[, Music ], when the son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? Lord, i believe, help thou mind unbelief.
May our testimonies be as deep and as strong as that of jacob when confronted by one who sought to destroy his faith declared. 00:00:20
I could not be shaken , hello, everybody, i'm jared halvorsen, and to all you who are watching on youtube or facebook. 00:00:41
All you who are listening on the unshaken saints podcast welcome today, we're covering section 18 and 19 of the doctrine and covenants.
Two of my favorite sections, which means we might be here for a while there is so much packed into these two revelations, so i'm just going to dive straight in yeah.
I want to introduce these revelations with this idea that i've learned from my kids the hard way i have five amazing children, and one of the things that's amazing about them is how different they each are from one another. 00:20:27 00:01:08
I mean whenever i hear that that controversy or the debate between nature and nurture, i always think anybody who thinks it's all nurture either has no children or only one there's no basis for comparison, because with all my kids, even though we've tried to nurture them all The same they just came different wired towards this or towards that not only in terms of interests and talents, but also in terms of the best approach to parenting them. 00:01:33
It's one of the hardest things about parenting in general.
What works for one doesn't necessarily work for another.
It reminds me of the old analogy of the carrot and the stick you're going to picture this you're on an ad something you're just going to want to move forward. 00:01:45
Of course picture some kind of and you're trying to get it just dangling a carrot out, so you have two basic options and hopefully they're hungry sure they'll start almost a fishing pole. 00:01:54
After that, it's dangling a carrot.
If the carrot doesn't work now, that's always a positive fishing pole right in front of their faces.
You can use them hungry.
Hopefully it motivates them to move.
It's all a matter of what works best, a positive reward or a negative punishment.
Would you rather be pulled or pushed, and everyone's different on that? I say all this to put in perspective that in section 18 and section 19, the lord basically has the same goal in mind: it's to get us to move forward and to come unto him, but he has very different approaches and section 18 is more of the Carrot this positive reward that he's offering us, whereas section 19, is a little bit more of the stick. 00:05:08 00:02:36
We've got some mercy and some justice side by side here but, like i said, the end goal is ultimately the same and perhaps the best place to introduce. 00:02:43
It is in section 18, verse, 6.
we'll go back and start at the beginning, but this is what it's leading up to verse.
The lord says: behold: the world is ripening in iniquity and it must needs be that the children of men are stirred up unto repentance, both the gentiles and also the house of israel. 00:03:00
Remember the lord has a universal audience here, and both jew and gentile are all being invited to come unto christ, but what are they up against a world that is ripening in iniquity such an interesting visual image? On my mission, i learned just how ripe a banana can get seemed like in the caribbean.
Everyone has a banana stock in their backyard, but all these bananas come in the same stock at the same time makes you kind of have to space things out to get as much life out of this as possible.
So you start eating bananas when they're so hard that it's like you're whittling off the peel and you keep on going until they are so dark that it's almost baby food inside and the only thing holding its shape is the peel and, as you start peeling, it Starts mushing out honestly, i've eaten bananas at every stage of ripeness on the end to the tail end.
I did this as a baby.
I did this as a baby.
I did this a baby.
I could do this again, but i remember when i first taught this idea in seminary years ago and this idea of a ripening world. 00:06:21
I wanted my students to see what the lord was describing there. 00:04:03
So i had a strategically ripened banana, something that was so black that the only good it could do from that point forward was banana bread, but i had it in this ziploc bag and it was so mushy and black and like juice kind of seeping out from The edges nasty and to go around and show the students that this is how the world is being portrayed a world that is ripening in iniquity. 00:04:26
It's getting worse and worse, and maybe even the banana bread analogy serves because it's only good to be baked cleansed by fire at the second coming and turned into something far better than what it is right now. 00:04:39
Maybe that's why it needs to be stirred up mix.
The batter well stirred up, as we saw in a previous section, is something that the adversary does in stirring us up to anger or to wickedness.
Well, what's the lord stirring us up unto repentance and that's the goal of these two revelations, section 18 is going to take one approach, the carrot version this is worth seeking and coming forward to and section 19 in a way is going to take more of the Stick approach that there are consequences if we don't repent so whether you're, better with rewards or punishments, the same message applies: we need to move forward and come unto christ and it's our ripening sin that is keeping us from it. 00:05:23
Keep that in mind so that everything we see in these two sections points us in that direction.
What does it have to do with the call to repent how's? The lord motivating us well start at the beginning of the section section 18 is addressed to oliver cowdery and then about nine verses in david.
Whitmer joins the audience then section 19 is for martin harris. 00:05:43
So we've been watching these three witnesses over time, section 17.
They! Finally, become the three witnesses that we've been watching, the lord teach them and tutor them about gaining a testimony.
Martin harris section 5 about understanding the language of revelation oliver cowdery, section 6, 8 9.
to be engaged in god's marvelous work and wonder: section 14, david whitmer.
All of them are receiving powerful messages that are meant for all of us, but none of them and none of us perform those missions flawlessly, which is why we all need to understand repentance not only for us, but so that we can cry it effectively to a Ripening world now, at the beginning of this revelation 18.
The lord says behold because of the thing which you my servant, oliver cowdery have desired.
To know of me, i give unto you these words so like most of the revelations in the doctrine, covenants - god wasn't the one initiating things he typically holds off and waits for us to want to engage in conversation. 00:12:37 00:06:40
In this case, oliver had some questions he desired to know of god, certain things, and so the lord responded with this revelation now the tricky part is, we don't know what he was asking for, but in some ways that makes understanding this revelation even more interesting. 00:06:56
Joseph smith once taught that the lord gave parables to respond to a specific situation or question now all we're getting for the most part is the answer in the parable, but it's almost our chance to kind of reverse engineer things and work our way backwards to understand. 01:49:43 00:07:10
If this is the answer, what was the question? I guess we're playing jeopardy and to understand then from oliver what was on his mind that would bring this kind of an answer from the lord be thinking about that as we move forward verse 2.
Behold i have manifested unto you by my spirit in many instances, that the things which you have written are true wherefore.
You know that they are true. 00:14:43
Is this starting to sound a little familiar? Remember oliver, back in section 6 he's received an answer to prayer to the point of motivating him to go, find joseph smith down in harmony pennsylvania, but it's like was that really an answer from god is.
Is this really happening, and the lord reminds him through section 6, if you want a further witness, then cast your mind back to your first witness. 00:07:57
I speak peace to your mind concerning the matter.
What greater witness can you have than from god? It's like oliver.
You know - and i know that you know there's a reminder of that here. 00:08:09
You know that it's true oliver, you just need to know that you know we could also tie this back into section 5 with martin harris. 00:08:17
Do i really know that joseph smith has the plates? I just wish.
I had better evidence.
I want proof of these things.
I mean the gospel is just beginning to roll forth.
The church hasn't even been organized.
Yet all of these early soon-to-be church members are taking a giant leap of faith, a step into the darkness, so maybe we should cut them all some slack, but i do wonder if there's something else the lord is getting at in verse, two notice what he said Earlier i have manifested unto you by my spirit, so this is going to be a spiritual witness remember last week when we talked about the difference between the three witnesses and the eight witnesses and the kind of spiritual preparation, exertion that went into the the powerful experience That the three witnesses had and again section 19 comes after that experience.
So again i'm scratching my head going.
Oliver are you're still wondering if this is real go on.
He says that you've had spiritual manifestations in many instances.
It's not just a first and further witness. 00:09:15
You've had a lot all the way along, and i have a feeling.
The same applies to you and me again.
If we'll inventory, shelf number one and see all the many instances when god has manifest his truth to us, but i think the phrase that makes the biggest difference is in the middle when he says that the things which you have written are true.
I wonder if that's the sticking point for oliver cowdery, what are the? What are the things which you have written he's talking specifically about the book of mormon, because it was oliver cowdery that acted as scribe for the lion's share of that labor? And i wonder if that is what is really i don't know if troubling is the right word, but what's keeping oliver from fully committing to this? I know that it's true he's not doubting the existence of the plates. 00:10:01
He's had irrefutable proof of that already.
But what about the things that i have written you see, i think the question mark for oliver in verse.
Two is on the word you oliver, you were involved in this and he's probably thinking yeah.
That's the problem because i know myself too well, we keep talking about humanity, and divinity this important contrary to proof and when it comes to translating scripture or building the kingdom or engaging in the work of god at all, we know there are divine fingerprints all over.
That's what gives us faith, but when we look closer and start to see human fingerprints on it, it's a little more difficult to fully commit to things to know that it's true when i had a hand in it.
In fact, that's probably especially the case when it's our own fingerprints, we recognize. 00:10:50
Can i really have a hand in god's work and if i do, can it still be really true, i'm just so messy and so human? I make mistakes, i'm doing the best that i can, but i recognize my own inadequacies.
This was moroni back in ether, chapter 12 right when he gets to the end of the faith hall of fame and realizes the last place is meant for him and he has this identity crisis. 00:11:16
I'm not good enough to do this.
The gentiles will see my fingerprints.
All over the book of mormon and mock at it. 00:11:21
What's the lord's response, my grace is sufficient, moroni trust in me.
I can make weak things strong same for you oliver.
It is literally your handwriting on the manuscript pages of the book of mormon translation. 00:11:37
You recognize joseph smith's humanity as well he's so much less educated than you are.
You recognize the difficulty of translation because you tried and failed honestly.
I think some of the hardest times we have in recognizing the truth and goodness of the church or the work of god on earth is when we're the ones involved in it, because we know ourselves too well.
I remember an incredible lesson.
I learned from the very first bishop i served with it was a married student, ward and so a lot of young couples that were really kind of cutting their teeth on church leadership, opportunities, newlywed, elders, quorum and release society presidencies. 00:12:14
Well, one time there was a ward council and the release society president wasn't able to attend, and so she delegated the responsibility to one of her counselors, who was an amazing, fairly recent convert to the church, full of fire and zeal, and testimony of the work of God until she came to ward council and there, she was as as real honest and real and raw conversation took place about challenges.
The various members of the ward were facing kind of organizational issues that needed to be smoothed out and worked through just the basic grind of running a ward and what the bishop said was after ward council was over, and everybody left this one sweet sister stayed behind Kind of distraught and went to the bishop and said our ward's a mess and he kind of laughed and said yeah, and they all are because they're made up of human beings with messy lives and challenges to overcome.
So often, we think well because it's god's work.
It must be perfect, it must be flawless, no human fingerprints putting smudges on anything, but how do you think god expects us to grow? We get involved so that better than just true, the church is real, and it's only in that way that it can really make a difference in our lives. 00:13:30
So don't be a naaman who was this close to completely missing out on his own, life-changing healing all because he was underwhelmed by the power of the cure. 00:13:42
He expected the prophet elisha to come out and lay his hand on the spot and cure him.
It's just to call down the power of god and instead to send out a servant and tell him just to wash in the jordan river seven times, where's the divinity in that that seems so mortal to me. 00:14:01
But once he humbled himself and went and actually did what god had asked of him, he realized the change it had wrought in him same thing for you, oliver, your human involvement does not lower the presence or power of god in this work.
It's what brings it down.
I don't think it was oliver's doubt of god that was standing in his way in verse, two.
It was oliver's doubt of oliver and that's something that we all need to wrestle with and overcome. 00:14:38
Now, once we do verse 3.
If you know that they are true - and i just told you you do behold - i give unto you a commandment that you rely upon the things which are written notice.
The lord explains this commandment in the context of testimony. 00:14:55
Sometimes we get that reversed and we come straight out with commandments, and this is what you've got to do and no wonder people rebel against that. 00:15:03
I have no idea why i should, if i don't have a testimony of these commandments, then why should i take them seriously? I love that the lord puts it in that order gain a testimony first and then you'll want to obey.
In this particular case, your testimony of the things that you have written the book of mormon when you have a testimony of that, then the commandment is to rely upon those things.
Let your knowledge testimony drive your action reliance behavior.
That was king benjamin's approach.
If you believe these things see that ye do them, and that's going to be true here, not just on the individual level like oliver, you should follow the precepts of the book of mormon, but on an institutional level, how's the church supposed to be run the way The book of mormon explains that it should be the book of mormon becomes the initial missionary guide preach my gospel, the initial church handbook of instructions, i mean think about it, joseph and oliver.
How did they learn how to perform baptism? They found it in the book of mormon and then went and prayed and asked.
Is this how we're supposed to do things you see in verse, 4 in them in the book of mormon, are all things written concerning the foundation of my church, my gospel and my rock wherefore.
If you shall build up my church, which is what they were trying to do within the year, the church will be officially organized.
But if you'll build my church upon the foundation of my gospel and my rock, the gates of hell shall not prevail against you, and where was that gospel found? What was the rock? We talked about the book of mormon as the keystone of our religion, which it is, but in many ways also it's a foundation stone upon which the church would be built.
The doctrine, the organization, the structure, so much of that grows out of the book of mormon. 01:27:30
Remember back in section 11, where al, where hiram smith is raring to go and the lord's like whoa, easy tiger, wait a little longer until you have my rock my church, my doctrine, my word: let the book of mormon be finished.
Let the translation be completed and then run forwards, full speed ahead.
Well, this is all happening. 00:17:12
Joseph and oliver have finished the translation of the book of mormon, it's time to send it to press and because you know the book is true bank on it, build on.
It rely upon those things which are written. 00:17:25
If you'll do that, the gates of hell shall not prevail against you. 00:17:29 00:16:31
Now we're back to verse six about the world ripening in iniquity. 00:17:33
Why did the book of mormon need to come forth? Why did the restored church need to be established upon its principles because of what we're up against, and one of the key messages of the book of mormon taught so powerfully from cover to cover is the need to repent honestly to oliver and to all of us.
If we simply rely upon the things taught in the book of mormon, if we allow our belief in that book to turn into behavior based on its teachings, we will want to repent.
Nothing will be able to keep us from it.
This voice from the dust will cry to us to get up out of the dust and to become clean through the atonement of jesus christ.
Perhaps that's one of the questions on oliver's mind as the book of mormon reaches completion? Well, what are we supposed to do with it? What's it really for it's to stir up the world to repentance now in verse, 7.
The lord explains wherefore as thou hast been baptized by the hands of my servant, joseph smith jr.
According to that which i have commanded him.
He hath fulfilled the thing which i commanded him.
So that's another example of mission accomplished, as you were, translated in the book of mormon and learned of baptism.
You went out and i commanded him to baptize you and you to baptize him, and you all did that you fulfilled those commandments.
But now it's on to the next one verse 8 now marvel not that i have called him unto mine own purpose, which purpose is known in me, wherefore if he shall be diligent in keeping my commandments, he shall be blessed unto eternal life, and his name is Joseph and now oliver i speak unto you so you see what he's trying to get at here. 00:19:20
I i know joseph.
I know him by name.
I know you oliver.
I can call you by name up to this point.
Your paths have largely been in unison.
You accomplish the work of translation together you receive the aaronic priesthood together perform those saving ordinances of baptism together, you were witnesses of the gold plates together, but now those shared experiences are about to lead to divergent missions and that's okay, remember when we talked about this With section 15 and 16, these identical revelations, except for the one word this one's for you, john this one's for you peter, for both of you, the work of greatest worth the the umbrella responsibility is to cry repentance, which is what this section is about as well, But john will have certain responsibilities, ways to perform that mission and peter will have different ones and now again joseph smith's going to have certain missions to perform and oliver you will have different ones. 00:20:16
Not that that's the case.
I think that's one of the hardest things, especially when we're young in the church and we we tend to compare ourselves to one another in the mission field it's like well was i supposed to become district leader zone leader, ap or well.
What about that part? He they trained a lot of people, well different missions, different responsibilities, different spiritual gifts, no wonder when we get to section 46, one of the gifts of the spirit that's listed, there is diversities of operations.
Maybe it takes a spiritual gift to recognize that god operates in diverse ways through diverse children, marvel not that someone else might have a different responsibility than you have. 00:20:58
If he or she does what god has asked of them, they will be blessed unto eternal life, and so will you, if you'll simply perform the missions that god has intended for you so getting back to oliver in verse? Nine don't worry about joseph anymore.
I'm now on you and i'm going to bring in david whitmer to this as well.
Oliver cowdery, i speak, unto you and also unto david whitmer by the way of commandment for behold, i command all men everywhere to repent.
That's the key focus of these revelations and i speak unto you even as unto paul my apostle for you are called even with that same calling with which he was called. 00:21:35
Maybe this is another clue as to whatever oliver was asking in seeking this revelation, i'm done with the book of mormon.
What do i do now? I think every return missionary asks themselves that i know i did i.
My life has been on this trajectory.
I knew i wanted to get to this point, but now that my mission is behind me, what do i do, or after serving in one calling? What do i do from here well, for oliver and for david, the entire ripening world needs to repent so extend that invitation to everyone. 00:22:07
That's what i've always asked my servants to do. 00:22:10
Paul is one example.
You oliver and david are two more examples of that. 00:22:15
He refers to paul, mein, apostle and then says to david and to oliver, because you have the same calling as he does now.
This is a little bit tricky, especially since later in this revelation, he'll talk about the twelve, but the interesting thing is when he finally brings up the twelve he calls them disciples. 00:22:32
So what are we talking about here? Apostles disciples? What is all this now? The two words in many ways are related, in fact, it's from among his disciples that jesus chooses his apostles.
Even if you think of the definitions of the words a disciple is one who follows to learn, an apostle is one who is sent to teach, so you get the opposite ends of that. 00:22:53
No wonder he sends apostles forth to teach from among the disciples who have come and followed him in order to learn. 00:22:59
Now to this point, oliver and david have been doing a whole lot of learning, but what are they being asked to do now? Go out, i'm sending you forth to teach to cry repentance, which is exactly what i asked of paul now in this way. 00:23:15
The word apostle notice, its lower case here is more of a generic term.
I'm sending you forth to go preach.
The gospel cry repentance later.
It will become almost a capital, a registered trademark, referring to an office in the priesthood and an organizational term for a leadership body in the church, a quorum of the 12 apostles.
Remember it's not going to be until 1835.
That's still, six years from now that an official quorum of the twelve apostles will be organized as a governing body with an official office in the priesthood that the members of that body hold. 00:23:52
This is still line upon line, precept upon precept and that understanding will come later.
We'll talk more about that in a second.
But up to this point, paul went out and preached oliver david. 00:24:01
You need to go cry repentance just like he did and here's the reason why here's the carrot dangling out in front of you verse, 10 remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of god. 00:24:15
We might think that statement is obvious, and yet the lord calls them to remember it, which suggests that, sadly, that truth is all too easy to forget when we're just in the grind of it all and recognize our own humanity and the humanity of others. 00:24:34
It's very easy to lose sight of the infinite worth of the soul across the table, but here's the irony about that statement.
He focuses on the worth of souls, but then somewhat vaguely quantifies it as great.
Well, what exactly does that mean? You see i'm a westerner. 00:24:58
I'm an american, a capitalist right yeah i like to see price tags because i tend to forget that somebody actually had to decide what the number would be on that price tag. 00:25:07
We just kind of assumed that oh well.
Yes, that's the agreed upon value of that item, but is it? How did we agree? You see? The process is much more obvious in many eastern cultures or other cultures worldwide that believe in the barter system. 00:25:23
You see that was really hard for me when i did five months of study abroad in israel as a college, kid would go somewhere and i wanted to buy something, and then it was like.
Oh great here comes the haggling and i'd suggest the price that i thought was what it was worth, which was way lower than what the salesman the shopkeeper thought it was worth, and so i'd say this and he'd say this and then we'd start working our way Somewhere in the middle that actually is a fascinating process, because how do you determine the worth of something you create a relationship in which buyer and seller agree? They finally come together and can recognize a common value.
I, like the relational part.
The hard part is not knowing exactly what it's going to be, but that emphasizes a key point.
That value is not something that's fixed, it's something that's very flexible and it all depends on what the person who's going to buy it or sell it decides.
Together, i mean we talk about beauty being in the eye of the beholder. 00:26:26
In many ways, value is in the eye of the buyer.
What am i willing to pay for it think about the housing market if you were around when the bubble burst and a home, that was worth this much on one day and was worth a whole lot less the next.
What happened? It's the same house that was here yesterday well, market forces are at play and if buyers decide no, i'm not interested.
It's not really worth that much.
Then value can plummet if, on the other hand, so again supply and demand.
If everybody wants it, then what may have been very cheap yesterday becomes very expensive today. 00:27:03
Do you agree with that changed value? Well, let me see if you pay for it, in which case yeah, i guess you do please keep this principle in mind.
Worth is established by what someone is willing to sacrifice for it, either the owner, sacrificing the object or the buyer, sacrificing whatever it is that they're giving to the owner in exchange.
For that thing, i remember trying to teach this principle in seminary years ago and i pulled out a stick of gum and asked the class okay.
How much is this worth and they looked at? Like i don't know, a quarter said well think about it.
When you go to the store, how much does it cost to get one of those little packs? I think currently that if you just got a pack of gum, i think it's 35 cents when it's there in the in the checkout aisle and if there's five sticks in there then do the math.
What's this one worth seven cents? Okay, great so, have we established the value here? If i bought it, i guess i've established that i thought that that stick of gum was worth the seven cents i paid for it, but is that what it costs the company to make it? Definitely not, i mean it's just like rubber and flavoring right and they probably crank that out for of a fraction of a penny to be able to make a stick of gum. 00:28:18
Then why not charge things at cost, because it's not cost we're talking about it's perceived value.
They know it's worth a lot less than seven cents, but then flip it any of you, young men.
Would you be willing to pay a whole lot more for a stick of gum than seven cents? How about this scenario? You just ate garlic, bread and a cute girl comes by and wants to talk to you. 00:28:44
You see the problem and all the guys saw the problem. 00:28:48
Oh no, my breath is going to scare her away.
Does anybody have a piece of gum? Please please i'll give you anything for it. 00:28:54
So now, all of a sudden.
What's the value of that gum? A lot more than it used to be.
Why? Because my perceived need is greater, i'm willing to pay more because of what i want from it now once they started understanding that again, the flexible nature of value and worth cost is determined by what i'm willing to sacrifice for it. 00:29:14
I then asked them.
Would any of you be willing to pay? I don't know 50 bucks for that piece of gum and they were thinking uh.
I don't know if any girls that cute then what about a thousand of course not would any of you pay ten thousand dollars for a stick of gum and they rolled their eyes.
Like are you insane, i said? Well, somebody did, and in fact it was a chewed up piece of gum and they were just dumbfounded.
Are you serious the kind somebody leaves on the street for me for an unsuspecting pedestrian to walk on the kind that i can probably find underneath my desk right now, that's disgusting who on earth would pay 10 grand for a chewed up piece of chewing gum, and I said to them: well, back in 2002, some enterprising person got luis gonzalez, who was a famous major league baseball player to chew up some gum and spit it out for him.
He put it in a little ziploc and then auctioned it. 00:30:16
It was kind of a fundraising stunt, i think, for a high school team or something.
But what was a fundraising stunt for the seller became a publicity stunt for the buyer, because a man who owned a sports medicine company thought. 00:30:30
Oh, this could be advertising gold, and so he kept bidding higher and higher and higher until he finally purchased the chewed up wad of gum for ten thousand dollars.
Well, analysts estimated that by the amount of publicity that he got from that everyone was so interested who's going to pay this much money for a piece of chewed up gum that he probably generated enough advertising that it would have cost him between 500 and 750 000.
To purchase that much publicity himself compared to that ten thousand dollars was a steal. 00:31:08
What is the worth of something? It all depends on what you'll pay, but it is interesting to try to quantify value when that value is human. 00:31:18
When it's us or someone that we love what is the worth of a soul? Well, when verse 10 says simply great that doesn't explain much until you get to verse 11, because now the lord is quantifying things much more clearly for behold, the lord, your redeemer suffered death in the flesh, wherefore he suffered the pain of all men that all men Might repent and come unto him and he hath risen again from the dead that he might bring all men unto him on conditions of repentance? Do you see the lord putting his money where his mouth is there? How much is your soul worth it's worth mine? I will suffer death in the flesh.
I will rise again from the dead all so that you might repent and come unto me notice that those two halves become a hole here in verse, 11 repent and come verse 12 bring all men on conditions of repentance.
Please never separate those two in your head.
If we think of repentance as something i don't know separate or distinct from coming unto christ, we don't realize the relationship that the lord is trying to renew.
Why does he want us to repent so that we can be with him? It's our sin.
That's keeping us at arm's length or further.
Our crying repentance is really inviting all to come unto christ, but how do they come on conditions of repentance? How badly does jesus want them to come home enough to pay the price of passage? I told you this was the carrot version of crying repentance and when jesus does it, how is he calling us unto him? Do you have any idea what you are worth to me? The fact i would trade places with you i'll.
Take your cross barabbas i'll.
Take your tomb joseph of arimathea i'll, take the dirt that you pick up in your walk through life and wash it off onto the the towel with which i am girded i'll bear your scars i'll suffer your pains and your infirmities i'll do anything it takes because Your soul is worth it to me and what does he get out of the exchange? Look at verse, 13 and how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth exclamation point? This is the first exclamation point we see in the doctrine and covenants it's followed by two more in just another verse or so, and it's all in the context of repentance, so that you can come back.
That's how desperately i want you to return so that i can have joy with you when we think of our sorrow and the thought of of missing someone eternally well the lord understands that far better than even we and so what's writing on our repentance, the savior's Joy speaking of worth, it's what makes his sacrifice worthwhile to him, but he doesn't stop there because, typically, it's not just between him and the person that needs repentance. 00:34:49
What are oliver and david being called to do to cry repentance? Unto everyone? What were john whitmer and peter whitmer jr told the work of greatest worth would be to declare repentance unto this generation.
What were oliver and hyrum told earlier to say nothing but repentance? That's the message here, and so: what's our role in all of this go to verse, 14.
, wherefore a great conjunction because of everything i've just said because of the great worth of souls wherefore you are called to cry repentance unto this people can we keep that calling In the context of what the savior just said, by crying repentance to other people, i am bringing the savior joy. 00:35:33
I am making his sacrifice worth what he estimated it to be worth the value of the soul that he is rescuing through it. 00:35:43
And then he says in 15-16 and if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people and bring savage, be one soul.
Unto me: how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my father, exclamation point and then 16 now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my father, how great will be your joy If you should bring many souls unto me exclamation point three exclamation points and four mentions of joy in this brief passage back to seminary.
I remember going through a kind of a word association game with my students, and i just threw up a word and they were just supposed to tell me the emotion that first popped into their head or their heart.
It was disneyland or pizza or a date. 00:36:30
Just anything to to strike an emotion and i wanted to identify the emotion immediately, just kind of gut check.
How do you feel the moment you think about this word and i did some positive ones and some negative ones, but they all seem to be non-related to the gospel until i put one up that said repentance, and it was so interesting to watch these teenagers as Their stomach kind of how do i feel about that word on a gut level up here in my mind, i might be grateful for the opportunity to change and repent of my sins, but on a visceral level, they felt negative about repentance, there's guilt and there's shame Involved there, but look at it from the lord's perspective and as soon as you say, the word repent to him. 00:37:17
What emotion comes joy? That's why i suffered, and nothing brings me more joy than to see someone on the opposite end of this relationship, who agrees with me as to the worth of what we're exchanging your soul for mine.
Maybe that's why it's so hard for us to repent it's hard for us to come to agree with jesus on what we're worth there's no way.
I should trade places with you.
It's like john, the baptist.
You should be baptizing me not me, baptizing, you, honestly.
Any of us, i think, would say no jesus, i'm the one that deserves the cross, not you.
I deserve the suffering, not you, but to see his joy in the soul that repents.
You are worth that to me.
In fact, you are worth that to the father, for god so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, i so loved the world that i would give my own life. 00:38:24
Do you have any idea what you're worth to us and what you're worth to our servants? They could labor all their days in crying repentance and if you're, the only one who responds theirs was a life well spent. 00:38:39
You see what the lord is doing with these two halves of the whole. 00:38:44
What is our soul worth? I said it was great.
Well, you want a quantity, it's worth my life and my death and guess what it's worth yours too.
He died to make that a possibility.
Can we live to make it one notice he says to cry repentance crying is something a baby.
Does it's something we do when we're hopeless or helpless when we are an absolute reliance on someone else for aid, that's crying repentance.
He talks about bringing one soul or, if you've brought many souls.
This is the chapter on the carrot: we're bringing not pushing, not threatening, not dragging them, kicking and screaming.
We are bringing them unto, a god who loves them, who finds infinite joy in their return and therefore considers it worth it to purchase them at infinite price. 00:39:40
You know if you think about the the three parables in luke 15, the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost boy, also known as the prodigal son joy runs throughout the entire chapter. 00:39:53
The shepherd is bringing the sheep home on their shoulders rejoicing. 00:39:57
The the person who finds the lost coin probably spends more than the coin was worth to celebrate with the neighborhood, and what does the father of the prodigal son do kills? The fatted calf brings the robe and the ring rejoices with him and with everyone, because that one soul was worth it. 00:40:14
If i could make a confession here by the way when i was a high school kid, i hated the parable of the lost sheep because it seemed at least the way the savior explains it. 00:40:26
When he says, then he the shepherd leaves the 90-9 and goes after the one and brings it home and there's more rejoicing in heaven over the sinner that repents than over the ninety and nine just persons who have no need of repentance. 00:40:39
And that's the part that bugged me because i was trying i was i wanted to be one of those.
Ninety and nine.
I wanted to stay on the savior's side, so i did my best unsuccessfully, but i tried my best to do what was right, and so, when i thought of jesus and the father rejoicing more over the people that weren't even trying but someday, they figured it out And came back more than me who's staying by the savior's side, how can you start to see why he tells the story of the prodigal son yeah? I was the older brother, but even before we got there.
I had this incredible experience at one point when i was throwing this prideful pity party.
Why do you like them more than me? If i'm the one that's been good, the whole time, the spirit, whispered or probably thundered? Oh wait, you're one of the 90 and nine.
Oh wow, what an honor to be able to meet you remember the description there, a just person who has no need of repentance and that that you qualify wow. 00:41:36
You must be among some pretty impressive company.
Can you list the other 98? Well, that might take a little while just give me, i don't know five or ten, three or four okay, fine anyone else in your select group of just persons who need no repentance and that's when it dawned on me.
I am the one and we all are because we're all lost sheep we're all lost coins, we're all prodigal sons, i'm not the older brother, i'm the prodigal.
Because can you think of anyone that qualifies under the name just person who needs no repentance? Oh wait! There is one, but only one and he's the one telling the story, the only one that has the right to feel that sting of injustice, that there would be more joy over you than over him was the storyteller the savior himself for him to say that, of Course the father has more joy over you than over me because i was never a question mark.
He knew i would come home.
We weren't so sure about you.
The whole agency thing we fought for now.
Do you understand why he would teach the story of the prodigal son and the older brother, an older brother who never left the father's side? Ah now i know who you're talking about, but compared to the kind of natural man older brother. 00:42:56
In the story, we have the spiritual man, older brother, in reality, who doesn't just turn a blind eye to the father running out to meet us now.
He comes and runs right alongside the father to help us come home.
He doesn't just allow the father to kill a fatted calf. 00:43:25
He provides himself as the lamb without blemish.
It's not just the father's robe and ring it's i'll.
Take my robes of righteousness and put them upon you little brothers and sisters who have abandoned us but who have finally come home.
Can you not sense his joy in that, and can you not want to be a part of that yourself to go cry repentance? I fell in love with that as a missionary changing from judging sinners to helping them return to give them hope to see their worth their infinite value.
That's why jesus came and no matter how few or how many will actually listen? It's worth it.
You remember mormon's beautiful phrase in moroni, chapter 7 have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men, john, the baptist just appeared to you.
You've just received the keys of the ministering of angels yourselves. 00:44:28
Why to cry repentance! That's ironic ordinances to get the sin out of people, so is god just going to close up shop with the ministry of angels no joseph and oliver? We just got that thing going again next question from mormon, or has he withheld the power of the holy ghost from them? No, by now, the melchizedek priesthood has been restored, as well aaronic to eliminate sin melchizedek to introduce to the presence of god.
Well, here's a member of the godhead that can be your constant companion. 00:45:00
Is god going to close up shop on that early, no third question for mormon, or will he so long as time shall last or the earth shall stand or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved? Ah, what amazing rhetorical questions? Is god going to close up shop early? Never as long as there is one person left, i don't care how late it is at night and how long ago we flipped from open to closed.
If there's somebody hungry peering into the windows of the restaurant, we'll crank up the grill open up the menu anything you want i'll make to see that in these coveted times of quarantine, where temples are shut around the world, but wait somebody needs to be sealed. 00:45:50
Someone needs an endowment well turn on the lights gather the ordinance workers, let's open the temple, for an audience of one.
How can this not motivate us to repent and to cry repentance? A human soul is worth the savior's life and worth your life too.
That applies to missionary work, knocking doors all day, long to cry repentance to one. 00:46:18
It applies to temple, work laboring all your days to find one name or birth date.
It applies to leading the smallest quorum or class of raising one child or caring for one dying.
Parent, if jesus is willing to trade places with them and call it worth it, then isn't it worth it for us to do the same? How great will be our joy together when we are in the kingdom of our father? That's the ultimate goal.
We said that we should never separate repentance from coming unto christ, but what does christ never separate coming, unto him and bringing us home to the father? That's what this is all for now.
Do you understand why brigham young would say that the least the most inferior person now upon the earth is worth worlds now? Do you understand what c.
s lewis meant when he said it's a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, You would be strongly tempted to worship, there are no ordinary people, only sons and daughters of god, whose worth is great in his sight, so still wondering what you need to do. 00:47:47
Next, oliver wake up the world, stir them up to repentance they're worth it and basically for the rest of this chapter. 00:47:57
He tells us how to do it in verse.
He says behold, you have my gospel before you, my rock my salvation.
You helped write it.
Oliver, the book of mormon is right in front of you, use it to cry repentance to the world. 00:48:09
Verse 18 ask the father, in my name in faith, believing that you shall receive, and you shall have the holy ghost, which manifests with all things which are expedient unto the children of men. 00:48:21 00:02:57
You want to know how to persuade people to lay down the weapons of their rebellion.
Then ask god: have faith in the process.
Believe you'll receive the inspiration that you need. 00:48:36
You'll have the holy ghost again.
Why do you think i just restored the melchizedek priesthood? I know crying repentance can be hard.
Why do you think i called it labor? Why do you think i extended it through all your days, then ask the father for help and you'll get everything you need in addition to that verse.
19, if you have not faith, hope and charity, you can do nothing.
You certainly can't cry repentance effectively without it. 00:49:00
If you're crying repentance with guilt, shame and condemnation instead of faith, hope and charity.
No wonder no one wants to come in fact connecting 19 back to 18 and the gift of the holy ghost. 00:49:13
You understand how those three cardinal christian virtues tie into the gift of the holy ghost faith invites the spirit hope makes visible the spirit's ultimate goals and charity extends the spirit's influence to all those that we are trying to reach and through it all, don't forget what We learned from mormon last year at a time when he had no faith in or hoped for his people. 00:49:38
He never lost charity for them, love them.
If you see their worth, that will come.
Naturally, then, in verse, 20 interesting piece of advice as you're crying repentance, which in a way is helping people see the error of their ways, but be careful about this verse 20 contend against no church, save it be the church of the devil.
Now, for this we have to go back to what we talked about in section 10.
, this big picture all-inclusive church, which is the church of the lamb. 00:50:09
Those who repent and come unto me is how he defined its members. 00:50:14
Remember back to nephi and to jacob there's only two churches out there. 00:50:18
Some lead towards zion.
Those are the ones he claims.
Others lead away from zion.
Are you gravitating toward light or darkness? Well, split, the middle, and there you have the two churches church of the lamb church of the devil and which one should we be contending against the forces of darkness: don't contend against any other church that is bringing people towards the light they just happen to be Doing it in different ways than you're doing it, this is still part of that unity in pursuit of orthodoxy.
We've talked about, you don't have to fight the methodists and the baptists and the presbyterians joseph smith had plenty of experience them fighting each other right.
War of words, tumult of opinions - that's not what the lord is after contention is not of me. 00:51:01
It's of the devil.
So if he's going to fight, then i guess you can fight him back, but don't fight one another as you're all trying to move towards the light in one way or another.
In fact, you're trying to fight against the church of the devil, even that portion that exists among some members of the church of jesus christ, of latter-day saints, those that are gravitating to the darkness.
Instead of the light, no matter what their church membership record says and as we cry repentance to members of other churches, we're not trying to get them to repent of that church membership. 00:51:35
We're trying to help them repent of whatever sins and iniquities, are keeping them from fully coming unto christ.
Ultimately, that will include embracing authority and saving ordinances.
The work of the temple, the whole thing, we'll we'll talk more about that when we get to section 84.
the way the lord explains it.
There is breathtaking, but in the meantime, we're not trying to convince people to repent of their membership in other churches simply to repent of whatever it is that is keeping them from fully embracing the cause of zion in their lives, trust the process.
The rest will take care of itself. 00:52:16
The holy ghost can manifest to you how that process should unfold, do it all with faith and hope and charity, or none of it's going to work anyway? How do we go about doing it? 21.
Take upon you, the name of christ, speak the truth in soberness. 00:52:50
You see if we've really taken upon ourselves the name of christ. 00:52:37
If we're real christians, then faith hope and charity should come. 00:52:41
Naturally, those virtues are no longer being short-circuited by the natural man that should allow us to speak the truth in soberness, but at the same time, to speak the truth in love as paul says, to take the truth seriously.
That's what allows us to speak it in soberness, but to take the other person's worth seriously too.
That's what allows us to speak it in love again, never lose sight of their worth as you're crying repentance they're worth more than you being right, they're worth more than you getting that last word in edgewise, they're worth more than the church is, since the church was Restored to restore his people - that's in section 84 as well means and ends never get those too confused, and all of these means have that end in mind, bringing a soul of infinite worth back to the kingdom of our father.
Now he said something in verse: 21 that he's going to stick with for a while.
He said to take upon ourselves the name of christ and then in 22.
He says as many as repent and are baptized in my name, which is jesus christ and endure to the end.
The same shall be saved.
Repentance in many ways is simply getting rid of all the worldly names that have attached to us so that then we can replace them all with the name of christ being baptized in his name and then endure to the end.
With that name affixed upon us, that's what salvation is because in verse, 23 behold jesus christ is the name which is given of the father, and there is none other name given whereby man can be saved. 00:54:27
That's not clearly in the book of acts, it's taught clearly by king benjamin, it's not our name.
It's certainly not the world's names. 00:54:36
It's the name of jesus christ.
It's the only one that grants us entrance.
You see 24.
He explains wherefore.
All men must take upon them, the name which is given of the father. 00:54:46
That's christ, for in that name, shall they be called at the last day you see what he just told you. 00:54:53
He gave you a hint as to what judgment day is going to look like as far as the roll call is concerned. 00:54:58
In fact, that's important because verse 25, he says, wherefore if they know not the name by which they are called. 00:55:04
They cannot have place in the kingdom of my father now.
Do you understand what he just said there? I think too often we picture judgment day as far as roll call is concerned, god pulling out kind of like santa with the nice list right, and we just hope that our name's on it and the father says.
Okay, if i call your name you you gain entrance to my kingdom, but instead of pulling out this massive scroll, he holds up a three by five card and as soon as he does we're like.
Oh, no really, i knew he was selective, but we're dead and he says: okay, when i call your name, please come forward and then he simply says jesus now, of course, that wouldn't surprise us. 00:55:48
We knew that jesus would enter, but as we sit there and hope that he's still going to keep reading more names, hopefully when it finally dawns on us that that's it, that's that was the only name on the card that it also dawns on us.
Wait a minute he is calling me because that's my name when i was baptized.
I took upon myself the name of christ every week when i partook of the sacrament, i showed god that i was willing to take upon myself his name yet again.
Honestly, i think that's why the lord uses marriage as the analogy in scripture so often - and this is a place where you sisters have better experience with it than we brothers do, because at marriage you replaced a maiden name with a married name, and the lord is Asking each of us to do the same, i'm not going to enter heaven because i'm a halverson i'm going to enter heaven because i'm a disciple of christ. 00:56:54
It's the father's kingdom, which makes his son the crown prince, and only by being married, sealed to him.
Do i gain access to his kingdom, heirs of god joint heirs with christ, as paul describes it now, the world needs to know that name and needs to know how to take it upon them, and that is going to require that we labor all our days in Crying repentance now it's too big for any one of us, so in verse 26 he says now behold there are others who are called to declare my gospel, both unto gentile and also unto jew. 00:57:37
Remember, last and first and first and last and the day of the gentiles is being fulfilled.
This is for everybody, but it's all hands on deck.
The harvest is great.
The laborers are few so pray that the lord of the harvest brings more servants, verse, 27 yea.