D&C 45: Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to the Church, at Kirtland, Ohio, March 7, 1831. Prefacing the record of this revelation, Joseph Smith’s history states that “at this age of the Church … many false reports … and foolish stories, were published … and circulated, … to prevent people from investigating the work, or embracing the faith. … But to the joy of the Saints, … I received the following.”
Resources on ChurchofJesusChrist.org
- Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families (lesson materials at ChurchofJesusChrist.org)
- Come, Follow Me—For Sunday School (lesson materials at ChurchofJesusChrist.org)
Good morning and welcome to Mormon News Report podcast — Sunday School Edition.
I am your host ben bernards, filling in for our regular Jenny Noonan Dye. It is not the same without her today. We missher shining, smiling face.
Mr. John Dye is who’s handling all the wonderful magic behind the scenes. Make sure that everything looks great and sharp on camera with our graphics. Also, a reminder for our regularly weekly podcast listeners for twenty join us for all the discussion of the news happenings in the world of mormonism. At her followers
you can find us is always on the mormon news report podcast on facebook or wherever you get your podcast, and if this is your first time joining us welcome, we are so glad to have you here in sunday school. We are so thrilled to have you here and if you are a longtime listener or been here before we glad to have you back. We hope this has been uplifting and fulfilling for you
as you try to find some light and truth on your sabbath day or during the week. We’re thankful to have you here for this come follow me lesson. This is our hour of power as we call it. We learn about discuss. Church history had a slightly different level than what you’ve done before and as always, please comment in the stream. We were joining us from. We love
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sure the people feel like their voices are heard here. We want this to be a safe, welcoming place for everybody.
So are our discussion today, and the lesson for a city school today is all about. Come follow me for the week of may second, which covers just one single section doctrine and covenants section: forty five. It is a long section. There is a lot of stuff there, but it breaks down into several different major themes:
s and over the purposes for the goal for today’s class. You wanna, look it at two or three of those different themes and scenic know what we can learn from and kind of exploring a slightly different way than we have before and I’d like to lead off with a introductory question. Ah ass, you know you’ve seen them I’ve done before when we had jenny
board and this one actual urban throw behind the camera worried ask john, you may not be able to see him, but hopefully above the hear his voice and if you are out there and if you have actually had this happen, you before we’d love to hear your experiences so question for today, have you ever needed a defender against an accuser,
either formally or informally? John? What do you think wow great question?
Yeah there have been times in my life when I have needed a defender against an accuser.
my my my first goes to a court of law. Right you have to have somebody represent. You were well, I guess you don’t have to, but it’s often very good to have somebody defend you, someone who knows the legal system can make their way through it can properly advise you
on the things that are happening and um I’d like to be able to say I’ve never had to have that, but that has been something in my life where I’ve needed to rely on the counsel of others to to help me when my way, through certain situations, legally,
our oh yeah, I think um you know, is kids to right. There have have been a mean moms and I think dad’s parents are often are most ardent advocates right. There are defenders,
you know it gets to the point. Sometimes I even think win.
You know there was an situation here in oregon recently, where there was a soccer match in two dad started going at it, and there was a there was a fervor at about one of the dads go back to his truck to get a hand gun and anyway it. You know, I I think it can can be carried to its
streams, but I think we all need defenders right, ben
yeah, absolutely and we’ve that’s the kind of thing where you want. Somebody has got your back. Somebody that’s gonna, be there to represent you, somebody that can totally vouch for you,
yeah I’ve. I’ve been in your talk about legal situations. I I had a story, my life, the first from that I really needed it.
I got in a car crash and it wasn’t. My fault is, with middle of the winter time I was driving over point of the mountain to head to a job in salt lake city ups living down in provo. So, if you’re, not from the utah area planted the mountain, is this weird spot on the freeway
that goes from it’s running from north to south and were that the freeway goes up. North is pretty flat, but there’s the tail end of this mountain comes through and instead of like ido, I go through at any can’t, go all the way around it, because all the sudden there was this huge ravine on the other side. So the road has kept go up and curve around the foothills and it makes
is really sharp turn. But it was for years. The primary bottleneck of traffic between salt lake county game is cutting everything the north and utah county in the south. So all the traffic goes through this. This narrow little spot and visual lights, and it is in perpetual state of construction. There is always people
there, there’s always accidents there and sure enough. In the middle, the wintertime, a white out blizzard, you know it’s seven o’clock in the morning totally dark outside tons of traffic going both ways, and I see a car lose control coming the other way- and this is before they had the concrete barriers between the northbound southbound traffic and fifteen and nurses that
the death debt should be called at this huge ravine. This huge gulp and a car lost control on the ice. Came down, went out of the dead she jumped up and slammed into me, which spun me into the rest of oncoming traffic in other cars, crashed and make. Ah, so, a year later after you not things have healed, but I’m still not healed. I being
this naive gosh how old was on twenty five years old kid I’d still dealing with medical issues, and I I saw a billboard on I fifteen for one hundred injured and I could go call some personal injury attorney. Who could help me get the money to that? I was that I deserved, and I
sat here in this little arbitration hearing. I met with this defense lawyer for twenty minutes before we had an arbitration setting with. He explains his game oregon, explain why you need medical coverage and why your bill should be covered by this other guy’s insurance and it’s gonna be totally fine. I think you totally got it
so I met up for twenty minutes. You hardly knew the guy sat down um ano across the table from me. My opponent was the attorney for the insurance company. That was supposed to be paid me back and he walked in and he stopped me, and so the other attorney was probably in his mid fifties. He walked in. He looked mean he saw me
they just kind of smiled like
okay, this gonna be a slam dunk, and then we had a thirty minute session before a judge who was a an arbiter there and the other guy. The other attorney was absolutely relentless like he was, I felt like he was mean and he was rude and he was speaking very harshly to me and he was asking questions about whether I was really hurt.
What I really am- and he had me so flustered I could not answer the questions in a way that I felt was I clear and definitive of what our problems were and it totally caught. My attorney off guard mike authority basically was like
please give money because he needs help
so long story short guess you didn’t get any extra money at at celebrate and guess whose attorney want it was the other guy. This has gotten me think about having a defender and why defenders were useful um. You know if, if you had, if you needed to be a defender as laurel, says that she’s kind to be the default
under as well,
if it works really well, if you have a really good relationship without defend, but then that person really knows you write like in my particular case, my story, the guided know me, he didn’t know my story, he didn’t know my backstory and he really had very little of a personal interest of making. My defense case happened right, there’s nothing much in it for him, he was gonna, get to
a percentage of a very small medical claim, and I learned later on that he wasn’t even their best attorney like their ace attorneys. They send for like the really big stuff they save those for the super important cases. For me, young college, kid that had a you know, a tiny little insurance policy on his car and you’re gonna, said summit assistant to go get. That would doubt
so, of course, because the whole thing totally failed. My relationship with them totally sour at didn’t, want to do anything else with them.
Anda and I felt like they really didn’t, have my back so okay. So what the heck does? This have to do doctrine covenants forty five well
in the very beginning, there’s this short little verse where god uses language that we also see elsewhere in the bible about an advocate,
and we see that christ. It describes himself as the advocate with the father so we’re starting to introduce this language in this visual representation of this idea of christ being a defense attorney.
Now, aside from that, though, the legal system john, can you explain to us to do what would you try to explain what an advocate is? Yeah yeah, that’s great at advocate is traditionally somebody who takes the position or is in favor of the position of someone that you did
and that they like that they basically it’s somebody. That’s got your back right. It’s someone that stands between you traditionally and a power up that could be illegal power. That could be
an authoritarian figure. That could be anyone that I plead your case right to this power, that is in power right, someone, someone who pleads for you on your behalf
awesome. I liked up pleading pleading on your behalf. You know this goes back for centuries, totally outside of the area that our church system and I was digging around in a little bit of history wikipedia last night, as we are wont to do in preparation for these classes- and I went down this rabbit hole of learning about trial by jury.
Now, don’t know about you when you hear about being a jury, member or a trial by jury. Anything like that.
Eight conscious up all sorts of ideas of sitting around waiting in a courthouse for hours to see if your number’s gonna get call you get the jury summons in the mail I like. Ah, you gotta do this thing you’re, like oh, my gosh such a pain. I had been the first five years that we’ve lived here in california. My wife and I have been summoned for jury duty like three times
and never once got actually called me. Eunice and fourteen hours sitting right in a waiting room with no wifi and at a time little power receptacle for your laptop, and it was a struggle through and like back in the day. When is he back at amtrak, like fifth or sixth century bc? Trial by jury was actually not too different,
but let’s kind of explore how this came about and why christ’s comments about him being an advocate can make a little bit more sense right.
So, first off we have to go back in time to appoint time. Were there were no professional lawyers, scary right? There was no professional courts and in fact, the government system that people lived in was very very different than we had today. There was no like recognition of like a mayor of a town and a mayor of a town and
al reported to the governor anything like that. There was nothing like that. Initially was just tribes, you had tribal people, usually all related to each other, and they would be living all across all across the land. Eventually, some those tribes decided to get together and they be living in a big communal area and they would
go and conquer other tribes and in the early greek states were talking about sixth century sixty eighth century bc. When you have multiple tribes, the company each other
and they decided to try to live together in some form of a city, there was still no central ruler. There was no like one major clan chief, because each tribe was still there but they’re living together in this in this big city, trying to to scratch out a living. So there’s no central government, just a huge collection of people agreeing to follow some sort of rules.
Now there was a keen kind of a person, but it wasn’t necessarily divine right, like the europeans had, and it wasn’t necessarily even by passed down from father to son, and it wasn’t exactly democratically elected who just collect figurehead person, sometimes the ruled by force of law or by force of strength, and they were the one that was kind of like it
charge of everything else right. There are the ones that said. Okay, you guys, I’m gonna have the supreme power, but he couldn’t fix all the problems so what he decided to do. One of the first things that we saw in these greek early, greek tribes of a man named draco. He wrote down, assist from a list of rules and he says here’s the name, rules in prison,
the penalties are, and some of these penalties were kind of hearts. That’s where the term draconian laws come from now any time there was a family squabble
between tribe members between different groups of people like you stole something like hey you’ve taken, my god, sorry. This person broke in and stole some new, my back gold or had disputes about businesses that you are running or about your slaves right. He he’s taken my slaves in his work working in his field, they’re supposed to be my slaves or you’ve taken the women of my household or
you know somebody got a fight, he beat up my kid or whatever.
If you wanted to be, if you wanted to be held accountable or hold somebody else accountable, you had to find a way to look for redress right. You wanted, you couldn’t just go to the king every single day, so they finally said. Okay, let’s just have everybody else it, so they had this idea.
They said you know if, if these tragic gonna be living together and everybody’s gonna be trying to surviving as a society we have to have, each other’s backs is john said earlier that we will stand up for each other when we need it and the two main times they really needed was number one in times of war.
So if, if an enemy comes from the outside, everybody collectively reviewing drop, what you’re doing and go get a weapon and go defended the city, so everybody would volunteer to be a soldier and ever to in times of peace, you’d, be willing to listen in and help settle disagreements amongst a try. In other words, you were willing to be a member
of the jury,
so they said. Okay, here’s the deal, we’re gonna pay we’re going to randomly pick people from the city and if you get called into be a part of his jury, they’re not going to be a judge. There’s not gonna be attorneys. There is, is just a huge jury pool of between two hundred to upwards of a thousand people that are going to sit here and listen to me
all sides of an argument and then they’re gonna vote as to who they think is the winner or who is telling the truth, and that will be the end of it
and we’ll pay. You like a couple bucks for your trouble and so that’s what they did so, both of both being a soldier or member jury. Member. The jury was unpleasant, but it did establish stability and it established fairness and it established predictability. If and when you needed help from everybody else self.
That’s what we would now see in early greece, we would see, no judge would be held out in public. You can see kind of here on the screen at the top right. You would usually be held up in this a gora, this public arena, where people would be out there in the middle, the marketplace- and there was this large um. A platform are not quite a podium with his large
raised area where somebody else would stand, and this is where they would bring up their their arguments and let everybody know what they had, what they had problems with, and there is a group of court clerks on the side that kind of keep track of which trouser being held on which day they were the judges which just kind of administrative people help things keep rolling along, and this means any occur.
User could come across up to the court and they would accuse a person and that person will come defend themselves so than all the jurors were brought in and the fascinating thing about this jury is just like. Today. It was ah a cross section of all slices of life right now. Granted most people were poor farmers. Most people were illiterate. Nobody had
eighty sense of like I’d, add the jury precedent. Nobody had gone to law school is we’re not scholars. There were people have literally just been over there milken ago and now you’re bringing him in here and they’re. Gonna sit and listen to both sides of the argument, and that’s all they have to go off is the two sides of the argument. Now that is key,
because what would happen is when the jury comes in. A very small percentage of the jury would have been wealthy landowners, but the vast majority of folks were very poor and the jury was so big that whoever was being accused if they wanted when their argument, one or the other. The jury was usually too big for them to bribe
a majority of that right. We’re talking hundreds and hundreds of people here, so the accusers would be given time to bring charges. Usually an hour or two they’d have like this little water clock set up on the side in this. Okay without water runs out to drip slowly and when that runs out, your time is done,
and then the defendants would stand up and defend themselves
now, because the laws were very simple and the decision as to whether which side of the argument one was private. So you can see here, we’ve got a little representation of a bronze ballot disc. It’s a small little disk had a marking on. It said this is a cvs for the jury, so it’s it could be meltdown used for money or whatever. Every member of the jury got
one of those and they’re listening to two people, and then there is this huge vases set up, teach clay and four and a person walk by and they drop their disc into one’s art of the other, representing the the accuser or the defender,
and then they would count him out and the simple majority one. And then everybody agreed that whoever got the majority. That decision was final,
so the crowd, but it was a simple majority and can like in a winning american idol or whatever, and this also meant that the poor people, usually the poor people that were accused for something they may not have always been able to have a friend, stand up for them and really that’s all. They had, because there’s no professional lawyers.
So this means that if you had a really good accuser,
somebody who was really good with words, somebody who is wealthy. Somebody who had a really good reputation and somebody who knew how to draw on the emotions and the appeals of everybody else in the crowd than the accuser would probably have a good chance of winning.
Now, whether or not the accused was actually innocent or guilty, it’s beside the fact bright, because that accuser, if they could sway the jury to to go in their favor. That could work really well, and this brings up the idea of having an advocate for the defender.
So, as you can see, if you had somebody that was on your back somebody that had your back, that would be willing to stand up for you.
That person would only be useful if
they themselves also had a sufficiently powerful reputation in order that, in order to sway the members of the jury. So if I was if I’d been accused- and I say you know all I can have is- I can lay on my side of the case. But let me pull in, like in a tag team bring my buddy in here, and you all know
that advocate would step up and he could say. Peak of list are his credentials and he could say here’s everything that I believe, and you know how wealthy I am, and I am willing to pay his debt. If that person has a debt, I’m willing to stand up for them, I’m willing to take their place, but I can personally vouch for them and I’m will
into put my own honor my own reputation on the line to say that this person is innocent or if they have paid. If a debt was to be paid, I can go ahead, pay up for them, and so let’s vote them is innocent and I will pay their debt, and that was the agreement. So having a good advocate like that is, is a pretty big deal
and it was pretty rare because you know having a person that was that well connected was not something that everybody had access to in the city and get self with that very long, historical background of that contact. Let’s go back to the doctor covenants and take a look at this verse. This is in doctrine and covenants section, forty four
five versus three four five, and I want you to keep that background in mind when you look at the language of who is here
and let’s cut him, see what sort of sense this means at john. If, if you’re there would you mind, reading this force, dna, forty five three sure sure
listen to him. Who is the advocate with the father, who is pleading york, cause before him
saying father behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin
in whom thou wast well pleased, behold the blood of thy son, which was shed the blood of him who thou gamest that they self might be glorified? Where forefathers spare these my brethren, that believe on my name that they may come unto me and have everlasting life
good stuff. Okay,
now there’s a couple pieces to this dramatic scene that has set out that are not specifically called out, but they’re certainly implied right and it it kind of it kind of sets. The scene right there at the very beginning of the stories has listen to him through the advocate with a father whose pleading your cause before him. So I don’t know about you, but, like my bivalves them is like clang clang were
rainer in a court system. This is law and order right. This is us it’s being on trial, but there’s a a an implied. Other party that is here
and that’s the accuser right, the person who’s bringing the charges were so little. The accuser, in this case who’s who’s. The person is bringing the charges against is john. Who is it well in essence? It’s it’s the law right, it is,
it is what has to be done. The the requirements to actually um
be and live with our father. Again, it’s what we all agreed to in the pre existence. It’s what we knew had to happen and you know that’s who’s. Bringing the charges really is the law that stands immutable
right. It is the whole idea of of I think it was a spencer kimball who said you can’t really break the law. You can only break yourself against the law interesting, you know, you say that thou lot immutable and that’s that’s part of the agreement. That’s the that’s the structure that
holds our lives together, and if that structure doesn’t hold, then society breaks down right. So that’s why we have the law. So in this case you know it, it’s us it’s doing it that we’ve done the things that are wrong, and now we have. We stand accused of these things because of that in in this
full loft force. You know there’s another interesting piece that can kind of go with this. I think kind of also factors in one of the old definitions of the word. Satan
is literally accuser,
and it’s this it’s this early christian notion that satan was like a prosecuting attorney. This devil was a prosecuting attorney and jock god, as being the judge, had to decide whether or not we were being we were worth being saved and that lucifer job when they comedy
label him satan. That’s him saying he’s the accuser. He would stand there and list all the bad things that we did. He would accuse us of everything that we had done wrong
and so now to counterpoint out here we have the advocate on the other side.
So now in this, in this particular verse, john know the for free is christ, saying that we’re innocent in the sense that we’ve done nothing wrong.
Oh absolutely, not! No,
and- and I think we all realised that right that that this we understand was the plan of satan right, that’s the one that he proposed was. I will force you to do right and come back pristine and therefore you won’t need an advocate because you won’t be able to transgress the law. The beautiful thing here is cry:
waste is staying. We know that these people mis stepped right, that they had to learn and grow and experience for themselves
um because of the law which was set up. They are not worthy to richard. The presence of the father. However, there is that clause in the law that says. If someone comes in and performs what he performed is the savior for others, then they can indeed return if he will represent them. In
begin that beautiful, the beautiful analogy of us, you know coming underneath his robes write him in in involving yes pulling close
us and representing us before the father and eventually the law
did this idea of him pre paying the penalty for us? You know it’s him saying: okay, I’ve, I’ve taken care of this yeah I’ve. I’ve already paid for it
and that’s the thing that that never fails to boggle me when I pause and contemplate just how vast that is. You know I’ve I’ve heard in the news mend some of the people may have seen in the news about things like lunchtime school debt, where, where located in elementary school
rules, didn’t necessary for whatever reason their family wasn’t able to pay for school lunches and they racked up a debt for school lunches and there’s a couple instances recently, where a predict the policy at the time at the school district was when their school lunch balance hit a certain amount. They were no longer allowed to serve the kid lunch
and on about you, man, that that’s pretty harsh right and here’s is, you know poor little third grader, that’s away from parents have no clue about any of this all. He knows that they have a little card when they walk into lunch from the swipe it and it goes away and a lunch lady says you’ll has to take their tray away and say sorry, you can’t have any rights at all
and- and I’ve heard faintly, the happy ending to a story was groups of people that are sometimes. There was couple of celebrities that showed up at these schools and said gimme all the lunch debt for the entire school, like all sixth grades, whatever. Let me pay it off, because these kids need to eat,
they have to live, they have to survive. Let me see how much it is and it turned out that some of these cases that the school the lunch debt was somewhere between, like maybe ten thousand dollars, fifteen thousand or twenty thousand dollars in the in the grand scheme of things. It was not a ton of money, you know I mean not granted as as poor family. I know that third,
two thousand dollars of lunch does spread across a whole lot of people. That does add up tab. So we consider, oh in that in like in the overall school budget, like what the whole school district is trying to get for the whole year.
Thirty k was not time, but according to the law that they had set up, it was sufficient to prevent these kids from getting nourished, and so a person stepped in and like okay. I’m gonna pay this off, because these people are more important than you know your puffy thirty thousand dollars. They need to survive,
so these celebrities stepped in or these or these very same people stepped in and started paying it off and it go from school to school, school school to pay off the debt, and I couldn’t help, but wonder man, one are the fund’s gonna run out like how long can you keep that going, and some have chimed in to try to put together investment fool to try to keep that ball rolling? As far as I can
so with that in mind, it’s certainly kind of helps me understand better about just how big the debt was paid, that the savior did for us, where he went to look to every single one of our school lunches, so to speak, any says: okay, here is this person. This is the person that had that debt
and that debt has been paid, and so, like he’s, you know like he said to I. He said to the father there inverse five spare these my brethren, that believe on my name that they may come to me. They’ve been spare, their debt is totally paid off. I love that in that last image you had of the accuser, pointing at them and saying know: a person still
owes a debt. You know, and in some cases these lunch. Ladies pointed it is little kids they’re like no, you have a debt. You can’t do this. This is not my lot. This is the law and you are the one that broke it and there is christ. As the advocate saying, okay yeah, that person’s in debt. However, it’s taken care of so we’re going to go ahead and
let them through.
I saw this wonderful quote that I found just the other night from elder dale g redland and it actually comes from before he was called as an apostle on this is general conference. Twenty fifteen I’ll go and read this one. This is from a a talk. He gave called latter day saints keep on trying. He says, quote god’s desire, the latter.
The saints keep on trying also extend beyond overcoming sin.
We suffer because of troubled relationships, economic challenges or illnesses or, as a consequence of somebody elses, since the saviors, infinite atonement can heal, even and perhaps especially those who have innocently suffered. So many positive there and say you know it’s one thing for crested pay off the debt bit,
because it’s ten mistakes that we made, but it’s yet another two casa comprehend his atomic is something that is helping us because of suffering for those were totally innocent. You know kind of like going back to my case at the very beginning, were I was in a car crash. I’d done nothing wrong. Somebody else crashed in me, but there were still in medical debt that had to be paid at. I couldn’t
so back to the quote. Other ellen says he understands perfectly what it is like to suffer innocently as a consequence of another transgression as prophesied. The savior will bind up the brokenhearted, give beauty for ashes the oil of joy from morning and the garmin of praise for the spirit of heaviness, no matter what,
with his help, god expects latter day saints to keep on trying,
john any thoughts or comments or or things stand out to you from home from maryland or other stuff that we talked about here so far.
You know it’s interesting because um,
you know, there’s a lot of overtones here in this quote that are analogous to his latest conference. Talk right in fury- and you know the infuriating fact that there is injustice in this world.
We often don’t call things down on us. It’s because of others’ actions were things that they do now
um. You know the beautiful thing like he says here: the saviors, infinite atonement, kinda he’ll, even and perhaps especially those who have innocently suffered- and I think god, you know that’s key- that is key and critical to know that those who innocently suffered that there is justice on the other end
and there is healing, on the other end for all of this and at again as we read in elma, you know he he he went through all this. He had to experience it all so that he could be the perfect advocate and the perfect healer
you know, bind up the brokenhearted give beauty for ashes the joy from morning oil of joy for morning in the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, with his help, god expects us to keep on trying to keep moving to do more. I love that.
I also love this is common, but laurel said um were talking about the having christ in his role. She says. We think that christ is only our defender when we do something wrong, but he has taken every burden that we will experience. This means that if or when something happens to you, too,
jesus is taken. Whatever would be too much from you. I was in a really bad car accident, so I know the relieving aspect of his atonement
and I think that’s a really good point. I know that you know I’m not the only one that is that is had that happen or or knows what that feels like, but having a person could actually be in there to help to have gone through that pain, to have experienced that force into know exactly what that’s like man, that is such a relief to know. You’ve got a person on the other side that purse
some can give you that relief from that that sucker, that you need.
Okay, we like to switch gears just little bit with that, so ah yeah. The one major theme that we see here is everything about christ. As a defender, the interesting part about this session, is he now kind of changes topics all of it? He being the author, in this case the red letter, the savior as we speak
me joseph smith,
and the whole rest of the section? All of a sudden talks about this prophecy of the latter days and the second coming. So
we were not gonna read the entire thing. People can go ahead and do that on our on their own, but a couple things that I wanted to bring out here. First off a question for john or anybody else, is there raise your hand if you have been taught, or you thought that the second coming was going to happen in your lifetime?
John? How about you? Have you ever hear that shared in a class or any anywhere else that that was going to be happening soon? Yes, yes, for sure and we’ve and realize right back in the eighteen thirties forties in the early church history, they thought it was imminent.
Two, and you know I had eyes opened. I remember elder packer ones. I don’t think this president packer at the time, but he he said, go ahead and plant a tree in your front yard or something to that effect up and your grandchildren will be able to swing from that tree, so yeah yeah so ago.
Again, I I think. Sometimes I think it it. I don’t call it a scare tactic, but it’s almost this. You have to be ready at any time, because you know where the church of jesus christ, of latter day, saints and and rights coming is imminent, and we have to be ready for that. Therefore, peppers, therefore,
all of this others nap and yeah, I think it’s more a state of mind than it is anything else
yeah. This is it. This is a really interesting thing, because this is, I think one of the I would say this is one of the hallmarks of christianity. This belief in millennial is on this belief and the god that we worship gun come back so get ready, but nobody knows when it’s gonna happen.
Yeah and four thousand years now, we’ve been trying to figure out just what that means, and how do we deal with it
now, as latter day, saints is like we have yet an extra layer, custom built on top of all that, because we have profits and sometimes in our church I mean, let’s be honest. Sometimes our people have been looking at the profits to like give us hints of like what it’s gonna happen, even though the scriptures themselves, and even though the saints the prophets themselves have said,
we don’t know, and if we did, we wouldn’t tell you, but we’re not gonna same thing, so stop trying to connect the dots and think that it’s gonna be happening soon. Right white- and this is, I think, a useful part of what I hope is gonna be useful for our discussion today.
I don’t know if you’ve ever felt this way, john are vetted by their listeners, who felt this way. But
sometimes it kind of feels like this and addressed elephant in the room is what are we doing about? How we talk about the second coming
and here’s what I mean several years ago, I was sitting at stake leadership meeting with a particular group, your brethren, who were really thinking that the second coming was gonna be happening, but they didn’t want to say that it was gonna be happening, but they felt like they really needed to prepare people for it,
and this came across in their language. In these council meetings about what to do for I, the ward and how they could help them spiritually and a lot of that language was focused on emergency preparedness.
It was focused on a steak communication and evacuation drills where they try to mobilize the entire stake. All at once, a lot of things for focused on getting people ready for judgment. A lot of things were focused on getting people ready for an event and while I’m sure that they did their best to
to persuade people that this was not going to be happening any time soon.
At the same time, people hear what they wanna hear and for those that had I’d, I don’t wanna call it paranoia, but for those that were looking forward with extreme interest to the second coming happening in their life when they heard this language coming out of state leadership and when some of the leaders themselves were
pointing towards that there was a level of anxiety started to notch up thinking that the bit, maybe state leaders knew something or they’re trying to convince people that something was about to happen. Now, in the middle of this, we saw ah astrologers telling us very predictably that
there was going to be a blood moon eclipse in two thousand and nineteen do remember this job, because my one that happened prior- yes, yes, yes and and- and we started to see all across christianity a lot- a large section of people that thought that that was it-
that the blood moon of twenty nineteen blood, moon, eclipse in the fall of twenty nineteen wives, gonna, be the final style and and part of the challenges that we can descriptors in. The scriptures will say things like if you’re looking for the signs, you’ll recognize them. You know like if, if you have enough faith or if you’re, if you’re, testimonies,
mature enough you’ll recognize designed to resist this, isn’t gonna, surprise people, and so we can start looking for the things to validate our faith. And we saw this blood moon eclipse. I remember opening up the newspaper one day and seeing sale after sale after sale after sale, support emergency preparedness, ah stores all across utah, and then I would
to their website and they said, sold out of stock out of stock out of stock out of stock, and there was like this massive run because we thought something was going to have. It spelled my wife and I were talking about okay. So what’s gonna happen like hypothetically? What? If that was it like? What? If that was the big thing
and the night of the eclipse, we decided to go out and watch it. So there’s this park by our house with these levy trails that give you with little tiny hill, that you can stand up and look on. This hill can look out across the valley, the shirt of the night of the clubs. We went out there with our boys and chairs and we didn’t tell him anything about
the fear and some of the panic and we’d see the you tube videos, the papers that were out there and the people that were worried about something happening and we sat there. We waited for this eclipse to rise and I’m not gonna lie. I pulled out my phone and I was flipping through the news of see what was what was going on around the world, because there was a lot of anxiety people going. Okay,
it’s gonna be the thing and I whipped out my phone. I was like wait a minute, I’m here in california,
this blood moon eclipse thing has already taken place. Several time zones ahead of us. So let me just casually scroll through cnn and see if they’re nope, there’s no people rising from the dead note. There’s no plague that have been released. Okay, okay, were perfectly fine
and is that moon came up over the mountains and for a split second, my heart started to be like. Oh, my gosh something’s gonna happen and then the moon rose and the eclipse happened and then it stopped and life went on
and I kind of went hum
and he had this little bit sense of okay, those little bit of disappointment, not that I wanted all the atrocities to happen,
but it’s the sense of okay. So when like what do we like? What we do
I’d had grandparents that have lived and died that have thought that it was gonna happen in their lifetime.
He knows we see lori whitehead says you know. President benson told be white students in the early eighties that they would be alive during the second coming and then that doesn’t happen near laurel says. I believe that every one of christ’s disciples will be present for the second coming. So every time everyone was told that it is true,
and so part of the challenge that we have with our faith is reconciling those statements. You know the skeptic might look at this from the outside and say: okay. Well, when it doesn’t happen, then you just have to move the goalposts right. You change the definition of well when crescent were imprisonment, said people would be all I’d heeded me
being alive alive. He met resurrected, so technically that’s going to be for everybody.
So so I think one of the useful questions that we have as we struggle with is part of our faith, is
trying to understand what is a useful way to talk about the second coming.
That does not what I’m gonna make a big assumption here. I’m gonna make the assumption that it is not helpful to be living in a constant state of dread. I don’t think it’s helpful thing for us to be living in a perpetual state of paranoia. That is not a sustainable thing that can be beneficial to the world around us. So if att is an assumption
and envied invariably out, there disagrees with a please let us know in jonah like to hear your thoughts on it as well. If living in a perpetual state of dread is not the best way to do it, then how should we be living instead? What does it mean? Looking forward to an event that hasn’t happened yet,
where we kind of balance between optimistic faith, verse is cynical. Dismissal that it’s not ever gonna happen at all.
How are we supposed to talk a second coming alive live with. It really think john yeah great great question.
You know a couple thoughts, um number one you’re right right. We should not be living in this perpetual state of dread or foreboding, or you know even even constant concern about that. If that is the thing that is, you know taking up our brain cycles gosh, we got a lot to learn right. We
learn forty five with death, the man of happiness and that that’s how we should live right. The gospel should bring that happiness that hope to our lives in. If, if we consider the second coming to I mean there, there is an actual second coming that were expecting right when christ comes back in red, right
and he’ll come back in glory, and
we know that during that time, that will be some people will be around and some will not. There will be cataclysms that predate that and that’s what we often hear alluded to when we hear of earthquakes in and wars and rumors of wars, eccentric, etc, but but again one way to look at this, and I know this might be a little trite and a troop, but ah
our second coming comes when we pass rate, I mean to some extent.
We have to be that that talks about a reckoning and really that’s what this is and if were only concerned about what happens with us, physically and and often week. We discuss that because of all the things that will take place,
gosh, that’s a little short sighted, because we know that this life is just a you know what a milliseconds in the the things that are happening and will happen to us. So I think it’s interesting it. You know it’s it’s. It’s definitely something to concern ourselves with, but again I think it’s more
more a situation of win that second coming comes for us, which can’t happen. I believe that you know similar to to when we pass absolutely. I think there is room in in christianity as a whole, but mormonism in in general, and earned specific that they can allow
allow for a meaningful way to engage in the world around us.
Vet simultaneously looks forward towards the advent of christ,
but also tries to find meaning in the day to day of extending this life as long as we can as if that second coming, we’re not going to happen,
and I and here’s what I mean
I have spoken with members of the church, they have told me that they don’t believe in spending money to try to clean up the environment, because when christ comes again, the whole world is just can be renewed. So why bother
kind of like saying yeah, we trashed the house cause. We have got a party this weekend, but and dad are a nuke the place when I get back anyway. So why bother cleaning up after the party right at ann arbor, looking at them thinking? You know if you’re wrong about this. That means that your kids, your grandkids, your great grandkids, are gonna, be living in an app,
so a dystopian hell, scape full of horrible things, because you were placing your bet. I and the cries coming in him. Cleaning up your mess and that’s why the rock mad max thunder dome right. Everyone got thunder, don’t grab network people that are sprayed their mouth with chrome paint and they’re, looking for water,
her and all kind of stuff, and not only that, but doesn’t it also kind of go against this whole original admonition, clear back in the original garden, where gods godsend adam and eve, take care of this garden address it as in are responsible for this place, I’m handing you the keys, but just be
because I’m coming back to check up on it later does mean you get to totally trash it absolutely yeah. I’ve! I’ve I’ve had this this this discussion with my own kids
about why we need to take care of these things as if it wasn’t going to happen, they backed bid. Ask this exact same question like well: wait a minute he’s gonna be coming again. This has been. We don’t have to pay attention to. We don’t even try to fix equality or justice or know social issues, because he’s gonna be coming back and he’s gonna take it. Why can’t he just take care of it for us?
Why can’t we offload our responsibility, and I think therein lies the frailty of doomsday obsession where we try to excuse ourselves from the problem of the world around us. Sometimes thinking that they’re just too big for us to handle or they’re too complex
or it’s gonna require too much of a seismic shift in our behavior, and it would be just so much easier of christ, which just come down and snap his fingers and take care of things and bam everything’s better,
because I think deep down inside. We know that the reality is that he’s expecting us to clean up our mess and- and there are verses in the doctrine, covenants to say, yeah things are going to get bad before he comes again. You know that let’s take a look at dnc, forty, five, ah versus thirty, three thirty, three
um I’ll go ahead and and biggest john. If you pull that sleight of forced dnc, forty five, thirty three thirty three
perrigo says in that generation, speaking of the last days, job the times of the gentiles be fulfilled, and there shall be men and women standing in that generation that shall not pass until they shall see an overflowing scourge for a desolating sickness, a cover, the lab, while, where we seen that before right, but might huckabee
s shall stand in holy places and shall not be moved. But among the wicked men shall lift up their voices and curse god and die. There shall be earth is also in diverse places and many desolation. Yet men will harden their hearts against me and they will take up the sword or the gun one against another and they will kill one another.
I mean this is this is kind of scary language in I, this is. These are things that have been prophesied, and this is nothing new we’ve seen that happen before and I think when dee verses like that, a lot of times, we have this tendency to look for a confirmation. Isn’t like confirmation. Bias was a hot right that proves it at let’s talk about
our day. That’s gonna! That’s gonna happen there. Others of. If brown iris was prophesied, a dnc, forty, five, thirty one, it’s it’s right there. He who has eyes to see let him see, but on top of that we still gives the question to us.
How so, therefore, what like? What are we supposed to do? How are we supposed to do this? To this mean that we just sit back and let it happen, and we wait for the ten to twenty to eighty years to the hundreds of years, and this can bring up an interesting thought experiment some that I think, could change behavior for some of us. What, if we
you, then the second coming was going to happen two hundred years from now like, if we knew would we do anything different. If we knew that we had a countdown timer,
would we bother trying to make the world a better place? Would we bother getting education? Would we bother getting trying to make the world more fair? More just. Would we bother trying to sucker the person on the side of the road to jericho if we knew that the road to jericho was gonna get knocked into hundred years?
What our behavior shift at all?
If we had that timeline-
and you know the more I think about it- the more it feels like
if we knew that that finish line was coming, some people, who even use as a further justification of saying hot, see, told you the end is coming out of have to clean up anyway,
and maybe that is the paradox that we have to struggle with. As believers which is perhaps the most fruitful, beneficial and sustainable way to live would be as if the second coming wasn’t going to be happening any time soon at all,
but fully knowing well that it actually would and we would be held accountable for how we use our time in the meantime know. Maybe what, if immortality and heaven in zion didn’t come down here until it was us creative it?
What if this whole idea of people living with glorified bodies where the wealthy and the poor live together were all humanity? Is equal what if it all came because humanity, humanity finally said: oh, my gosh we’re in this for ourselves: nobody’s gonna clean up after us. Nobody’s gonna come here to fix our problems for us
us what if we looked around, we realized. We are all that we have we’re on this life back together,
guys, if, if, if we, if we don’t turns earth into heaven, nobody will
and when we finally put aside the differences, we beat the swords into plowshares and we finally try to make this earth heaven could. Could that be the point where godfather says now: you’re getting it
now, you realize that the point was not for god to come down and fix all of our problems before all of y’all to fix your problems yourselves
and that’s what happiness is when you realized that you have to take care of each other more than just yourself and when you have people collectively trying to take care of each other to the best of their abilities.
Maybe that’s what zionists!
I found this wonderful quote from gordon b hinckley combo
from a devotional that he gave this was years ago. This was a weaver say this is clear back in the before times. Nineteen. Ninety seven, and here he is addressing an unspoken question that I know that I have had and other people had so many times, which is why should I bother going to school or going to college or whatever? If the second clue
things gonna happen, and I remember thinking this is a teenager like logic growing up in utah county. I remember thinking. Why should I even bother if some time in the year, two thousand god’s gonna come down, and you know twinkle us all up to heaven and everything- and here is what he said to these students. This was it a devotional at institute. We were state university april, fifteen nineteen, eighty, seven, an excerpt that he says
quote. How do we prepare for the second coming? Well, you just do not worry about it.
You just live the kind of life that, if the second coming were to be tomorrow, you would be ready. Nobody knows when it’s gonna happen. No one knows when the savior is coming, not even the angels in heaven.
Our responsibility is to prepare ourselves to live worthy of the association of the savior, to deport ourselves in such way that we would not be embarrassed if he were to come over among us
john, your thoughts. What is he saying here? Yeah, you know um ou love this in laurel earlier said. You know, live ready, you’ll, never be uncomfortable with this
at eight again yeah. I think we get so preoccupied with the date a time, a time line so that we can excuse ourselves, as you’ve alluded to previously of how we are or are not working toward that right and our responsibility. I’ve often thought why am I saving
in in putting money into a four o? One k right commemorative, their money’s at the rotter. Exactly money is not a thing so, but but again, I think it’s more toward the character building toward you know looking to become more christ like and trying to do the things that he would do end up
in really preparing ourselves individually, and I think it’s more spiritually than physically, because our time will come and when it does come, we just have to be prepared.
you know some some final thoughts as we wrap up here at the at, and thank you so much john cooper in all of your commentary and your participation here as well as everybody else has been here in the class. We hope this has been helpful and engaging and thoughtful and and as you own is you study the rest of us come comfort me this week or ass thoughts come to this week. We hope that this
would give you a new perspective and a better way to engage in the world around us
here are christian. Discipleship is very unique. Religion like we talked about it’s one. The core premise is this idea that the boss has got away, but they left us with instructions and moved left to our own devices. Knowing full well about us is gonna, come back, we don’t know when so we can procrastinate.
We can wait it out or we could say you know what. If they don’t ever come back at all
and then we can do whatever little. We can right now and try to make this world the best version that we possibly could for whenever they get back. Sometimes people try to leave this way, they’re sort of life with a fear of punishment, or they say you know that you have to be good because it the second coming, if you’re, not good, you’re gonna get punished for some people do out of a sense
of duty like that’s what I’m supposed to do, or they do it out of a sense of reward like I’m going to be a good good person, because I’m hoping to get a personal reward after all this, and perhaps each of those different modalities does have a purpose. Maybe they do have their usefulness,
but I wonder how different our lives would be if we were to live not out of fear of punishment, but not in not out of hope of reward, but because we are willing to listen to the voice inside our soul. That says, being a good person to person around us and taken care of the world around us is the right thing too.
Do because we are people worth being good for
my kids would often ask us when, ah when their lowest it, while I have to clean the bathroom on saturday, it’s not like. We have people coming over what I have to mop the kitchen it I had if anybody who’s ever had guests or back in the day when the home teachers were going to show up or somebody’s gonna drop by, there’s that last minute cleaning frenzy like hurry, let’s make this house looked. Spick and span is if nobody actually lived here
right, let’s, let’s erase all traces of humanity from this place. That everybody knows is full of humans and we do it. We got to some some other place, some other person’s home and they’ve done. The same thing got it cleaned up before we showed up at my wise wife would look at the boys and say you’re right this saturday. We don’t have guests coming over,
but we’re gonna mop this kitchen because we live here and that should be good enough. So here’s a mop- I let you go go, do your thing,
so maybe whether it’s making long term plans for our life know whether it’s education or jobs, or maybe it’s trying to be stewards of the better or the environment like we’ve, talked about or bringing peace and justice to the poor or trying to help the refugees. The marginalized are all these people around us. These
least of these that we’ve been asked as christian disciples to reach out poor.
Maybe heaven will finally arrive in that second coming will finally arrive when we build a mega, a welcoming enough place
self that will do for us today. Thank you so much for for joining us. We hope this has been a good, beneficial use of your time, and then it’s been an uplifting message for you, please be sure to tune in later this week for the regular discussion for all things about news with jenny and brent and four next week will be right here, just a little bit after nine o’clock,
nine issue, eight eight nine dish mountain time for yet another edition of our mormon news report, sunday school until then have a great day, keep being awesome and goal at the dark cheers. Everybody.