, right? Like really, really pops? Popsy, really? So I think the heartbreak and disappointment is compounded by the one who you're asking from, right?
If I went down the street, Hey, can I get a taco? And they said, No. Oh, no big deal. But I was asking my dad and that's different. So I think the heartbreak would be stronger, real.
My dad did say no at first. Remember I said that part about I'm not a bank. I was crushed. I thought, I was 18 years old, like, who else am I going to ask? Like, you were my, you are my last and only shot. And I think he thought about it. And he's like, I can help her. He didn't buy it for me, he helped me.
And it was great.
Okay, I want us to be thinking of this, I want everyone to be in this space if they have an experience where their father helped them get something. This relationship with a child and a father is what I want to be thinking about. Because in the song, there's the line, "You are His child, His love now surrounds you." And be thinking of that as we go into these verses in Matthew 7:9-11. I just think it makes these verses so much more poignant now when we read them. So Matthew 7:9-11, and we're each going to take a turn reading a verse; we'll start with you, Bonnie, and then Amy, and then me. So we just got done reading about how the Lord says, Listen, if you ask, it will be given to you. If you knock it will be opened. Okay? Now, here's what He has to say about prayers.
So in chapter 7:9 it says, "Oh what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
10: "Or if he asks a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11: "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
So how does that change our relationship with our Father and with prayer?
Well, dad, I asked us to go into the city. It wasn't like we ended up going to the grocery store. We, we went to where the desire was, right? Amy talked to her dad about a car, she didn't go get a bike. It was relevant and pertinent to the ask. And I think that's the message here is that, again, when we seek to understand, we didn't get the stone, we got bread.
That's exactly right, Bonnie. I think sometimes so often we think, Oh, He's just gonna give me a stone. And the Lord's like, No, I'll give you bread. I mean, it might not be sourdough. It might be rye. But it's going to be what's going to be best for you. And I really love this relationship where the Father's like, I will give you the best that I can, t1213hat's going to be the best for you in this certain situation right now. Like, if you're asking me for a fish, why would He give us a serpent? How mean would that be? Right? What a mean Dad?
Yeah, yes. And I think that's, I'm stuck on this seeking thing. But it's truly what is necessary. I love that expedient word and changing it to necessary. And perhaps if it was necessary that I get a serpent then so be it. But that's not what the ask was. And if it wasn't necessary, then of course, it's not going to be the serpent. It's going to be the fish.
What does it imply if He did give you a serpent? Like, just tell me what kind of word you'd use to describe someone when you said, Can I have a fish? And they're like, You bet. And then he hands you a serpent?
Well, then I'd have to ask the why. Right? So what was that about? And
Well, it just seems rude.
Well, oh, really? That it'd be confusing, right? It could be hurtful. You'd have to do some digging and thinking. And maybe a little forgiving, like what just happened? But definitely those things we talked about, it would be disappointing, heartbreaking, right? It's
It's not what I asked for, and not what I thought I needed. And what am I going to do with a serpent? Let's be really clear. There's a lot of other things I could use except for a serpent.
Yeah, exactly. What about you Ame?
Well, just last Saturday, one of my daughter's - different daughter - was just beside herself with grief about maybe love, something of that nature. And I couldn't stand to see her in pain. Like it, it felt physical to me, the pain. Like I could feel it. And I'm like, Hey, come on, we're going just you and I, we're going on, we're going out. So I took her to the mall and got her some little things and she was smiling and she was so happy. We got in the car and she's like, 'You know, um, what's really hard is that I've been praying. And I asked Heavenly Father to help me, help me get over this and I just, I don't get any answer.' Ah, and I was thinking about this exact scripture in preparing this week. Like, when I see her sad, the first thing I want to do is get her out of the pain. And so I take her to do some retail therapy. Or I said,
Mama, it's whatever it is, Mama.
But I'm evil apparently. Um, and I said this to her, I said, Gosh, Hope. You know how happy you were as we came out of the store and you had your bags in your hand, it was so fun. And you felt like I got you, right? You were struggling and I totally got you. I said, Heavenly Father is different. He knows that's not what's best for you. He really knows what's best for you, and He's willing and able to give it to you. It's just not coming how you want it right now. And she's like, whoa. And I was like, whoa. it's true. Heavenly Father doesn't just take us out of these hard circumstances, heartache, pain, loneliness, whatever it is, He doesn't just take it out. There's something to be learned, I think, along the was as we look to Him.
No, I totally agree. And I think for these, for me with these verses, I remember the first time I was reading them, just thinking of asking my dad for bread, and he throws me a stone. I would be so sad.
Couldn't you kind of see Gail doing that, though?
No. He would do everything in his power to get me some bread.
That's true. That's true, with cheese.
And some cheese.
Totally. And I think the lesson in these verses is for us to just realize how much our Heavenly Father loves us. Like, I kind of think Amy, He probably would take me to the mall to do some retail therapy, if that's what I needed. You know, like, I love that. I think you handled that as beautifully as maybe our Heavenly Mother would, like, 'Let me just help ease your pain for a minute. It's okay, I'm not going to all of a sudden make everything better.' But I'm just thinking of how real it makes Him. He's basically saying, Listen, and you people who are evil, you evil people even know how to give good gifts. So can you even imagine how a, how good of a gift I could give you? Like, I got your back. I'm going to help you through all of this. Yes, you did not get to have children. Absolutely. And that is so heartbreaking and so sad. And I still didn't give you a stone. Right?
I still gave you the kind of bread I knew that Bonnie needed.
Yeah. That was useful. Right. And in, in that, in this, you know, example, way beyond my dreams of influence
and opportunities, right. What I've been able to accomplish in the last 20 years. Yeah, blows me away of the opportunities and, and the blessings. And He probably does really get me. Yeah, probably. Turns out
Okay, we, I have the coolest quote, it's by Neal A Maxwell. And this just struck me. It's like, I found it and I thought this is the quote of all quotes for prayer. So I'm gonna read it. And as I do, what I want you guys to look for is the combination. Okay, that's the tricky, that's the tricky word I'm giving you. I feel like we're on a game show. Look for the combination.
We're ready, we're ready.
Okay, here we go. "Petitioning and prayer has taught me that the vault of heaven with all its blessings, is to be opened only by a combination lock. One tumbler falls when there is faith, a second when there's personal righteousness. And the third and final tumbler falls only when what is sought is, in God's judgment, not ours, right for us. Sometimes we pound on the vault door for something we want very much, in faith, in reasonable righteousness, and wonder why the door does not open. We would be very spoiled children if that vault door opened any more easily than it does now. I can tell you looking back, that God truly loves me by the petitions that, in His perfect wisdom and love He has refused to grant me. Our rejected petitions tell us not only much about ourselves, but also much about our flawless Father."
Okay, what's the combination?
Faith, righteousness, and what's right for us. What's necessary, expedient.
Yeah. We have this in our show notes as a glue-in and I would encourage everyone to put this in your scriptures at Matthew chapter 7. I would have given this to my students and ask them at this point, then, how is your combination doing? What, what part of your combination - because combinations are hard. It's like when you go to the first day of school with your junior high kid and they get their locker for the first time. You're like "2 to the right, 15." I mean, I can't believe how many times it takes for us to finally get it. And I remember how scared my kids were. What if I can't figure it out? And I'm like, you probably won't. That's how it is with our combinations, right? Heavenly Father, what if I can't figure it out? He's like, Yeah, it's gonna be a while. But like, "2 to the right" I, we have to fine-tune our tumblers. Like how's my faith? How's my personal righteousness? And am I, am I believing in what's necessary or right for me?
Well, because sometimes we'll choose one. We'll go, Okay, I got the faith. I'm not being so righteous or not quite understanding. So if we don't finish the whole combination and we don't get it opened,
right, and we give up or we mess up and go too far to the left on one? Like the whole thought of Him saying that this is the combination, this is the three steps to make this happen, makes it all three necessary.
Oh. And I just had a thought: of the three numbers when you do a combination lock, which is the hardest one to get perfect?
Yes. If you don't land on that just right, how many times do I do that? And I'm like, still locked. Like and you'd go over, right?
Well, how about when it opens and it's not what you thought it was going to be, because you did all those things. You have the faith, you tried to be righteous, and you did what was right. And it is something different.
Then what, Ame?
You just keep on keepin' on. You find out your why.
Yeah. You find out your why. Absolutely.
You seek, right? We have to seek; the whole point is you have to seek.
Or maybe what's behind that door, the vault, is exactly what you never knew you needed.
Oh, I like that. You never knew you need it. I gotta write that down. Oh ain't that the truth? Okay, so, go back to the song then how we started, the "Child's Prayer". And the song ends with the line "Suffer the children to come to me. Father in prayer I'm coming now to thee." Now I want you to be kind of be thinking about that. One thing I've learned in my life is that prayer is the easiest and most immediate way to approach the Father. There are no hoops to jump through, there's no tidying to get caught up on. There's no sin you have to repent of. The minute you fall on your knees and not even that, the moment you utter "Father", your prayer begins and He is hearing and listening to you. And I just, I want us to kind of think about this, because in the next segment we're going to talk about one more song, which surprisingly didn't even make it to the top 100 list, but prayer is a very important element to this specific song. We'll talk about that next.
Segment 6 1:12:35
Alright, here we go.
Oh, what song?
Okay, here we go. What song? Let's go to Matthew 7:24. Okay, you guys.
The songs in there?
A song's in, here we go, this is what it is. So, we have come to the end of the Sermon on the Mount. Now, after all that we've been taught, I want us to find out what the Savior wants us to do with what we've been taught. Okay, so many great teachings from the Sermon on the Mount. Amy, will you please read Matthew 7:24 and as you do I want everyone to listen. The Savior tells us to do two things with what He just taught us from the Beatitudes. Amy, hit it.
7:24 "Therefore,whosoever heareth these things of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock".
What are the two things He wants us to do?
I think he wants us to hear and do.
Wonderful, highlight those two words, 'hear' and 'do', So we got to hear what He had to say, and now we're gonna go do something. Now, I asked Bonnie a story, because I thought of Bonnie and her experience in the Middle East. And Bonnie, was there ever a time when you had to hear and do something, that it was just important for you to hear and do?
Incoming, incoming, incoming. Yes, I had to act. When you heard those sirens go off and you heard "incoming", you had to hit the floor and you had to act. And the second thing it said was "seek shelter, seek shelter, seek shelter." And so I had to hustle myself to get to a safe, a safe place. So absolutely. You heard and you had to do immediately.
Okay. So hearing those two words, to you are pretty significant. When you hear anything and do. You're like, Oh yeah,
you better. done. gone.
Super important. Okay. I want us to keep about thinking about this how important the Beatitudes were and the discussion we've had today. For everybody, we hope we have heard and now we're going to go and do. And if we can hear and do, the Savior then compares us to this fabulous children's hymn. And here it is, Ame, what's the children's hymn at the end of verse 24?
"And I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon the rock."
Wiseman built upon the rock.
All right, color, mark verses 24,25,26,27,28. You know the song, all right. The wise man built his house upon the rock. Now, here's what I want us to look at, because this is pretty cool. So in verse 24, we're going to look at a footnote, footnote letter f is what you want to highlight. And we're gonna look down below where it says that the wise man built his house upon a rock, down below footnote 24f. In Greek, this is pretty cool. The Greek uses the definite article, the word THE. So it doesn't say, built him, built his house upon A rock, says,
THE. So now you can put a cross reference next to that, that is Helaman 5:12. And that's the classic "Now my son's remember, remember. It is upon the rock who is Christ that you will build your foundation." Bonnie, tell me why you said, Wow.
That changes that.
How does it change out?
Well, because I was driving down the freeway today in Utah on I-15 looking up on the hill. I'm like, those are not wise people, that is not a rock. That is the mountain? Gonna fall off. And we're watching the floods in the falling off in California right now. And I'm like, Oh, there's a lot of not building upon a rock. But THE rock is different.
Building upon our Savior, Jesus Christ is a much surer foundation than a physical mountain. The mountain can fall. And even though it's on a rock, it can, the rocks can fall or a building upon THE rock, it can't fall and then it has a sure, sturdy foundation. That's, that's very different. That physical thing now, that's not a temporal thing. That is a spiritual stronghold that is very different.
Absolutely. And we've always been singing this song since we were little kids, building your house upon a rock. But how different building your house upon THE rock, where the house. I love how in Helaman 5:12. You can put that cross reference next to verse 24. Helaman 5:12 reference. And at the end of that scripture it says, "a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall." Not they might not fall. But you just, you cannot fall if your foundation is in Christ.
Well and that's what the prophet has been telling us, right?
In the year in the years to come, you will not survive if you don't build it upon THE rock. You have to understand your relationship with the Savior and make it a sure foundation, because it's the only thing that is going to be stable.
So I want us to just end with this thought about our foundation, and how it's Christ, but then also how it connects to prayer being a part of our foundation. So there's a really cool quote is by Elder Chi Hong (Sam) Wong. He's of the Quorum of the 70 and he said this in April of 2021. And Ame, will you read this quote.
"Some of us may think the gospel is good, so we need to put it in our lives, maybe once a week. Just going to church once a week is not enough to build upon the rock. Our entire life should be filled with the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel is not part of our life, but our life is actually part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Think about it. Is that not true? Our mortal life is only part of the whole plan of salvation and exultation. God is our Heavenly Father. He loves all of us. He knows our potential way better than we know ourselves. He knows not only the details of our lives, God knows the details of the details of the details of our lives."
Thank you. So tell me ladies, how has prayer been a part of your foundation? What role has prayer played in the details of the details of the details of your lives? And you can even think if you have a story about prayer being answered or not answered, this is it. This is like the end.
For me, it's just how I've had to govern my life. It's the roadmap that I've used to make decisions in my life. A couple of months ago, I made a decision that I'm going to act upon now in a couple of weeks, because I knew it was the right thing to do. It's a little scary. I don't know what the outcome is going to be but I know it's the right decision to make. And so I've always used it as my roadmap to have that communication and to know the next thing and to be okay with where I'm at today.
So for me, the details are in the details in the details. It's just following that map, and knowing when to turn, when not to turn and asking for directions, and seeking to find the right path. And knowing that along the way I need to be aware of why, of why I'm going that route. And so I really appreciate the fact that it is the details in the details in the details. But we have to seek that and to understand that and to be okay with that. And know that He really doesn't want to give us a serpent.
'cuz who does like a serpent? Nobody. And He really does want to give us what's good for us, and what's necessary for us.
Thank you, Bonnie, great answer. What about you, Ame?
I feel like prayer is just the guiding force in my, in my life. Like I can't imagine a life without it. It brings me a lot of comfort and reassurance, knowing that, based on all the evidence of my life, of all my experiences, of all my prayers, they are truly always answered 99% of the time. Not in the way I expected, or thought would happen, but in just the right way, providing even more proof that He knows me and He loves me and He's aware of the details.
My husband Mike, you guys know Mike, was just saying to our girls cuz he was talking about God's plan and answers to prayers, He said, I can't think of a better example for you guys then Mom and I meeting. And he, he just shared his testimony about where he was after the death of his first wife. And how he never dreamed of having kids and being married again and all of those things. And how Heavenly Father knew just, just the path, he would go down. And then he got really emotional. He's like, because I can't imagine if I hadn't been prayerful in my thoughts and that wouldn't have lead to the decisions that led to marrying mom. And then led to the decision to pray to have children and here you are. And so yeah, I can't even fathom a life without prayer.
Amy, I had to think when you were talking, the song that was part of your whole wedding was "The Broken Road".
And I am seeing the picture of you on your wedding announcement and you guys walking down the road in that song, "The broken road has led me to you." And I think that's, that's a beautiful thought about prayer, that it might be on a broken road, but it's truly the road that you need. And it will lead me back to You. And now I've got that, that visual in my mind about prayer. And I think that if, as people are listening, that prayer is hard, because it takes the three combinations, and it takes the faith and righteousness and seeking after what's best for us. And it's not always the answer that you want. So I can see.
I've worked with young kids all the time: He didn't answer my prayer. Well, what did you ask? And how did you ask it? And what was it necessary? And, and what were you trying, what was the intent of that? And does that mean you just stop once because you didn't get it? Or do you keep after it and seek and keep seeking and keep asking and keep having that communication? Prayer's tough. It's not tangible. It's very rarely is it 'I get the bike, I get the trip, I get email, I get the car.' It's more often than not, it's the 'I learned the lesson, I see it, I clearly understand, I appreciate.' It's the non-tangible things that are the beauty of prayer. And also makes it the very hard part of prayer. And so people can get frustrated. I get frustrated. It's not always easy but I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity that I know that it's available and that we do have an opportunity to seek after the Father and ask.
It means that, I mean it, I don't know. Like Amy said, how do people not have it in your life? At the end of the day when you're a party of one and you're all alone in your room, like sometimes there's nobody else to talk to. Oh, was y'all listening to me in the car?
There you go,
Hooray for Bonnie's check-in. There it is.
Somebody knows I'm around? on the floor in the middle of Iraq? Does somebody know I'm there?
You betcha. Oh, ladies,
And it's real.
Oh, I love you too so much. You were absolutely the people for this episode. So thank you. Thank you so much for this discussion today.
Tammy, you were an answer to prayer like I said. You were an answer to prayer the day that you texted me about being on this episode.
I was struggling that morning, with my own confidence and worth and value. And within an hour, I got a text from you saying "you're the right one for this episode." So I just, how can I not be grateful for the opportunity to talk about prayer, when specifically that day, that was an answer. So thank you. Thank you, Thank you.
God is, the details of the details of the details.
I haven't talked to you in a while. And it was
I haven't talked to you for a year; you haven't been on the podcast in over a year.
And it was that day. So
And God knew. It's Bonnie.
It's the details.
And yeah, you guys were not scheduled. You were not the ones I had on my schedule originally.
And it wasn't for you, it was for me, right? That was the answer to my prayers, sure. It was for me. Yeah.
Oh, I love you both.
Love you, too.
Okay, So take a minute. Gather your thoughts and just give me your takeaway. What's something you learned from our discussion today that you'll remember?
Well, I will never look at 'expedient' again because there's a lot of Scriptures with that word in it. And to change it to 'necessary' is powerful.
Yeah. I'm gonna lean on that.
I really liked that one as well. I think that, I think necessary. And to me that, one that kept coming back was you can ask, but you need to seek. You can't just ask then walk away. And I think sometimes that's easy, too. Dear Heavenly Father, blah, blah, blah and you ask all the things. But I think you need to seek and then, Amy I mean, the Amen part as well. And understanding a different meaning for Amen. is powerful.
I totally agree. Um, okay. My takeaway, Bonnie, when you said prayer is made up of heartthrobs. I cannot wait to go find that in "Jesus the Christ". Oh my gosh. Oh, so good. So good. And then Amy, you're, when you taught us the why/ Like, I will forever, I can't wait to teach that to my kids. If your prayers don't get answered, I can't wait to find out the why. So thank you, both of you for teaching me today. I love you guys.
Love you so much.
Okay, well, we would love to hear what you guys are learning and what your thoughts are as you've been listening throughout this whole episode. So if you haven't already joined our discussion group on Facebook or Instagram, go do it. Just sign up. It is such a great place to ask questions throughout the week as you study or just to share what you're learning. And every week at the end of the week, on a Saturday, we post a call asking for an answer to a question that we asked this week during our discussion. So comment on the post that relates to this lesson and let us know what your answer is or maybe what you learned.
You can get to both our Facebook and Instagram by going to the show notes for this episode at LDS living.com/sunday on Monday and it's not a bad idea to go there anyway. It's where we're going to have the links to all the references we used today as well as a transcript of this whole discussion and the glue-in from Elder Maxwell. The Sunday on Monday Study Group is a Desert Bookshelf Plus original brought to you by LDS Living. It's written and hosted by me Tammy Uzelac Hall and today our so fun and fabulous study your participants were Bonnie ElHalta and Amy Hutchins Whitmore, and you can find more information about these friends at LDS living.com/sunday on Monday. Our podcast is produced by Cole Wissinger and me; it is edited by Hailey Higham and recorded and mixed by Mix At Six Studios. And our executive producer is Erin Hallstrom. Thanks for being here.
We'll see you next week and you please, please remember, those of you with heartthrobs in prayers that you are God's favorite.
That's the wrong answer, isn't it?
To me, there's, let me try that again. I need to set that up a little better.
And tell me the answer before you ask the question.
No no, no, you know the answer.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai