, hey you guys! Welcome to the scripture study project our podcast dedicated to helping you discover the scriptures in a fresh way, invest your mind and heart into your personal study and connect to god in your everyday life. 00:00:17
We are your hosts, krista and zach.
Horton and this week we are studying with you in doctrine and covenants section 18 through 19.
Sometimes, when i uh study blocks of scripture i'll i'll, actually copy and paste those blocks into one of those online word cloud creators and, if you've ever done that before. 00:00:43
But if you were to do that with these sections, one of the words that would show up most prominent is the word repent in its various forms. 00:00:51
It's obvious that that's a major topic in the in these two sections and it's one that we want to focus on as well. 00:01:00
I was reading uh job a little bit earlier today. 00:01:05
If you remember the story of job he's that guy in the old testament that everything horrible happens to, and yet he retains his loyalty to god.
But he does make some changes in his life, or at least he changes the way that he views himself and views his relationship with god.
So this is close to the end in section or in chapter 42.
, and job says this to the lord.
I know that thou canst do everything and that no thought can be withholden from thee. 00:01:34
Therefore, have i uttered that i understood not things too wonderful for me, which i knew not here.
I beseech thee and i will speak.
I will demand of thee and declare unto me and declare thou unto me.
I have heard by thee by the hearing of my ear, but now my eye seeth thee, and then he says this wherefore.
I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes.
now that word abhor sounds kind of harsh to our modern ears, but all he means is that the translation could read i'm leaving behind my old self, my old life, and i am turning or repenting to you.
Returning to you with full sincerity, i like thinking about it almost that feeling that you have when you've actually changed, that looking at that yourself of i don't really recognize myself anymore, yeah the way that you feel when you have really experienced a true change. 00:02:36
I think that's a great definition of what the word repent means. 00:02:43
It means to leave behind the old and turn to god with a freshness of mind, a newness of heart and a rededicated hand at living, the gospel and so the question.
We want to ask you this week or invite you to ask yourself, as you study and ponder, is what does god want me to change in my life? What does he want me to leave behind or to turn to him, or what does he want me to do to help someone else make changes in their life and obviously um? We are not responsible for making or forcing someone else to change that.
Second part of the question, but as you see in these chapters, not only is he preaching repentance over and over again, but also it's we're asked to declare repentance to other people and to share the message of repentance, and i love the words that he uses in Chapter 18 of and how great is his joy in the soul that repenteth and verse 15 and if it so be that you should labor all your days and crying repentance, unto this people and bring save it, be one soul unto me: how great shall be your Joy there's a lot of emotions expressed in these two chapters about what repentance is and how we can do it and how it works. 00:04:11
But i think the main message that i see here is the joy that he wants us to fill in repentance and the joy that he feels as we change and as he he gets to help us change as we allow him to help us.
He wants us to change and become better and that's what i feel from these chapters. 00:04:32
So what we want to do this episode is uh.
We want to get as practical as possible as we talked about this before.
We realized that a lot of discussions about repentance uh are wonderful and great, but they stop just short of actually talking about how we can facilitate this change that we're commanded to undertake for ourselves or that we're invited to help others undertake in their own lives.
And we want to get past that barrier.
We want to move on to the actual practical things that can be done to bring about change in our lives. 00:05:09
I love these two sections for where they come in church history and what they facilitate section 18 given to oliver cowdery and david whitmer, is inviting them these early participants in the restoration um to spread the message of repentance and change.
That comes with the restoration of the gospel to the wider world.
In fact, they'll be given specific invitation to go out and seek 12 apostles, who will be called later on in church history to carry the message of repentance to the world. 00:05:47
But i love verse 6 and section 18.
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 being stirred up to change.
It must needs be that the world changes section 19 is directed at an individual at martin harris.
Once again, we have the three witnesses and is directed at motivating him to make some specific changes in his life.
When section 19 comes, martin harris has already probably arranged a contract with the printer e.
b grandin, who will print the book of mormon, but in order for that contract to be fulfilled uh there has to be a payment up front and martin has agreed to do that.
But hasn't yet done it, and section 19 comes along to help him push through that final bit of um clinging to his worldly possessions, as outlined here, and to sacrifice, which is a big sacrifice for him for the printing of the book of mormon. 00:06:56
That's a hard thing for martin to do, because this is the final bit of him, leaving behind his old life as the prosperous palmyra farmer, who's well respected in his community and accepting a new life of sacrifice to some degree. 00:07:12
Poverty disunion with his wife and with the community around him and a difficult life ahead.
So it's a hard change for him to make. 00:07:20
But these two sections provide such a rich study for how to actually change ourselves and what we might be able to do to help other people change. 00:07:45
So what we're going to do is give three steps that we found in our study. 00:07:35
You might find others in yours, but three practical things that can be done.
That will help us actually change ourselves or help other people change step.
One is jesus suffers, and i know that's not really a practical step for us, but the application for us might be to better understand what exactly it is that this redeemer, as he calls himself in the first verse of section 19 or this savior, as he calls Himself in the last verse of section 19 has done to enable us or empower us to change chapter 18, 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.
So we know that we know that's true.
We all know that we want to repent and come unto jesus christ and let him change us through his atonement, but i don't know about you guys, but the practicality of that can sometimes seem a little daunting.
I just in these past couple weeks had the question come to my mind, how do i actually do that i've been wanting to make some changes and trying to work on some of that inner work in myself, and i remember sitting one day thinking i actually don't Know how to have him change me? What do i do, even with president nelson's talk on the atonement of jesus christ a few years ago always runs through my head.
I know that i need to study him more.
I know that i need to learn about him.
More and talk about him more, but ah sometimes that can even be hard. 00:09:28
And for me, what happened was i had a friend lizzie jensen, who is working with a musician, a few musicians, few artists to help memorize the living christ, and it was just around that time that i happened to see her instagram post and i thought well here.
It is what better way to have christ in my mind than trying to memorize something about him um, and i will tell you that within the first week of me, listening to some music and i started writing the living christ a few times and honestly, just taking Probably 10 to 20 minutes a day focusing on that document and on him, and it has allowed so much space.
And maybe it's just because i feel like i'm actively doing something to to learn about him and think about him. 00:10:24
But it feels so good, um and i'll read another verse 23, this one's from chapter 19.
But it says a one that we all know learn of me and listen to my words, walk in the meekness of my spirit and you shall have peace in me, but that learn of me and listen to my words.
He gives us the way to do this, and i can say that that has been a game changer for me, i'll put in the show notes the links to that living christ memorization many of you have probably already memorized it, and this is making it sound.
Like i'm a memorizing, crazy person, because i said i'm going to memorize the oath and covenant of the priesthood too, but i'm just learning and growing, i still need to memorize the oath and covenant of the priesthood.
But i will say that learning of him and listening to his words actually works.
So that's that's my thought on that.
Well and there's a doctrinal reason why that works? Why that first step of connecting or learning about christ and his suffering uh works, and he explains that in section 19.
in verse 4 he gives kind of a multiple choice question to oliver or to martin and anyone else that's reading uh.
Surely every man must repent or suffer and then he'll go on in the next couple of verses to describe the kind of suffering that would come to someone if they chose that option now, of course, the famous part of this is him explaining, i, god have suffered All of these things so that you don't have to suffer if you would repent.
But if you don't repent, then you have to suffer even as i suffered and then that great verse, which suffering caused myself, even god, the greatest of all to tremble because of pain to bleed at every poor to suffer both body and spirit and wood.
That i might not drink the bitter cup and shrink, but the beauty of that whole passage about suffering comes in verses, 19 and 20.
Nevertheless, despite all of that pain and suffering glory be to the father, i partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men. 00:12:45
That word is interesting to me because he's finishing his work, which will prepare us for our work, which is the work of repentance, which is why in verse 20, says wherefore.
I command you again to repent um, and so it's important, i think, for this first step in repentance to understand.
The first step was taken by jesus christ. 00:13:12
He paved the way for us to make the changes that we need to make and how that works out in the cosmic balance of things i don't know, but that it is the first step along our path to repentance.
I am confident of the thought that keeps coming to my mind in this one is: it is complicated what he did we don't understand.
We can't grasp how it's possible, but what we do know is that he did that for us and it's almost too simple the steps that we need to take. 00:13:51
Learn of me and listen to my words.
Maybe that's why it's so hard for us to do those simple things: the simple things that we need to do in the gospel to come unto jesus are usually so simple and that's why they're so hard, but honestly he's laid out the steps for us and made It really simple for us: it's just the little things.
It really is yeah.
So, if the first step uh that was taken by christ and he suffered his atonement and what we can do with, that is to learn more about him to spend more time studying him and what he did.
The second step falls solely on our shoulders, and it is that we humble ourselves um in section 19 in that verse, 20.
If i keep reading uh the beginning, the verse says wherefore i command you again to repent, lest i humble you with my almighty power and that you confess your sins lest you suffer the punishments of which i have spoken, of which, in the smallest degree, even the Least degree you have tasted at the time i withdrew my spirit.
In other words, once you understand what i have done for you, you need to humble yourself, and i think that has two meanings one.
Of course, it is humbling to understand what a god did for me so that i can make changes in my life, but the second part is to humbly acknowledge what needs to change in my life. 00:15:20
I came across a couple of fun quotes this week on that topic. 00:15:26
Um one was just a simple quote from president harold b lee when someone was trying to explain their way out of repentance with him.
He just simply asked that person. 00:15:39
Do you want to repent or rationalize, which is a great way, to phrase that multiple choice, either men must suffer or repent to rationalize, to justify a way, our need for change and the opposite to repent or to humble ourselves means to fully acknowledge what needs to Change this one's really fun, though from joseph smith.
This is quoted by elder faust, and he says president joseph smith taught.
I love that man better who swears a stream as long as his arm yet deals justice to his neighbors and mercifully deals his substance to the poor.
Then the long smooth-faced hypocrite - that's a fun quote just to have, but i think it hints at a powerful point that this second step of repentance is humbly and openly acknowledging what it is.
We want to change in our lives a couple of years ago in our priesthood quorum meetings directed by the stake. 00:16:48
We started to have very open discussions about pornography and not in a kind of abstract.
This is out there somewhere way, but a very personal way.
I remember a member of our stake presidency in a priesthood meeting talking about his own, not past, but recent wrestle with pornographic influences and it was so powerful to hear someone so openly talk about a very common wrestle and struggle that people have and what that created.
In our quorum was this beautiful discussion that spanned over the next couple of weeks, where we just talked openly and helped each other provided ideas and comfort and counsel, and it was incredible - and i remember feeling so refreshed by how open the discussion was.
And it taught me powerfully this principle that if i want to change my life, i've got to be humble in acknowledging where my faults are and be open about them with the people that are put into my life.
To help me make a difference or help me make changes.
Well, if i want to be the one that just talks about how hard all the steps are, but i think this humbly being honest is hard being honest with yourself in order to cleanse out whatever you're trying to get rid of. 00:18:14
I guess that's what humility is being honest with yourself and honest with god, but that humility step can be so hard.
I i do love that line.
I'm gon na keep keep referencing this because i felt like this kind of went with all of the other.
All of the steps we had, but that walk in the meekness of my spirit being meek being humble, allowing him to change us is hard um, and i think so often we can get stuck in that.
What you're talking about that self-deception of not taking a true look at what we are and who we are because it kind of hurts, and it's a little bit painful, to see yourself in maybe not the best light.
And i'm not talking about that.
Self-Deprecation or being non-hopeful about the changes that we can make, but looking at ourself honestly - and maybe that's why he tells us to walk in the meekness of his spirit. 00:19:18
This isn't something that we need to beat ourselves up about. 00:19:21
This is allowing him to work with us in repentance, because that's so key, i think it's satan that wants us to beat ourselves up when we're looking at ourselves and our faults.
But when we allow jesus to do that to help us change, i think he allows us to dig out those really painful parts and look at ourselves open and honestly and begin that change.
Maybe that's what that meekness of my spirit is talking about. 00:19:50
I love that point that true humility is filled with hope.
The reason i'm going to humbly acknowledge my faults and confess them openly to people that can help.
Me is because i'm excited about i'm hopeful in the prospect that i can change those that i can make changes or become something different.
The other version of humility, where i beat myself up and and uh and verbally abuse myself, is filled with despair that i never can change and it's a a carefully crafted, but poor functioning imitation of what true humility is, and maybe that's part of that suffering that He talks about um just looking at verse.
Chapter 19 verse 16.
He says for behold, i god have suffered these things for all that they might not suffer if they would repent.
There's many facets to that suffering that can occur within us, but i think that's one of them. 00:20:53
If we really invite our change to happen with, with god with jesus christ, allowing his atonement to work inside of us, i think our suffering becomes less because we look toward the change that can happen within us. 00:21:07
Hopefully, instead of whatever the opposite of hopefully is desperate with despair, thanks zach despairfully, that's not a word, but it fits better well, and that brings up the third point um, once we have learned of him and learned about his atonement and his suffering. 00:11:34
What he's done for us and then walked in the meekness of his spirit, which is humbling ourselves and acknowledging our faults openly and candidly? Then we meaning he and i work together to actually change the new testament definition of the word. 00:21:51
Change that president nelson has highlighted is met noeo, which means at least according to one definition, to change one's mind for better or to heartily amend with abhorrence of one's past sins. 00:22:05
In other words, to repent means to change and change is difficult and it's often a process that requires repetition.
Much of the mistakes, at least that i make in my life, come as a as a course of bad habits that have repeated themselves over years and years and years and to try and repent from that means i'm going to have to repeatedly fight against that course Of habits to make a difference, this talk by president packer, i love um, he's talking about inspiring music and changing our thoughts, but the image he uses is a really powerful one to help me practically frame what it what it means to change my mind.
He says this: when i was about 10 years old, we lived in a home, surrounded by an orchard.
There never seemed to be enough water for the trees.
The ditches always fresh plowed in the spring would soon be filled with weeds one day in charge of the irrigation turn. 00:23:08
I found myself in trouble as the water moved down the rows choked with weeds it would flood in every direction.
I raced through the puddles trying to build up the bank as soon as i had one break patched up. 00:23:20
There would be another.
A neighbor came through the orchard he watched for a moment and then, with a few vigorous strokes of the shovel. 00:23:27
He cleared the ditch bottom and allowed the water, to course, through the channel he had made. 00:23:33
If you want the water to stay in its course, you'll have to make a place for it to go. 00:23:38
He said i have come to know that thoughts like water will stay on course, if we make a place for them to go. 00:23:48
Our thoughts follow the course of least resistance, always seeking the lower levels.
Now that's a really powerful thought and if uh you and i have both done a lot of research on changing our mental pathways and our mental habits and a lot of it requires kind of re-trenching, our brain to think along certain lines rather than to think along The lines that we're used to thinking along to divert the water from the path of least resistance, which is the one that we've been letting it flow through for months or years and diverted into this new path. 00:24:22
But the fact that it takes work and repetition and effort can be daunting.
I think, and isn't that frustrating that our minds literally do that that we do take the path of least resistance, and that is why we need a higher power to help us change. 00:24:45
I'm just convinced that that's! Why he's given us the tools of repentance? That's why jesus suffered for us, because i don't want to say this again, but it is hard and let's just be realistic and recognize that together, that it's not easy, but that we do have help and i loved um. 00:25:07
Just i had to highlight this in verse in section 18, verse 21 take upon you the name of christ and speak truth in soberness and as many as repent or baptize in my name, which is jesus christ and endure to the end.
The same shall be saved. 00:25:25
So take upon you, the name of christ. 00:25:17
Where do we hear that line every week? It is no coincidence that we repeatedly take the sacrament renew our covenants, remind ourselves of who's on our team and whose name we're taking upon us, because just as much as we need to get those that water running in new places so that it's watering, the right Things we need the reminder more than every week, but that's why we have that.
We need to remember whose name we are taking upon us well and you're, pointing out a great truth about this last step of actually changing that it takes time and it takes repetition.
Uh to both oliver and to martin, the lord hints at this point in section 18, verse 2.
He says i have manifest unto you by my spirit in many instances the things which you have written, in other words oliver.
I have been working with you over the past months, certainly but probably over the past years in your life, to get you to where you're at and to martin.
He says in verse, 32 and section 19 behold.
This is a great and last commandment, which i shall give unto you concerning this matter, meaning the matter of repenting and for this shall suffice for thy daily walk even unto the end of my life, in other words, martin.
It's going to take you the course of your entire life, all of us for this water to go down the the rows that we want it to go down to make the kind of changes permanent that you want to make.
So, even though it is difficult, i love what you're saying that it's it comes with a heavy divine hand of help and i'll go back to this verse one more time, because i think this is a good one to end this point on section 19, verse 23 Learn of me: listen to my words, walk in the meekness of my spirit and you shall have peace in me. 00:27:28 00:10:44
I think, as we work to change with jesus christ, we can have peace through this change and we can't have that lasting peace as he helps us sustain that change too.
That is powerful. 00:27:46
So, as you wrestle with the question this week of what god wants you to change, remember that uh step, one of repentance was taken by our redeemer and our savior, and that, as we learn about him, we invite his power into our lives. 00:28:07
Step two requires us to humbly acknowledge our own faults and step. 00:28:12
Three means that we get to work, making the changes, sometimes the small but repetitive, changes we need to make in our life to see this new mindset or even new person that the lord wants to make of us um.
If i can just briefly back to the story of job after he expresses his desire to repent, i love this at the end of verse 9.
It says the lord accepted job and then in verse, 10 gave him twice as much as he had before, and then the story lists the blessings that came to job because of his and job was a righteous person, but because of his newness of perspective and his Increased perspective on his relationship with god and his devotion to him.
Well, let's end all of this discussion on repentance on change with the most important reminder of all coming from the savior at the end of section 19 yea come unto me thy savior amen mike dram [, Music ].
Thank you so much for studying with us this week.
We hope that you have a great study and we will be back next week have a great one: , you .